Staffing levels, breakdowns and sickness levels for rural payments offices: FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/02638  
Date received: 24 September 2018  
Date responded: 11 October 2018
Information requested
  • Staffing levels for each rural payments service office in Scotland for the last 5 years
  • Staff grade breakdowns for each office over the last 5 years
  • An indication of where a senior member of staff is in a temporary position or is acting up
  • Levels of short term sickness broken down over the last 5 years and grade
  • Levels of long term sickness broken down over the last 5 years and by grade
  • Levels of sickness due to stress or depression broken down over the last 5 years and by grade
An excel spreadsheet has been attached containing the information that you requested. Please be aware of the following information when looking at this data.

Table 1: Staffing levels, grade breakdown and staff ‘acting up’.

Table 1 in the attached excel spreadsheet shows the breakdown of directly employed staff at each grade at each of the rural payment offices.
Headcounts by grade are as at the end of the financial year for the last five years with a count of those who were receiving Temporary Responsibility Supplements (TRS) for ‘acting up’ to that grade.

There were no senior staff on short term/temporary contracts.
Tables 2-5: Sickness for rural payments staff.

Table 2 in the attached spreadsheet shows the total sickness for staff in rural payment offices over the last five financial years. This is then broken down to show short term sickness in table 3, long term sickness in table 4 and sickness absences where the cause has been recorded as stress, emotional upset or depression in table 5. Short term sickness is defined as a sickness related absence lasting 20 days or less, long term sickness is any sickness absence lasting longer than 20 days.

For sickness data all C grade staff have been combined in to a single pay band. This is to protect the privacy of staff from the risk that sickness absence information could be attributed to a single person using the headcount tables.
Two figures representing sickness levels are presented – average working days lost (AWDL) and percentage of working days lost. These are both calculated to be comparable across areas with different headcounts and to account for different staff working patterns. Notes on how these calculations are made have been provided below the tables.

For further Scottish Government workforce and sickness absence statistics please see our quarterly publication available at
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foi-18-02638 Tables


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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