HUMZA Yousaf has announced he will lay out the Scottish Government’s plans for the devolution of employment law in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) annual congress in Dundee on Tuesday, the First Minister said he was keen for the powers to be sent to Holyrood, a policy which has been opposed by both the Tories and Labour.

“In the coming weeks I intend to deliver a speech setting out precisely what can be done if we had full control of employment law,” he said.

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Yousaf added that he was “very keen” to ensure everyone is involved in the discussion about the Scottish Government’s stance on employment law, regardless of their position on Scottish independence.

“I know that there are differing views on the question of independence for Scotland.

“But I also know there is a lot of interest in what we could do with employment powers.

“I believe that with the full powers of independence we could do so much more.”

In his speech to trade unionists, Yousaf also thanked the movement for everything they have done for Scotland.

He added that the Scottish Government was committed to working with trade unions wherever possible.

Workers on the frontline of hate

The First Minister recognised that amidst the flurry of “very deliberate misinformation” about the Hate Crime Act – which came into effect this month – those experiencing those most instances of hate are ordinary working people.

Yousaf (below) said: “The people who have not been given so much airtime are, of course, the everyday victims of hate crime – of which we know there are far too many in our society.

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“We’ve heard virtually nothing about the people who experience hate whilst at work – frontline workers who, just for doing their job, sometimes suffer the most disgraceful discrimination, abuse and threats.

“They may not have the powerful connections to get their stories told – but, friends, all of us here are listening to them.”

He added that he believed the Act is being enforced in a “proportionate” way.

Good riddance to the Tories

Looking ahead to the incoming General Election, Yousaf said the Tories were “finished” after making life harder for ordinary working people.

“I don’t think in any way, shape or form [that] I’m going out on a limb here when I say I think and I hope that this Tory government is finished,” he said.

“I’m certain that I’m not offending anybody in this room when I say that I cannot wait to see the back of them – good riddance to the Conservatives, who have heaped such misery on households right across this country.”

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Yousaf said that “virtually everything” the UK Government has done since the Tories took office in 2010 “has made life harder for ordinary families, for working people, for minority groups up and down this country”.

He added that politicians standing at the next election should be judged on their values, criticising Labour leader Keir Starmer for refusing to scrap the two-child benefit cap whilst committing to scrapping bankers’ bonuses.

Addressing delegates at the annual congress, Yousaf said: “Every single politician standing for election in the upcoming general election should be judged on their values.

“Sir Keir Starmer’s values will see him lift the cap on banker’s bonuses, but not lift the two-child benefit cap, that are, in my estimation, the wrong values and the wrong priorities.

“In this election, Scotland has the choice of values and I will be calling on people to vote for what they believe in, vote for a progressive future vote for the Scotland I think we all want to see.”