Welfare: Joint Ministerial Working Group


The Joint Ministerial Working Group was established to provide a forum for discussion and decision-making to ensure the implementation of welfare and employment-related aspects of the Scotland Act 2016.

The group met for the first time in February 2015.

Terms of reference

  • to promote the exchange of information required for the transfer of powers between relevant Government Departments
  • to ensure a smooth transition of the new responsibilities to the Scottish Government and that they are delivered in a way that is coherent from the perspective of those who seek to benefit from them
  • to discuss policy and operational practice in areas where responsibility is due to transfer, all in the context of respecting the principle of 'no pre-emptive' action
  • to work cooperatively to deliver the transfer of powers in relation to the spirit of the Smith agreement
  • to allow for open discussions that seek to provide a resolution of contentious and challenging issues

As far as possible discussions should be open, transparent and accessible with the aim of keeping stakeholders fully informed of progress through joint communiques following each meeting (recognising the confidentiality of some aspects of the negotiations).

Where an issue needs to be decided upon outside of the schedule of meetings, this may be agreed by correspondence.


UK Government

  • Secretary of State for Scotland (Co-chair)
  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
  • Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work

Scottish Government

  • Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government (Co-chair) 
  • Minister for Social Security and Local Government





Email: Central Enquiries Unit ceu@gov.scot
Twitter: @scotgovfairer

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