Scottish Government Workforce Statistics March 2021

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

The latest quarterly Scottish Government Workforce Information statistics have been published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. These statistics cover the numbers of workers, staff sickness rates and the diversity of staff up to the most recent quarter ending March 2021.

The statistics show that:

  • at the end of March 2021 there were 7,488 full time equivalent (FTE) directly employed staff, an increase on last year’s figure of 7,049 at the end of March 2020. The percentage of directly employed staff in permanent (98%) and temporary (2%) categories was similar to last year (March 2020: 98%, 2%)
  • there was a 23.1% increase in the number (headcount) of contingent (non-directly employed) workers, from 1,457 at the end of March 2020, to 1,793 at the end of March 2021, an increase of 336 workers
  • the staff sickness level was 5.3 average working days lost (AWDL) per staff year in the 12 month period ending March 2021, compared with 8.1 AWDL for the 12 month period ending March 2020. This equates to a loss of 2.4% of working days in the 12 month period ending March 2021
  • just over half (55.0%) of the workforce were female, compared to 45.0% male. The proportion of female staff is similar to the same period last year (53.5% March 2020)
  • at the end of March 2021 the majority of staff were aged between 30 and 59, broken down as follows: 30-39 (7%), 40-49 (26.5%), 50-59 (25.1%) . 17.3% were aged 16-29, and 6.3% were aged 60 or over
  • the proportion of directly employed staff providing diversity information has decreased since the same period last year


The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The full statistics are available at:

The statistics contain quarterly data from March 2012 to March 2021 and present:

  • full time equivalent numbers and headcounts in each directly employed staff category
  • headcounts of contingent workers engaged in work for the Scottish Government
  • sickness absence levels of directly employed staff, headcounts of directly employed staff by age, disability status, ethnicity, gender, marital/civil partnership status, religion or belief, and sexual orientation

The Scottish Government uses the data internally for monitoring the performance of its workforce. Other expected users of the data in this publication are likely to include the general public and media for information about the Scottish Government, and other government departments for comparative purposes.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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