Redress Scheme: information for organisations
Information for organisations considering participating in the Redress Scheme for survivors of historical abuse in care in Scotland.
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The redress scheme is designed to be an alternative to civil litigation. The Act requires all applicants to sign and return a waiver if they wish to accept a redress payment.
The waiver is a legally binding document which is designed to encourage meaningful financial contributions from organisations that had involvement in the care of children when abuse occurred by supporting a proactive, public acknowledgement of the wrongs of the past while minimising the risks associated with costly litigation.
By signing the waiver, the applicant agrees not to continue or raise civil actions, such as actions for damages, in respect of abuse eligible under the Act, against the Scottish Ministers and those on the contributor list at the time their application was determined by Redress Scotland.
Only organisations who are included on the contributor list when an application is determined will be covered by the waiver. If an organisation is not on the contributor list when an application is determined, then that applicant will retain the right to raise civil action against that organisation and accept an offer of a redress payment.
To help applicants make informed decisions about whether or not they should accept an offer of a redress payment and sign the waiver, they will receive a copy of the contributor list as on the date when their application was determined. This will ensure applicants know which organisations they would be waiving their rights to raise or continue civil actions against, should they accept the offer of a redress payment.
Applicants will be strongly encouraged to seek independent legal advice, which will be available at no cost to them, to help them understand the effect of signing the waiver.
Effect of the waiver
Where an applicant accepts an offer of a redress payment, and therefore signs a waiver, they relinquish their right to pursue any legal action with any organisation on the contributor list at the time when a decision was made by Redress Scotland on their application.
The receipt of any redress payment is dependent on the signing of a waiver. Should those considering applying to the redress scheme prefer to retain their right to continue or pursue legal action against any organisation, including those on the contributor list, they may decide to reject an offer of a redress payment or not apply to the scheme.
There are a number of valid reasons why an applicant might decide against signing a waiver including the potential value of any legal action or the accountability and acknowledgement that comes with formal adjudication.
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