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.
EU Referendum 2016
The EU Referendum will take place on 23 June 2016. Statutory restrictions on government activity will come into force on 27 May, 28 days ahead of the vote.
Guidance on the handling of business during this restricted period was published on 26 May. This guidance applies to all staff working in the Scottish Government, its agencies and national devolved public bodies.