A construction project in Wales © Press Association Images
A construction project in Wales © Press Association Images

'Ethical employment must be part of all Welsh public building projects'

Ethical employment must be at the centre of all publicly-funded construction and infrastructure projects in Wales, according to finance and government business minister Jane Hutt.

The minister, speaking at an Ethical Employment Practices in Construction event in Cardiff, said despite recent efforts workers were still experiencing poor practices, which can include being docked National Insurance contributions or missing out on holiday pay.

Hutt said the Welsh Government was developing a Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains as an extra measure to tackle these issues, building on the Employment Practices on Publicly Funded Projects Procurement Advice Note (PAN) launched last year.

The PAN is designed to deal with issues of false self employment and the increased use of umbrella payment schemes operating unfair methods of calculating pay.

Public sector bodies in Wales, Welsh businesses and suppliers to the Welsh public sector will be expected to sign up to the code.

In May a programme of training and awareness events will start for public sector clients and business to support the adoption of the PAN. 

Hutt said: “Over recent months, despite collective efforts, I have heard first hand numerous accounts from those working on construction projects here in Wales who have suffered as a result of poor employment practices.

“These are Welsh citizens who are being treated unfairly when working on Welsh public projects. This is simply not good enough – ethical employment practices should be at the centre of all publicly funded projects. 

“That is why we are developing a code of practice that I expect all public sector bodies in Wales, Welsh businesses and suppliers to the Welsh public sector to sign up to. By working together we can drive forward improved employment practices and stamp out unfair practices.”

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