- 20 Sep 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01851
Date received: 2 July 2018
Date responded: 20 September 2018
1. How many internal harassment and/or bullying claims have (a) Scottish Government directorates and (b) Scottish Government executive non departmental public bodies (NDPBs) received in each of the last five years.
2. How many internal grievance cases are currently live within (a) Scottish Government directorates and (b) Scottish Government executive NDPBs.
3. How much money have (a) Scottish Government directorates and (b) Scottish Government executive NDPBs spent on the services of external law firms to deal with internal employment disputes/complaints in each of the last five financial years.
4. Which law firms have (a) Scottish Government directorates and (b) Scottish Government executive NDPBs employed to deal with internal employment disputes/complaints in each of the last five years.
Part of the information you have requested was provided in response to a recent Parliamentary Question. I have provided a copy of this at Annex A for information.
Our response below covers Scottish Government directorates. It does not cover Scottish Government Executive Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs). If you wish to request staffing information about NDPBs you will need to contact those NDPBs directly.
Due to small numbers and to avoid possible disclosure of personal data under section 38 (1)(b) of FOISA (personal information), it is not possible to break down the number of internal harassment and/or bullying claims for the past five years in the manner you have requested.
Managers in the Scottish Government are encouraged to deal with concerns about internal harassment and/or bullying at an early stage, on an informal basis under the Fairness at Work Policy, where appropriate. There is no requirement to report informal action to HR and therefore no information is held centrally about cases that have been dealt with informally.
Information about the number of formal cases is set out below, reflecting information at the
date of your request:
- In 2013 there were fewer than 5 cases of internal harassment and/or bullying.
- In 2014 there were fewer than 5 cases of internal harassment and/or bullying.
- In 2015 there were 9 cases of internal harassment and/or bullying.
- In 2016 there were 10 cases of internal harassment and/or bullying.
- In 2017 there were 7 cases of internal harassment and/or bullying.
- In 2018 there have been 7 cases of internal harassment and/or bullying.
2. At the date of your request there were 7 live internal harassment and/or bullying cases.
3. Legal advice on internal employment disputes and complaints is provided in house by Scottish Government Legal Directorate. We understand “internal employment disputes and complaints” to refer to matters dealt with under the Scottish Government’s internal processes and procedures rather than external legal proceedings such as the employment tribunal.
Although advice on internal matters is given by in house solicitors, there have been a few occasions when advice has been given by an external firm on internal matters. The cost of this advice has been £686.20.
4. As noted, law firms are not generally used to deal with internal employment disputes/complaints. The Scottish Government has a framework for the provision of legal services. The current provider firm for employment law advice is Morton Fraser, who have held the contract since June 2016. Prior to that, the provider firm for employment law advice was Anderson Strathern.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at FOI Responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House