What makes work fair?

As we continue to build an inclusive and welcoming culture for all who work in SSE, we recently caught up with Aileen McLeod, our Director of Business Planning & Commercial for SSEN Transmission and member of the Scottish Government’s Fair Work Convention advisory body, to reflect on what makes work fair:

I’m sure that fairness is something we have all given thought to in relation to our own roles at work and our own teams.

For me, fairness at work depends upon respect. I want to feel respected in the workplace for the contribution that I make; and, in turn, I want to show respect to my colleagues for their contributions, and also respect the goals and ambition of the organisation that employs me.

A few months ago, I was invited to join the Fair Work Convention, an advisory body to the Scottish Government, and was pleased to discover that respect is one of the five fair work dimensions that the Convention advocate for in all workplaces.   

Started in 2015, the Convention argues: “Respect at work enhances individual health, safety and wellbeing.  Dignified treatment can protect workers from workplace related illness and injury and create an environment free from bullying and harassment.”  

With this in mind, it's been interesting to find out that SSE has a very positive reputation in Scotland as being a fair place to work.   

I was invited to join the Convention to share our good practice and in the context of the important role of the energy sector in a just transition to net zero. In return, I accepted the invitation to learn what we could do better. Even as a new start, I have already learned a lot about how workplaces can become more worker friendly. This means taking positive steps to move away from a single workplace environment into which you must contort your own personal circumstances, towards letting individuals find their best way to get a job done.

Having worked for SSE for nearly 16 years now, I’ve seen dramatic changes and improvements to create a better workplace. This is an improvement that is never complete.  

In 2020, SSE was the first company in the world to publish a Just Transition Strategy, outlining our pathway for supporting the transition to net zero in a socially just and fair way – just one of the many ways we’re working to ensure fairness is applied at all parts of our business. 

I’m optimistic about how we can drive forwards with ensuring fairness is incorporated into every part of our working lives.  I’m proud to work for an organisation that champions amplifying and valuing employees’ voices to make sure that we can all benefit from this shared input. 

You can find out more about the Fair Work Convention and what they’re doing to drive success and wellbeing across Scotland by clicking here.