Scottish Government Workforce Information 2015

This publication presents statistics on the Scottish Government’s workforce for each quarter from 2012 up to the most recent quarter at the end of 2015. The statistics show: numbers of directly employed staff by category, numbers of non-directly employed workers by category, staff sickness absence, and staff diversity information.

1. Key points

1.1 At the end of December 2015, there were 5,120 full-time equivalent[1] (FTE) directly employed staff in Scottish Government core directorates. Of these, 4,882 were permanent staff (95 per cent) and 237 were temporary staff (5 per cent) (Table 1). The number of 5,120 FTE directly employed staff is a net decrease of 68 FTE staff from 5,188 at the end of December 2014. However, numbers at the end of 2015 were slightly higher than they were prior to 2014.

1.2 The number of permanent Scottish Government staff fell by 69 FTE staff from 4,951 at the end of December 2014 to 4,882 at the end of December 2015 (Table 1).

1.3 The number of Modern Apprentices has been increasing since the scheme was introduced in the Scottish Government in January 2011. Since the start of the scheme, the core Scottish Government has taken on 215 Modern Apprentices. At the end of December 2015, 81 FTE Modern Apprentices were still completing their apprenticeships (Table 1).

1.4 The headcount of contingent workers engaged in any capacity in the Scottish Government at the end of December 2015 was 1,042 (Table 2). This covers those not directly employed by the Scottish Government such as inward secondments, contractors and agency workers, as well as those on UK talent and short term youth employment programmes. This is a decrease of 312 contingent workers from 1,354 at the end of December 2014.

1.5 Forty five per cent of contingent workers at the end of December 2015 were contractors. This category covers those that are fulfilling a specific service contract. After a significant increase in the numbers of contractors in 2014, there was a subsequent decrease during 2015, from 659 at the end of December 2014, to 466 at the end of December 2015 (Table 2).

1.6 Staff sickness has increased over the four years presented in this publication to a current high of 7.4 average working days lost (AWDL) per staff year in the year period ending December 2015 (3.3 per cent of working days were lost). This is an increase of 1.1 days from 6.3 in the period ending March 2012 (Table 3). The figure of 7.4 compares to a value of 9.0 AWDL reported for those working in central government in the UK in 2015 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).

1.7 The increase in staff sickness is mostly due to an increase in long term spells of absences over 20 days. However, a recent rise in short term sickness absences of 20 days or less has also contributed to the high of 7.4 AWDL at the period ending December 2015 (Table 3).

1.8 At the end of 2015, the percentage of female directly employed staff (50.6 per cent), was slightly higher than the percentage of male staff (49.4 per cent) (Table 7).

1.9 There is some suggestion of an ageing profile of the workforce over the past four years, with a fall of 2.4 percentage points in those aged 40-49, and a rise of 1.8 percentage points in those aged 50-59 (Table 4).

1.10 Although we have a good understanding of the gender and age of directly employed Scottish Government staff, there are a number of staff who have not completed their diversity information on the HR system for disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and marital status. Therefore we are cautious when interpreting the trends and current mix of these characteristics of Scottish Government staff.


Email: Andrew Morgan

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