Scottish Public Finance Manual

The Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM) is issued by the Scottish Ministers to provide guidance on the proper handling and reporting of public funds.

FGN2024/02 SPFM amendments March 2024

FGN2024/02 SPFM amendments: March 2024

The purpose of this note is to announce recent amendments to the Scottish Public Finance Manual (SPFM), specifically the chapter on settlement agreements, severance, early retirement and redundancy terms. These amendments have been made in line with recommendations from the evaluation of the Severance Policy for Scotland which was completed in 2023.

Settlement agreements, severance, early retirement and redundancy terms

The chapter for Settlement agreements, severance, early retirement and redundancy terms has been updated to clarify wording and introduce refreshed supporting templates for business cases in line with recommendations from the 2023 evaluation.

Key changes include:

  • updating which team the Final Confirmation of Terms template for Settlement Agreements must be sent to clarification of Ministerial involvement throughout the chapter
  • clarification of the wording around the business case submission process
  • reinforcing the expectation that a business case is required for all Settlement Agreements including those that agree contractual payments only or where there is no financial amount included
  • refreshed flowcharts for Settlement Agreement and Voluntary Severance
  • addition of a reminder to public bodies utilising the Severance Policy of their duties under the 2010 Equalities act to ensure that they are not being discriminatory in their implementation of the policy
  • the naming convention for all teams involved in the governance and scrutiny has been standardised throughout the chapter

Business case templates

Key changes include:

  • the business case and employment information schedule templates for Settlement Agreements have been amalgamated into one form
  • specific guidance notes have been added to the end of some templates
  • templates have been revised to follow a consistent style and structure
  • the templates have been streamlined to collect the pertinent information in a clear and concise manner
  • a specific and abridged  business case template has been developed for Settlement Agreement cases where no non-contractual sum is propose

Flowcharts of the reporting process

The flow charts summarising the reporting process for Settlement Agreements (Annex A) and Voluntary Severance (Annex B) have been updated to more clearly set out the teams involved in providing governance and scrutiny.


The Redundancy section has been simplified but continues to reflect Ministers position on no compulsory redundancies.  

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