Scottish Fire and Rescue Service: governance and accountability framework 2024

Broad framework within which Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will operate and defines key roles and responsibilities which underpin the relationship between the SFRS and the Scottish Government.

SFRS staff management

Broad responsibilities for SFRS staff.

41. The SFRS will have responsibility for the recruitment, retention and motivation of its staff. The broad responsibilities toward its staff are to ensure that:

  • HR policies, practices and systems comply with employment and equalities legislation, and standards expected of public sector employers.
  • the level and structure of its staffing, including grading and staff numbers, are appropriate to its functions and the requirements of economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • the performance of its staff at all levels is satisfactorily appraised and the SFRS’s performance measurement systems are reviewed from time to time.
  • its staff are encouraged to acquire the appropriate professional, management and other expertise necessary to achieve the SFRS’s objectives.
  • proper consultation with staff takes place on key issues affecting them.
  • adequate grievance and disciplinary procedures are in place.
  • effective whistle-blowing policy and procedures consistent with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 are in place.
  • a code of conduct for staff is in place based on the Model Code for Staff of Executive SFRS.

Pay and conditions of service

42. The SFRS shall consider the wider principles of SG Pay Policy in relation to staff and the chief officer. The SFRS shall submit to the SG for approval (normally annually unless a multi-year deal has been agreed) a pay remit in line with the SG Pay Policy for Staff Pay Remits and negotiate a pay settlement within the terms of the approved remit. Payment of salaries should also comply with the Tax Planning and Tax Avoidance section of the SPFM. Proposals on non-salary rewards must comply with the guidance in the Non-Salary Rewards section of the SPFM. Where applicable, the SFRS will also seek appropriate approval under the SG Pay Policy for Senior Appointments for the Chief Officer’s remuneration package prior to appointment, annually or when a new appointment or change to the remuneration package is being proposed.

Pensions, redundancy and compensation

43. Superannuation arrangements for the SFRS staff are subject to the approval of the SG. SFRS staff shall normally be eligible for a pension provided by the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992, the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2006, The Retained Modified Pension Scheme 2015 or Firefighters’ 2015 Pension Scheme or the LGPS. Staff may opt out of the occupational pension scheme provided by the SFRS, but the employers’ contribution to any personal pension arrangement, including stakeholder pension, shall normally be limited to the national insurance rebate level.

44. Any proposal by the SFRS to move from existing pension arrangements, or to pay any redundancy or compensation for loss of office, requires the prior approval of the SG. Proposals on compensation payments must comply with the Settlement Agreements, Severance, Early Retirement and Redundancy Terms section of the SPFM. This includes referral to the SG of any proposed severance scheme (for example, a scheme for voluntary exit), business case for a settlement agreement being considered for an individual, or proposal to make any other compensation payment. In all instances, a body should engage with the SG prior to proceeding with proposed severance options, and prior to making any offer either orally or in writing.

Asset and property management

45. The SFRS shall maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of its current and non-current assets consistent with the Property: Acquisition, Disposal & Management section of the SPFM. ‘Non-current’ assets should be disposed of in accordance with the SPFM. The SG’s Property Division should be consulted about relevant proposed disposals of property that the SFRS holds for operational purposes (rather than investment) at the earliest opportunity so it may be advertised internally. An Internal Advertisement form must be completed and submitted at least one month prior to property being advertised on the open market. Any proposal to acquire land, buildings or other rights in property for accommodation / operational purposes should comply with the SPFM. The SFRS is also subject to the SG Asset Management Policy, including the requirement for acquisition of a new lease, continuation of an existing lease, decision not to exercise a break option in a lease or purchase of property for accommodation / operational purposes, to be approved in advance by Scottish Ministers. The Property Controls Team should be consulted as early as possible in this process. All assets (property, plant and equipment) are to be properly recorded and updated as necessary by the SFRS on the Cabinet Office electronic Property Information Mapping System (e-PIMS)



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