The following section contains an outline of major reclassifications which have taken place in the Scottish public sector since 2013.
On 17th December 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that from 1st September 2014, Network Rail will be reclassified as a Central Government body in the public sector and will apply from April 2004.
On 30th April 2014, ONS announced the reclassification of Lloyds Banking Group plc. (and subsidiaries) as a former Public Corporation into the private sector (with effect from March 2014). Subsidiaries of Lloyds Banking Group plc. include: Scottish Widows Bank plc. TSB Bank plc., Lloyds Bank plc., Black Horse Limited, AMC Bank Limited and Bank of Scotland plc. This reclassification has resulted in approximately 19,400 staff (headcount) moving into the private sector. More information on this can be found in Classification of Lloyds Banking Group and Subsidiaries .
ONS announced the reclassification of both Royal Mail Group plc. (effective from October 2013) and Direct Line Group (effective from September 2013), as former Public Corporations. This resulted in approximately 12,400 staff (headcount) moving into the private sector.
In September 2016, the Office for National Statistics announced that from 18th July 2001, Registered Social Landlords would be classified as Public Non-Financial Corporations. The series has been predominately estimated from annual values provided by the Scottish Housing Regulator. In September 2018, Scottish Registered Social Landlords were reclassified to the private sector, resulting in around 15,000 employees who were included in the public sector for June 2018 being included in the private sector estimates for September 2018.
Train Operating Companies (TOCs) with franchise agreements with the UK and Scottish Governments agreed Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) to ensure railways continued to operate in the circumstances of dramatically falling passenger numbers. The result was the reclassification of TOCs as public non-financial corporations with effect from 1 April 2020. Four TOCs (Avanti West Coast, Cross Country, Scotrail and TransPennine Express) with sites in Scotland have been included in the employment figures for public sector employment in Scotland from Q2 2020 onwards.
A separate public sector series excluding the effects of major reclassifications has been included in this publication to show the impact of the reclassifications on the number of people employed in the public sector.
More information is available on the Public Sector Employment Collection.
National accounts reclassifications
The following section contains an outline of National Accounts classifications which have taken place in the Scottish public sector since 2015.
On 30th November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that from 22nd November 2013, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited will be classified as a Non-financial Public Corporation. Therefore, Glasgow Prestwick Airport Limited has been included in the Public Sector series from Q4 2013.
From 1st April 2015, Food Standards Scotland has been included as part of the devolved civil service.
From 1st July 2015, the Oil and Gas Authority has been classified into the public sector.
On 1st October 2015, Historic Scotland (previously part of the devolved civil service) and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (a non-departmental public body) merged to become Historic Environment Scotland. Historic Environment Scotland will be classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body.
From 14th April 2016, the Scottish Fiscal Commission was classified into the public sector.
On 1st October 2016, the Office for National Statistics announced that from 2nd December 2015, Aberdeen Harbour Board would no longer be classified as a public non-financial corporation but instead be classified as a National Private non-financial Corporation.
In February 2017, the Office for National Statistics announced that from 1st October 2006, Community Safety Glasgow would be classified as Local Government. Therefore, Community Safety Glasgow has been included in the Local Government series from Q4 2006 onwards.
In November 2017, the Office for National Statistics announced that from 1st April 2017, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) would be classified as Public Non-Financial Corporation. Therefore, Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) has been included in the Public Sector series from Q2 2017. Prior to Q4 2017, the series has been estimated using Q4 2017 data.
From 1st April 2017, Community Justice Scotland was classified into the public sector.
From 30th March 2018, UK Research and Innovation was established and therefore classified into the public sector.
In Q3 2018, Cosla was classified in the National Accounts as a Local Government body. Local Government includes Cosla from Q1 1999. This series has been estimated using annual administrative data from the inter-departmental business register until Q4 2009 and actual data from Q1 2010 onwards.
From 1st April 2019, Scottish Forestry and Forestry and Land Scotland were classified into the public sector.
In December 2020, Moredun Research Institute was assessed by the Office for National Statistics as not being subject to public control and therefore reclassified from a central government body to the non-profit institutions serving households sector. The classification applies from January 1994.
In March 2021, the Scottish Land Commission was classified into the public sector, back to April 2017 when it was first established by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016.
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