Making a formal complaint about a minister’s or former minister’s behaviour: updated procedure

Updated procedure for civil servants making a complaint about a Scottish Government minister or former Scottish Government minister.


The procedure applies to all SG staff who wish to make a formal complaint about a Minister’s or former Minister’s behaviour towards a civil servant (this may include bullying, harassment, or any other unwanted conduct affecting the dignity of staff).

The following are outwith the scope of the procedure:

  • informal concerns, or concerns raised before they become a formal complaint. There are a range of alternative resolutions which may be more appropriate for resolving concerns, but it is up to the member of staff which route they wish to pursue.
  • complaints about a Minister or former Minister relating to matters other than behaviour towards civil servants
  • complaints where a Minister or former Minister may be involved but is not the subject of complaint
  • complaints solely about other civil servants or third parties
  • complaints made by third parties

The procedure applies to all Scottish Government staff, including senior civil servants and civil servants working in the Scottish Government’s executive agencies.

For inward secondees, the conditions of their secondment apply. This means they can raise matters informally with an appropriate manager. However, if they wish to pursue a formal complaint, this must be done through their employer’s grievance procedure.

Employment agency workers are not covered by this procedure. If an agency worker has a complaint, this must be raised  through the agency, who may then liaise with the Scottish Government.

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