Wales consults on draft Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill

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The Welsh Government is consulting on a new Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill, which seeks to achieve socially responsible procurement and strengthen social partnerships in Wales.

Suggestions featured in the draft Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill include:

  • Creating a Social Partnership Council.
  • Setting out duties on specified public bodies to ensure that social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being and fair work is considered when procurement is undertaken.
  • Setting a requirement for public bodies to engage in social partnership.
  • Promoting good and safe employment in Wales.
  • Improving socio economic outcomes and ethical employment practices.

Social partnership is a participatory process in which social partners cooperate and problem-solve on areas of mutual interest. There are two main forms of social partnership: bipartite and tripartite.

In bipartite social partnership, social partners are representatives of employing organisations and representatives of recognised trade unions.

In tripartite social partnership, social partners are representatives of employing organisations, representatives of recognised trade unions and representatives of the Welsh Government. These social partnership arrangements can exist on sectoral, regional and national levels.

Bringing together Welsh Government, employers and trade unions, social partnerships aim to help identify and find solutions to improve the delivery of public services and improve social and economic well-being.

The Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, commented on the launch of the consultation: “Whilst social partnership has become an established way of working in Wales, the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed our commitment to social partnership and demonstrated its value in making decisions to the broader benefit of the people of Wales.

“The Welsh Government is committed to working in partnership to make a difference to people, to workplaces, and to Wales.

“This Bill is a key step towards this vision and making Wales a nation with a vibrant economy that values and safeguards our workforce.”

More information about this consultation, which accepts contributions until the 23rd April, and the draft Bill is available on the Welsh Government website.