Chapter 13 Administration
Most of the Scottish Government Administration budget is spent on Scottish Government staff engaged largely in policy formulation and support for Ministers. A key priority for 2017-18 will be to continue to ensure that the Scottish Government has the required capacity and capability to deliver the required functions of government and the priority outcomes. This includes enhancing skills, making best use of talent, and greater matching of staff resources to priorities, all of which provide an opportunity to enhance the contribution of our diverse staff groups. Where new skills are required, we will take the opportunity to broaden the current staffing diversity profile of the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government aims to champion and broaden its diversity and mainstream equal opportunities in its work and the work of all public bodies. Our ambition is to be a government that is reflective of the people it serves. In addition, as part of ongoing work to make progress on our Equality Outcomes by 2017, we will continue to take further steps to improve diversity declaration rates across protected characteristics.
Key Strategic Priorities
Continuing to progress our aim of achieving a more representative workforce by 2025 through positive actions to encourage the recruitment and development of our under-represented groups and support for the Modern Apprenticeship Programme, in line with the Scottish Government's equality outcome.
Better understand our workforce by using targeted communications and awareness-raising to enhance the quality and quantity of our data monitoring to achieve a response rate across all characteristics of 90 per cent by 2017 and 100 per cent by 2021.
Maintaining the principle of equal pay for our employees through the monitoring of our pay systems and practices and addressing occupational segregation within the Scottish Government.
Equality Implications of the Draft Budget 2017-18
As of November 2016, the current staffing profile of our directly employed Core Scottish Government Staff does not yet reflect the wider Scottish population. We have been working on improving the diversity of our most senior staff. Through this, we have seen an increase in women at Senior Civil Service ( SCS) level in Scottish Government core staffing, from 40 per cent in March 2015 to 45 per cent in September 2016. We also saw an increase in the proportion of female staff at the most senior grades in the organisation declaring a disability from 3.9 per cent to 5.2 per cent during the same period.
We will continue to work to ensure true equality in the workplace for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex ( LGBTI) colleagues, including participation in Stonewall's Workplace Equality Index ( WEI). Our performance in the WEI improved from 213 last year to 106 this year. A revised LGBTI improvement action plan is now in place with clear improvement goals, including work to look at how better our procurement process can help drive equality of opportunity for LGBTI staff in the organisations we procure goods and services from.
We will also continue to build on our network of diversity and inclusion allies and role models. We will support and empower role models and allies to be active change agents throughout the Scottish Government, creating a more inclusive workplace for everyone.
We have a renewed focus and ambition from the senior leadership team, including the Permanent Secretary and executive team, to bring about the significant change required to truly become the organisation we want to see. Part of this work has included the appointment of SCS and Director General level Diversity Champions and Allies across all protected characteristics and for additional characteristics, including carers and socio-economic status. In March 2016, we started to proactively publish Scottish Government Core staff diversity information to increase visibility of our diversity and track the progress we are making: http://www.gov.scot/About/Information/workforce-information.
The Scottish Government asks for full diversity information from staff. However, we still have some way to go to fulfil our ambition of 90 per cent of staff providing their diversity information in 2017. To help address this, we now have an improvement programme established using robust methodologies to deliver increased diversity monitoring. We are closely following work ongoing at the UK Civil Service level on developing practical measures to capture employee socio economic background.
The project will obtain evidence of successful test ideas to then roll out further to increase the level of data completion. This will help ensure that we have more detailed information about the diversity of the people we employ. This work has already seen an improvement in declaration rates for sexual orientation from 52 per cent in March 2015 to 61 per cent in September 2016 and in religion and belief from 52 per cent to 60 per cent over the same period.
We are currently considering the outcomes from the Transgender Equality Inquiry by the UK Government's Women and Equalities Committee and we are also looking at UK-wide Civil Service proposals for capturing the gender identity of staff. We will work closely with Civil Service departments and transgender equality organisations in Scotland to ensure that we consider and implement best practice in this area.
The Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2016-17 encourages public bodies to set a voluntary commitment for gender balance on their Boards of 50/50 by 2020, with the aim of ensuring that Boards of public bodies are broadly reflective of the wider Scottish population. As of 22 November 2016, 191 organisations have signed up.
In 2015, more women than men were appointed by Ministers to the Boards of regulated public bodies for the first time. Forty-one per cent of applicants and 54 per cent of those appointed were women, an increase of 10 and 15 percentage points respectively from 2012, and an improvement of seven per cent in female appointees in a single year. In November 2015, the proportion of female board members broke the symbolic 40 per cent mark and is increasing steadily, now achieving 43.8 per cent. Over half of regulated public bodies with boards are now gender balanced.
A Promotion Board Advisory Group was set up with representation from across the Scottish Government and its delivery agencies, including experts in diversity analysis and our trades unions, to ensure our opportunities are fair and transparent. A robust review and EQIA of the 2012 and 2014 promotion boards highlighted potential challenges, particularly declining success rates with age, and a new promotion model was implemented in October 2016.
The evaluation of the new model has a strong focus on equality and diversity, and will monitor the impact on protected characteristics. The accompanying training and guidance for the new model also has a strong equality and diversity focus.
To support this new policy we now have a pool of Lead Panel Members ( LPM) who will play a key role in certain promotion processes. LPM training includes an unconscious bias module which should help eliminate this from our new promotion process. A detailed evaluation strategy is in place to monitor the impact of the new promotion policy over the next 18 months.
We have also removed the requirement for external vacancy candidates to have specific academic qualifications where vocational skills and/or direct relevant experience would serve. We hope this will open up the market to more candidates and minimise any potential age or socio-economic bias or discrimination.
The Scottish Government's Graduate Development Programme ( GDP) aims to identify individuals with the potential for senior leadership. We evaluated the Scottish Government GDP 2015 from a diversity perspective which showed that candidates were broadly representative of the Scottish population. For example, the gender balance of the cohort is 50/50.
In preparation for the 2017 programme, we have worked with diversity networks and organisations to engage with potential applicants from under-represented groups. We have also reviewed our selection process to ensure that it does not favour particular groups. Our aim is to increase applications to the programme from diverse groups and to also support applicants throughout the process to sustain retention.
A recent review of the Civil Service Fast Stream recruitment programme by the Bridge Group identified that the scheme had a particular challenge with socio-economic diversity. Changes such as consideration of testing of a socio-economic status question have been made to the programme for 2017 and further work is ongoing.
We will continue to support the Modern Apprentice ( MA) Programme. We have directly recruited 417 Modern Apprentices from April 2011 to the end of September 2016. This work supports younger people and those from more disadvantaged backgrounds and increases the age and socio-economic diversity of the organisation. We have contacted umbrella organisations within the LGBTI, disabled and minority ethnic communities to raise awareness of our MA programme and to ensure better diversity within our future MA intake.
With 77 people currently in partial retirement (206 since the scheme began in 2008), we will sustain our offer of partial retirement to staff wishing to adjust their work-life balance. This work is part of our overall commitment to flexible working practices and will have the greatest positive impact on older people within the organisation and those who have caring responsibilities later in life.
Pay and Pay Gap
The Scottish Government is subject to Public Sector Pay Policy, a key feature of which is the expectation to negotiate extensions to No Compulsory Redundancy agreements. The Scottish Government is also an accredited Living Wage employer.
Following the implementation of pay awards, information is gathered on pay and gender. This illustrates that within almost every pay range there is a difference of less than one per cent between the average salaries of female and male staff. This broadly demonstrates that the Scottish Government pay arrangements are delivering equal pay for work of equal value.
Within the Scottish Government Main Bargaining unit, pay covers all grades below Senior Civil Service. The 'All Staff' analysis illustrates that the gap in the overall average female and male salaries is around five per cent which is a reflection of the distribution of female and male staff across the different pay ranges. Thus, the overall pay gap is largely a function of the gender distribution across our grade structure, where a greater proportion of those in lower-paid roles are female. Discussions with the Trade Unions are taking place with a view to examining equality within the pay system on a rolling basis.
The Scottish Government continues to be committed to making our office-based and remote-working facilities more flexible and responsive to everyone's needs, including our disabled staff and those who, due to caring or other responsibilities, work an alternative pattern or who need to work closer to home, and to improving the experience of using these facilities.
Across the programme, changes to current Scottish Government buildings have been made to ensure equal treatment of all current and prospective staff, not only by carrying out our responsibilities as laid out in law, but by ensuring where possible we add benefit to those using the spaces. We will ensure this programme actively promotes equality for all, irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation. During 2016, we have created a new space for prayer and ablution for our staff in our Glasgow office and have created gender neutral toilet facilities in a number of buildings and are considering, where there is suitable space, expanding similar provision into our other buildings to further support our ambition of a workspace that is accessible for all.
The Scottish Government remains committed to increasing and valuing the diversity of our people within the organisation, with equality considerations continuing to underpin all of our employment policies and practices. To support us in doing so, we require robust and complete information across relevant protected characteristics for all of our staff as far as possible. This will support our aspirations of being truly reflective of Scottish society.
Email: Paul Tyrer