The Administration Budget covers the costs of running the core administration required to support the Scottish Government’s purpose and strategic objectives. The majority of the Scottish Government Administration Budget is spent on Scottish Government staff engaged largely in policy formulation and support for Ministers. Other costs include accommodation and information technology.
A key priority for 2018-19 will be to ensure that the Scottish Government has the required capacity and capability to deliver the functions of government in the context of: the continued commitment to the National Performance Framework outcomes; the new responsibilities set out in the Scotland Act 2016; and ensuring an effective response to the outcome of the EU referendum. This includes enhancing skills, making best use of talent, and the matching of staff resources to priorities as we take on new powers.
The Scottish Government aims to become a world-leading, diverse employer. This is an ambitious aspiration and, in order to achieve it, we need to be fully representative of modern Scotland and the public and communities we serve. As we embrace the new powers being devolved to us, we will ensure that any new recruitment priorities provide an opportunity to enhance our diversity as an organisation.
Key Strategic Priorities
Our aim as an organisation is to create the conditions and culture for individuals to bring their whole selves to work, to thrive and to be successful. We want to have the right people in the right places, with the right skills at the right time so that we are the open, capable and responsive organisation we need and want to be. We aim to be a Fair Work employer with our diversity and inclusion priorities focused on being more representative of Scotland and on nurturing a positive and inclusive culture.
The costs associated with unacceptable behaviours impacts on individuals, teams and the entire organisation. We will tackle any bullying, harassment and victimisation and have set core priorities of consistent good people management and wellbeing. We have also appointed a senior director to the role of Bullying and Harassment Champion to provide visible leadership in this area.
We will continue to progress our aim of achieving a more representative workforce by 2025 through positive actions to encourage the recruitment and development of currently under-represented groups. We will also continue to work to improve the quality of our diversity data for the organisation. Our programme of targeted communications and awareness raising will help staff to understand how enhancing the quality and quantity of our data can underpin better policies and procedures.
Our commitment to equal pay for our employees is supported through monitoring of our pay systems and practices, as well as attention to occupational segregation within the Scottish Government. Scottish Ministers have confirmed their commitment to no compulsory redundancies, prioritising support for those on the lowest incomes and maintaining our status as an accredited living wage employer.
Equality Implications Of The Draft Budget 2018-19
Resourcing and Staffing
As of November 2017, the current staffing profile of our directly employed core Scottish Government staff does not yet fully reflect the wider Scottish working population. For gender, sexual orientation and religion our staff complement is closely reflective or higher than the Scottish population, however, this is lower for disability and ethnicity. In addition, to improve our age diversity we are working to increase the numbers of younger people in our organisation through our Modern Apprenticeship programme. We have been working on improving the diversity of our staff in senior posts and those entering our talent ‘pipeline’ at graduate level. For example, we saw a three per cent increase in the proportion of our most senior female staff identifying as belonging to a minority ethnic group in the 12 months up to September 2017.
The Scottish Government’s Graduate Development Programme ( GDP) aims to identify individuals with the potential for senior leadership. The 2017 recruitment exercise was an improvement on the 2015 process, and a significant step in understanding how we reach and support people of all backgrounds to enable equal opportunity of employment and contribution to public services. There were over 2,700 applicants, including 347 (12 per cent) who self-identified as a belonging to a minority ethnic group. Work on the 2017 GDP campaign led to greater proportions of offers made to candidates identifying as LGBO (our system allows applicants to select ‘other’ as a sexual orientation), disabled, and as an ethnic minority. Across all of these characteristics, the percentage of successful candidates was either representative of or greater than the Scottish population.
In continuing to support the Modern Apprentice ( MA) programme, we do not ask applicants for formal qualifications but rather that applicants should be unemployed or under-employed and prepared to undertake an SVQ qualification. We have directly recruited 583 MAs in the period April 2011 to October 2017, and continue to work with LGBT, disability and minority ethnic organisations to raise awareness of our MA programme and to ensure greater diversity within our MA intake.
We continue to make progress to ensure true equality in the workplace for LGBTI colleagues, including through participation in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index ( WEI). A renewed focus has seen the Scottish Government move back into the Top 100 of the WEI in 2017, now ranked 50th, having climbed 56 places from 2016 and 163 places from 2015. Stonewall recognised the Scottish Government as the ‘Most Improved Scottish Employer in 2017’; an achievement even more notable considering the rising number of employers participating in the Index (397 in 2015 to 439 in 2017) and the increased competition this brings.
We will continue to build on our network of diversity and inclusion allies and role models. Across each protected characteristic, our most senior leaders have personal performance objectives linked to ally roles. All our role models and allies will be supported and empowered to be active change agents throughout the Scottish Government, creating a more inclusive workplace for everyone.
Our work on increasing diversity declaration rates has seen continued improvement across all protected characteristics. For example, people declaring their sexual orientation has increased by seven percentage points over the previous 12 months to 68 per cent in September 2017 with 3.1 per cent of staff now identifying as LGBO at that date. Staff declaring their religion and belief has also increased from 60 per cent to 67 per cent in the last 12 months.
We are closely following ongoing work by the UK Civil Service on developing practical measures to capture employee socio-economic background ( SEB). The Scottish Government has included a question on SEB in the 2017 People Survey, ahead of the introduction of core SEB questions for all participating Civil Service organisations. We are also looking at UK-wide Civil Service proposals for capturing the gender identity of staff following the results of the 2016 Transgender Equality Inquiry by the UK Government’s Women and Equalities Committee which referenced a ‘data gap’ in understanding the needs of transgender staff. We will work closely with our staff, with other Civil Service departments and with transgender equality organisations to ensure that we consider and implement best practice in this area.
With 95 people currently in partial retirement (235 since the scheme began in 2008), we will sustain our offer of partial retirement to staff wishing to adjust their work-life balance. This initiative is part of our overall commitment to flexible working practices and will have a positive impact on older people within the organisation and those who have caring responsibilities later in life.
To ensure that posts are attractive and available to all, we advertise that all internal and external posts are available on a flexible and part-time basis unless there is a genuine business reason that means this is not possible. In these instances, recruiting areas are required to provide a robust business case before the post is advertised.
Pay and Pay Gap
The Scottish Government is subject to Public Sector Pay Policy and is an accredited Living Wage employer. The Scottish Government Main Bargaining Unit’s responsibilities on pay covers all grades below Senior Civil Service. Pay for staff in the Senior Civil Service is reserved to the UK Government. Information on pay and gender is gathered following the implementation of pay awards, and an analysis of Pay 2017 will be undertaken in January 2018.
Data from the Scottish Government ‘Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report 2017’  illustrates that, within every pay band, there is a difference of less than
3 per cent between the average salaries of female and male staff. However, the ‘All Staff’ analysis illustrates that the gap in the overall average female and male salaries is 4.14 per cent. This demonstrates that the Scottish Government pay arrangements are delivering equal pay for work of equal value for staff at each individual pay band. The higher 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. We will continue to work to improve the gender representation of our most senior grades.
Our Smarter Workplaces programme aims to provide our staff with modern, flexible working environments that enable them to deliver the needs of the business. This includes disabled colleagues, those with caring or other responsibilities, those who work an alternative pattern or who work from a number of locations and/or closer to home, and includes consideration of the needs of visitors to our government buildings.
The Smarter Workplaces programme is committed to ensuring we carry out our legal responsibilities and, wherever possible, take opportunities to improve the working environment. The Smarter Workplaces team has been working with colleagues and staff diversity networks across the Scottish Government to embed diversity into the design principles that are shaping our buildings and facilities. The programme is creating new, flexible workspaces while actively working to support equality for all, irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.
Gender neutral toilet facilities were introduced in Victoria Quay in Edinburgh and Atlantic Quay in Glasgow last year and improvements were made to multi-faith and contemplation rooms in Atlantic Quay. Engagement will continue with our staff equality and diversity networks in 2018-19 to ensure that our workspaces meet the needs of all our staff.
Through improved efficiency from optimising the value of our buildings and wider estate, the Smarter Workplaces programme is working towards saving £28 million per annum from accommodation costs across the core Scottish Government estate and its wider network of public bodies.
The Scottish Government remains committed to increasing and valuing the diversity of our people with equality considerations underpinning all of our employment policies and practices. To support this, work will continue to capture information across relevant protected characteristics for all of our staff to ensure our policies and practices are fair and inclusive, supporting our aspirations of being a world-leading, diverse employer, truly reflective of Scottish society.