GMB is disappointed that the government and Scottish Executive have not gone further in promoting the social, ethical and environmental contracting within the regulations themselves, relegating these important developments to supplementary guidance. GMB believes this is a missed opportunity to boost social, employment and environmental considerations in developing a more sustainable approach to procurement, which it believes has wide support from the taxpaying public.
A key positive change in the rules warmly welcomed by GMB, having campaigned tirelessly for its inclusion, is the long awaited scope to reserve contracts for supported employment factories and businesses for disabled people.
GMB national secretary for supported employment, Phil Davies said: 'GMB has been the driving force at both European and National level in the campaign to create a level playing field for our many members in supported employment, and allow them a fair chance to win public contracts which are a vital source of quality work for a very highly skilled sector of the labour market. GMB now wants to see every public authority reserving contracts to help promote much needed quality employment opportunities not only securing freedom of choice and a future for disabled people already working in supported employment, but offering a new beginning for the too many disabled people who currently remain outside of the world of work.'
1: The Welsh Assembly has implemented the rules with the UK government, whilst the Scottish Parliament opted for separate implementation.
GMB has been closely involved at both European and National level of the revision process, calling for full force to be given to social, employment, ethical and environmental considerations in the contracting process. GMB believes that the revised EU rules widened the possibilities for considering these crucial issues, and went beyond mere clarification of the scope to consider these dimensions, as the government and Scottish Executive maintain.
2: The Welsh Assembly has implemented the rules with the UK Government, whilst the Scottish Parliament opted for separate implementation.