Recruitment and retention plan for disabled people: 2019

Actions we will take as an employer to support more disabled people into work in Scottish Government and to enable existing disabled employees to thrive and succeed at work.

Foreword by the Permanent Secretary 

Photo of Leslie Evans - Permanent Secretary

The diversity of the people of Scotland is one of our greatest assets. Our potential can only be fulfilled if we value the full range of perspectives and experiences. To be an effective Civil Service we need to be representative of the people we serve. However, increasing our diversity only goes part of the way. We need to ensure that everyone can work in an inclusive environment that enables them to be themselves and to thrive and succeed at work. 

This Plan shows how we will rise to meet that challenge for disabled people working in the Scottish Government. It sits alongside wider work we are doing to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone. The outcomes of this Plan will shape all our work, challenging us to bring an intersectional lens to everything we do.

Having heard at first-hand some of the daily experience of disabled colleagues I am under no illusion about the scale of the challenge we face. Our buildings, processes, systems and culture too often work to disable rather than enable, and to change this will require both investment and commitment. However, I am heartened by the positive response to this Plan from across the Scottish Government and the opportunities it will bring to us as a truly inclusive organisation for disabled people.

While this plan is focused solely on what the Scottish Government will do to, we are also ensuring that the wider public sector supported to do its part as well.  Over the past year, we have been working with many of them, to make reducing inequalities in Scotland part of their core remit, with a particular focus on the disability employment gap.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Diversity and Inclusion Team, the Corporate Analytical Services Team and Fair Work policy colleagues for their work to develop the Plan on behalf of many other teams working across the Scottish Government who will be taking action to deliver the Plan. My thanks also to the Council for Scottish Government Unions for enabling partnership working and bringing to life the Fair Work Agreement that we share. I am committed to the Scottish Government being a leading Fair Work employer.

Most of all I wish to thank those disabled people in our organisation and from Disabled People’s Organisations who engaged with honesty, courage and commitment to ensure that this Plan was informed by the lived experience of disabled people working at all levels in our organisation. To all of you I say, thank you for helping to make our organisation more open. We have heard you.

We will take action so you can fulfil your potential at the Scottish Government and so we can encourage more disabled people to choose a career with us. To all of you who will be reading and acting on this Plan – thank you. You will be helping to make the Scottish Government more open and inclusive, more capable and more responsive. Without stronger diversity we will not succeed in our mission to serve the people of Scotland –
it really is that simple.

Leslie Evans

Permanent Secretary



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