Scotland’s national student union has united with Scotland’s largest trade union to bring an end to exploitative work on college and university campuses.

NUS Scotland, who recently affiliated to Unite Scotland’s Fair Hospitality campaign, has written to all members encouraging them to become Fair Hospitality employers.

The letter, which has been distributed to student leaders throughout Scotland, calls for an end to ‘predatory practices’ within the hospitality sector.

The announcement comes as it was revealed that 70 per cent of hospitality workers are paid less than the living wage and 25 per cent of workers are on zero-hours contracts.

Following their recent landmark employment tribunal success over the G1 Group, Unite Hospitality encourages employers to end unpaid trial shifts, pay the real living wage and implement anti-sexual harassment policies through their ‘Fair Hospitality charter’.

A 2016 TUC report showed that 67 per cent of women in hospitality has reported some form of sexual harassment whilst working within the industry. This follows NUS Scotland research showing that 1 in 5 students have experienced sexual harassment.

In October, NUS Scotland’s Scottish Executive Committee ratified their endorsement of the campaign as part of their ‘historic commitment to social justice’.

Commenting, NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe said: “An ever-growing proportion of students across Scotland work in the hospitality industry, often at the behest of unscrupulous employers.

“NUS Scotland are delighted to unite with Unite Hospitality to encourage our members to promote fair and decent workplace practices through their student unions.

“Student hospitality workers in Scotland are amongst the most exploited workers in the country. We are proud that some of our student unions are already committed living wage employers and have robust anti-sexual harassment policies in place already.

“The Unite Hospitality campaign, and their Fair Hospitality Charter, can ensure every student union throughout Scotland has the knowledge and collective confidence to radically transform the outlook for our members on campus.

“Through our letter we hope every student leader across Scotland can engage with the campaign, ensuring Scotland’s students are employed safely and securely.”    

Bryan Simpson, Unite Hospitality industrial organiser added: “We are delighted that the NUS have thrown their full weight behind our campaign to improve the wages and working conditions of student workers across Scotland.

“We hope that this will send a message to hospitality employers everywhere - if student unions on relatively tight budgets can afford to pay the real living wage, and for transport home for staff and still turn a profit then so can they.”


Notes to editors

For further information contact Bryan Simpson on or on 07891118390

Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.
Twitter: @UniteScotland
Facebook: UniteScotland

In the wake of the success of the Better than Zero campaign in raising awareness of the use of unpaid trials Unite Scotland has launched the Fair Hospitality Campaign with a charter which codifies the reforms required to transform the hospitality sector for the benefit of the workers within it. As well as getting rid of unpaid trial shifts, these reforms include the implementation of the real living wage, an end to discriminatory youth rates and stricter anti-sexual harassment policies for the workplace.

Our launch on 15 June heard from hospitality workers from across the country who have been affected by poverty pay, workplace sexual harassment or having their tips stolen. We had workshops from leading young activists in the public and private sector their rights at work and how to enforce them through collective organisation.

The ultimate aim of the campaign is to equip hospitality workers with the legal knowledge, organising skills and collective confidence to challenge exploitation and change their working conditions with the backing of their trade union.