Information relating to bullying incidents within the Scottish Government in the last 5 years: FOI release

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

Information requested

The number of incidents of bullying within the Scottish Government in each of the last 5 years. You also requested further information in relation to the number of employees that were accused of bullying and the number of reported cases that were investigated and resulted in disciplinary action.


While our aim is to provide information wherever possible, line managers in the Scottish Government are encouraged to deal with concerns about bullying, at an early stage on an informal basis under the Grievance policy, where appropriate. There is no requirement to report informal action to HR and therefore this is formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not hold information about incidents of bullying. Information is, however, available about formal complaints of bullying.

Some of the information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government website. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

Details of the number of formal complaints of bullying during the period 1 January 2017 to 28 June 2022 was released in August 2022. This information can be accessed via the hyperlink below:

The number of incidents of bullying within the Government in the last five years: FOI release - (

For the remaining period (that is, between 29 June 2022 and 30 August 2022 (the date of your request)), there has been 1 formal complaint of bullying. Please note, this information relates to the core directorates within the Scottish Government (see Annex A for details).

Additional information in response to your request is contained in Annex B.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202200318207 - Information Released - Annex A and B


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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