An independent Scotland could for ease of planning for their employment law simply roll over the existing UK Law as applicable for Scotland. This would provide an initial framework from which to develop the law. It would still require that the legislature of the Independent Scotland pass all the relevant statute in order for the law to come into proper effect.
There are a number of questions which I do not understand or certain practicalities which need to resolved:
- How can the Scottish Parliament pass the legislation for the Independent Scotland prior to gaining its independence? Any such action would require the supportive actions of the parliament in Westminster – which would be expected to place its own business on hold to “support” the independence process for Scotland. This is not likely to win a great deal of favour with the Rest of the UK nationals.
A lot of policy development work would have to be done to implement the vision of the elected Scottish Parliament. This would require
- Time for the legislative framework to be passed
- Resources to be recruited to facilitate this
- Time for its implementation
- Given the almost inevitable dislocation that would be caused by the splitting of Scotland from the rest of the UK. Who would be responsible for the redundancy monies that would have to be paid for those individuals who lose their jobs? As most people would not be prepared to relocate to keep their positions or indeed may not be able to continue in their roles if they choose to a nationality which is different from the government which employs them.
- As the main political parties in Westminster have already said that an Independent Scotland would not be able to share the Pound Sterling (certainly no membership of the monetary management policy group). Thus Scotland would be faced with identifying the currency it will be using. The choice of currency will have an impact on the salary of the Scotland based employees. This will also impact on salaries that would have to be offered in order to recruit top class executives.
- What would be the employment rights of individuals who are based in Scotland but employed by “Non-Scottish” companies? Would these companies have to suddenly create subsidiaries, relocate the individuals affected or make them redundant?
- If employees are transferred to a new company because of Scotland’s Independence what would happen to their length of service records and their pensions? Would contracts of employment have to be changed? Almost certainly as the currency and pension provisioning would almost certainly have to change? What would be the employer liabilities for that?
- Scottish based companies with employees south of the border would also have to assess the potential financial impacts of the changes that would have to be made.
- Who would be responsible for the re-generation of employment opportunities in areas badly affected by the relocation of government department or bases? Especially following the forced relocation of the Faslane Naval base and associated facilities and support infrastructure.
These are some initial thoughts as to the impacts on employment should Scotland go independent.