Details of non-disclosure agreements with departing members of staff: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/02548  
Date received: 12 September 2018
Date responded: 10 October 2018
Information requested

Details of any non-disclosure agreements between the Scottish Government and departing members of staff in the last five years.

Information should include the number of agreements and the amount spent.


Our response to your request covers staff who are subject to Scottish Government Main and Scottish Government Marine terms and conditions of employment and Senior Civil Servants in the organisations listed below. 


Our response covers staff employed on Scottish Government Main and Scottish Government Marine terms and conditions of employment and Senior Civil Servants in following areas:

  • Scottish Government Core Directorates
  • Accountant in Bankruptcy
  • Disclosure Scotland
  • Education Scotland
  • National Records of Scotland
  • Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
  • Scottish Housing Regulator
  • Scottish Public Pensions Agency
  • Student Awards Agency for Scotland
  • Transport Scotland

At the request of the employee or their legal representative, Settlement Agreements may include a voluntary provision whereby the parties agree to keep the agreement itself confidential and not disclose its details to third parties. Inclusion of such a clause protects the rights of the employee who may have legitimate concerns that disclosure of the terms and circumstances of the agreement and their identity would impact negatively on their privacy and employability. The ACAS guidance provides a model Settlement Agreement which includes a standard confidentiality clause[1].

In relation to the first part of your request, we define ‘confidentiality clause’ as referring to clauses which prevent a signatory to the agreement from disclosing its existence and/or its terms. 

It is important to note that that inclusion of a confidentiality clause does not – under any circumstances – prevent an employee from making a protected disclosure under whistleblowing legislation. 

In the last five years, seven settlement agreements have included a confidentiality clause. Given the low numbers and the risk of individuals being identified we are unable to break down the figures further or by year. 

The total cost of these settlements was £283,935.79.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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