ADS strives to empower people. Our experience of designing and delivering SG’S Workplace Equality Fund since 2021 has served to bolster our understanding of, and commitment to, Fair Work First practices. As part of this contract, we work alongside almost 30 organisations across the private, public and third sectors to embed and disseminate Fair Work First practices throughout Scotland.

We are committed to ensuring that our employees are supported, encouraged, and empowered to exercise autonomy over their professional and personal development. Throughout the course of their employment with us, ADS staff receive high-quality training, soft skill experience, development, and coaching opportunities; all of which are designed to enhance employee skillsets and enable employees to exercise direction over their development. All employee personal development plans are tailored specifically to the individual, and staff are encouraged to research and propose courses that they believe will contribute to their progression during regular review sessions with their line manager. We are immensely proud of the emphasis we place on the personal and professional development of our staff.

Beyond employee development, ADS commits to Fair Work First Practice via our status as an accredited Living Wage employer. As an ethical employer, and as the first contact centre in Scotland to achieve this accreditation, we recognised at an early stage the importance of rewarding all of our staff with a fair, living wage. By the same token, ADS do not utilise 0-hour employment contracts for any of our services, and we will not use these contracts in the future. We have not, and never will, utilise fire and rehire practices. Ensuring that all of our employees are protected and have stability of employment and working hours is of the utmost importance to us. All full-time employees are contractually entitled to statutory sick leave and pay, maternity and paternal leave. Moreover, ADS is also one of only (approximately) 30 organisations operating in the UK who are pioneering a “Four Day – Same Pay” working week.

ADS is also committed to the principle of equality of opportunity, and to promoting diversity for all in employment, training, service provision and within decision-making structures. We aim for our employees, managers, board and service users to be truly representative of all sections of society. Our commitment involves placing equality at the centre of our services; we do this by integrating principles of equality into all of our operations, thereby considering and reflecting the diverse needs of Scottish citizens and our customers in our service provision. We comply and go beyond our legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010. This means we take into account all of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act (age, disability, gender identity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race or ethnicity, religion and belief, sex, and sexual orientation), as well as other key aspects of equality such as socio-economic background, low basic skills, language, rural isolation, HIV positivity, working pattern, caring responsibilities, trade union activity or political beliefs, and so forth.

We believe that no job applicant, worker, trainee, or service- user should receive less favourable treatment than another on the aforementioned grounds. ADS is committed to addressing the gender pay gap issues still experienced by many. We ensure and advocate on behalf of equal pay for all employees; no matter their gender identity.

To facilitate the implementation of our Fair Work First policy, we provide training and develop procedures and guidelines to ensure that all individuals involved in the management and provision of our services:

o know about the inequalities and difficulties faced by different sections of the community within which we operate;
o have a clear understanding of the needs of these diverse communities;
o routinely assess the impact our policies and practices on particular groups of people;
o provide an appropriate and equal service to all.

We work to ensure that we act equitably and justly; that those people who experience discrimination feel welcome within our organisation and feel able to use our services and contribute to the overall success of ADS.

Indeed, ADS ensures that all staff feel that they have an effective voice and feel engaged and valued as members of our organisation. We positively recognise trade union membership. Additionally, we provide internal processes which ensure all members of staff are heard and listened to. Alternatively, staff can utilise a number of internal channels to make their voice heard, including anonymised feedback and consultation processes.

We offer flexible and family friendly working practices to all of our staff upon initiation of their employment with ADS. In addition to our unique position as a “4 Day – Same Pay” employer, we have implemented a “Two-In, Two-Out” hybrid working practice for staff members, offering even greater work-life balance. Where possible, we also ensure that staff can work fully-remote or fully-office based if requested.

ADS can confirm that our Fair Work First commitments have been developed in agreement with our full workforce and are subject to regular reviews.