Employment with Scottish Government - complying with the Equality Act: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for:

1) All correspondence relating to my application for employment with Social Security Scotland between 1 March and today’s date 23/05/2019.

2) The recruitment policies and procedures and details of how Scottish Government seek to ensure they comply with the equality act in relation to applicants with protected characteristics.

3) Provide all correspondence between Social Security Scotland staff, including CEO and Scottish Ministers relating to the employment of applicants for Client Team Leader posts in Angus; Aberdeen City; Aberdeenshire that closed in March 2019.

4) I wish to know how many applications were received for each of these posts; how many applications were from applications claiming a protected characteristic, eg applied under the GJIS.  How many applications were progressed on to the next stage?


1) As per our correspondence on 4th June 2019 this information is now being provided as part of a Subject Access Request, the Data Protection Officer has written to you separately regarding this and the deadline for the Subject Access Request information to be with you is the 22nd of June 2019.

2) Advancing equality of opportunity is a core aim of our Resourcing Policy and supporting procedures. 

We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified people and aim to employ a diverse workforce that reflects the people of Scotland. Our diversity message is set out in our job advertisements. 

As part of our commitment to ensuring that we comply with the Equality Act 2010 as part of our application process we ask candidates if they would like any particular arrangements made for tests or interviews that they may attend as part of the recruitment process.

We test how far diverse needs are met through our recruitment process by requesting diversity monitoring information from all candidates. We use this information, which is held separately and accessible to a very limited number of colleagues, both to help ensure that our resourcing policy and procedures have no discriminatory impact and to assess the effectiveness of different recruitment campaigns for applicants from particular diversity groups.

Social Security Scotland ensure all recruitment activity undertaken is under pinned by Scottish Government recruitment policies. The Scottish Government recruitment policies comply with the Civil Service Commissioners principles on recruiting a diverse workforce, which states

“We believe a diverse workforce, appointed on merit through a fair and transparent process, greatly enhances effectiveness and performance by better reflecting the aspirations, experiences and needs of the people they serve.

The Civil Service Commission therefore promotes and supports efforts to get the best candidates drawn from a strong and diverse field”

The Scottish Government participates in the “Positive about Disabled People” scheme, where applicants may request a guaranteed interview.  Under this scheme, whilst the overall pass mark for all candidates may be higher, any applicant who consider themselves to have a disability in terms of the Equality Act 2010 who receives the minimum pass mark in each of the essential criteria will be invited to interview (or further assessment). 

We carry the “Happy to Talk Flexibly” strapline and we promote flexible working and other benefits to help encourage a diverse range of applicants.

3) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.  The request asked for all correspondence relating to the employment of applicants for Team Leader posts in Angus, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, the results of searching for key words relating to this request has returned in excess of 5000 documents which would take in excess of 50 hours to identify if the documents are relevant to this request.

Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. If you are looking for particular correspondence relating to the employment of applicants for Client Team Leader posts in Aberdeenshire City, Aberdeen and Angus, you may wish to consider specifying the exact correspondence you are looking for rather than all correspondence. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

If you require further assistance to refine the request then we would be happy to arrange a telephone conversation with you to assist with this.

4) The table below outlines number of applications for Client Support Team Leader posts advertised in Aberdeenshire City, Aberdeen and Angus. In addition the number of applications where the applicant considers themselves to be disabled in terms of the Equality Act 2010 as well as the number of applicants who applied through the Guaranteed Interview Scheme are provided as per your request.

In the table below there are some numbers which are shown as less than 5 (<5).  For Data protection reasons when collating numerical data there is a requirement to have more than 5 responses to provide exact figures.  In the categories where it is a return of <5, whilst there was a return, it was more than 1 but less than 5 therefore we cannot give a definite number.

Vacancy ID Client Support
Team Leader
 - Aberdeen City
Client Support
Team Leader
- Aberdeenshire
Client Support
Team Leader
- Angus
All Campaigns
Total Applicants 54 40 89 183
With Guaranteed Interview  9 6 8 23
Applicants indicating
they have a Disability
7 5 8 20
Applicants Successful
at sift ( 30/04/2019)
10 8 12 30
With Guaranteed Interview <5 <5 <5 <5
Applicants indicating
they have a Disability 
<5 <5 <5 <5


About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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