Seasonal Working

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st December 2017.

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Photo of Edward Mountain Edward Mountain Conservative

7. To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government takes to acknowledge seasonal workers and companies that operate over the festive season. (S5F-01852)

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

We value very highly the contribution that temporary seasonal workers make to our economy throughout the year. I am particularly happy to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifices of those who work at this time of year to ensure that the rest of us can enjoy the festive period with our families.

Of course, the United Kingdom Government’s position on migration post-Brexit is likely to have a major impact on the availability of labour. That is one of the many reasons for our lobbying so hard to maintain single market membership. I am also determined that, should the UK Government continue down its hard Brexit route, the rights of all workers, including those in precarious employment, will be not only protected, but enhanced, to help us to deliver a fairer Scotland.

Photo of Edward Mountain Edward Mountain Conservative

I thank the First Minister for that answer. Let us see whether we can get back on track.

There will, of course, be many other people working over the Christmas period, such as those in the health sector, the police force and the fire brigade and those who keep our roads and other services working. There will also be those who will be away from their families at Christmas, such as our servicemen and women. While they might not all be in conflict zones, many will remain on call to respond to events in our increasingly dangerous world. Will the First Minister, on behalf of us all, wish them all a very happy Christmas and thank them for all that they do on our behalf?

The First Minister:

In the spirit of consensus, yes, I will.

There are many people working across our economy who, unlike the rest of us, will not spend Christmas day and the rest of the holiday period with their families, because they will be working or will be on call, such as people in our emergency services and our hospitality sector and people who keep the transport system moving, to name but a few. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. Let me take this opportunity to thank them from the bottom of my heart for all that they do, and to wish them—and everybody across the country—a very happy Christmas.

The Presiding Officer:

On that very nice note, I bring First Minister’s question time to an end. I too wish all members, all our visitors in the chamber today and everyone we try to represent across Scotland a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year.

Meeting closed at 12:43.