Publication - FOI/EIR release

Non-disclosure agreements with departing staff members of the Scottish Government: FOI release

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

Published:
11 Dec 2019
Non-disclosure agreements with departing staff members of the Scottish Government: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900006296
Date received: 10 Nov 2019
Date responded: 5 Dec 2019
Information requested

You asked for the number of any non-disclosure agreements between the Scottish Government and departing members of staff in the last four calendar years.

Information should include which departmental body the member body each agreement relates to.

Response

Our response to your request covers staff who are employed by Scottish Government and Executive Agencies (listed in Annex A).

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 four years, less than five settlement agreements have included a confidentiality clause. Values of less than five are suppressed to protect the identities of individuals. Given the low numbers and the risk of individuals being identified we are unable to provide information on which departmental body the individual worked in.

ANNEX A
COVERAGE OF OUR RESPONSE

Our response covers staff employed by Scottish Government and Executive Agencies in the following
areas:

  • Scottish Government Core Directorates
  • Accountant in Bankruptcy
  • Disclosure Scotland
  • Education Scotland
  • National Records of Scotland
  • Scottish Public Pensions Agency
  • Student Awards Agency for Scotland
  • Transport Scotland
  • Social Security Scotland

1] https://www.acas.org.uk/media/3736/Settlement-Agreements-A-guide/pdf/Settlement_agreements_Dec_18.pdf

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.

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG