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Nicola Sturgeon pledges extreme weather rights for workers

The First Minister and the Scottish Trades Union Congress will create a joint fair work charter for severe weather.

A fair work charter for workers affected by severe weather will be drawn up following concerns staff were placed at “unnecessary risk” during last week’s snowstorms.

The pledge was made after Nicola Sturgeon met with the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).

The First Minister and STUC released a joint statement saying they shared a “real concern” about workers being compelled to travel to work during the red weather alert warning of risk to life.

Hundreds of motorists were stuck on Scotland's roads last week (Andrew Milligan/PA)

They said: “We are grateful to the people of Scotland who have coped tremendously well with the red weather warning and who heeded the advice not to travel.

“However, the Scottish Government and the STUC share a real concern that some workers were placed at unnecessary risk through being compelled to travel to work or placed under threat of lost pay if they did not make it into work.

“We are committed to doing everything within our current powers to encourage employers to be fair and flexible.

“That is why we have agreed to collaboratively develop a fair work charter focusing on the treatment of workers affected by severe weather or other emergencies.”

They said the charter will set out fair work principles for employers to adopt in these circumstances, including recognising workers need a voice through a union.

The charter will highlight examples of employers and unions working flexibly and constructively.

The statement continued: “It is our view that legislation should be in place to protect the rights of workers during severe weather.”

The First Minister and STUC said they will press the UK to legislate for this as employment law is reserved and make the case for the power to be devolved to Holyrood.

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