Building greater fairness in the workplace

MSPs today debated how to build greater fairness in the workplace, discussing the vision of the Fair Work Convention and strategies to promote inclusive growth.

Michelle Ballantyne MSP, speaking for the Scottish Conservatives, raised the issue of human capital and how it can be quantified to help businesses prosper. Human capital is the skills, knowledge or experience possessed by an individual or group, viewed in terms of their value. By considering employees as assets and assessing their human capital, companies have greater incentives to invest in their staff and to promote their well-being.

The South Scotland MSP noted that as many companies move away from production and into knowledge-based fields, valuations using traditional methods can often give a distorted view of a company’s true value. By using human capital accounting methods, investors gain a clearer picture of a business and employees are properly valued and utilised.

Mrs Ballantyne also used the opportunity to praise entrepreneurs and small business owners, highlighting how effective human capital and human resource management systems can be used to benefit employees and help fledging businesses grow.

Commenting on the debate, Michelle Ballantyne said:

“By accounting for human capital, companies would potentially become much more transparent.

 “Through incorporating employees as assets, there is greater impetus for a company to invest in their staff by providing family friendly policies, flexible working and opportunities for personal development.

“Alongside this I would like to see an anonymous applications system introduced, where the candidate’s name, race and gender are not made available and therefore only the best suited candidates are selected in a truly meritocratic process.

“We must also make sure we help our small businesses. After all, they are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 99.4% of private Scottish businesses and providing 1.2 million jobs.

“It’s essential that we create a positive environment for employers in Scotland; one that encourages and supports entrepreneurial spirit and rewards success.”