All elections (including by-elections) and referendums have some impact on how civil servants and staff in public bodies go about their work. The extent of this impact - and the precise protocols which officials are required to follow - vary depending on the type of election or referendum.
At all times, civil servants must follow the Civil Service Code principles of objectivity and impartiality. Particular consideration should be given to these requirements during pre-election or pre-referendum periods. Ahead of any election or referendum, staff should take the time to familiarise themselves with the appropriate guidance.
Scottish Parliament Election 2016
The Scottish Parliament election will be held on 5 May 2016.
The formal election period for Scottish Government civil servants will start on 24 March 2016, following the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament the previous day.
Guidance on the handling of business during and in the run-up to the formal election period was published on 28 January 2016.
The election guidance applies to all staff working in the Scottish Government, its agencies and national devolved public bodies.