The Statement of Principles Regarding Financial Contributions was published on 1 December 2021. The document sets out the principles the Scottish Ministers will use to decide whether an organisation has made a fair and meaningful contribution and should be added to the list, or subsequently removed.
Scotland’s Redress Scheme offers an opportunity for survivors who cannot or do not wish to take civil action to receive a redress payment. Each payment is made up of contributions from Scottish Government and those on the contributor list which in certain circumstances may include the care provider who was responsible for their care at the time of their abuse.
A scheme without contributions from other organisations would not deliver the scheme the majority of survivors have told us they want.
All applicants will be required to sign a waiver to accept a redress payment offer. Signing the waiver means that the applicant will have waived their right to raise or continue an existing civil action against the Scottish Government as well as those scheme contributors on the list for the abuse suffered. Scheme contributors are organisations which have made a fair and meaningful contribution to the scheme.
Fair and meaningful financial contributions to the redress scheme are being sought from organisations that were responsible for the care of children at the time of the abuse, whether providing care directly or otherwise involved in the decision-making processes and arrangements by which the child came to be in care.
Being part of the redress scheme means that scheme contributors will be facing up to their moral responsibilities, acknowledging the harm caused by historical child abuse, being part of a scheme built on dignity, respect and compassion and supporting faster and trauma informed access to redress for survivors and their next of kin.
“Fair and meaningful” contributions – what it means
A fair contribution is one where an organisation that is named in an application as having been responsible for the care of the survivor at the time of abuse pays the relevant share of any individually assessed redress payment above and beyond our contribution.
A meaningful contribution is one that represents sincere and committed participation in the national collective endeavour to acknowledge the harms of the past and provide access to a trauma informed and non-adversarial redress scheme for survivors. It means that contributing organisations participate on the understanding that they will not see or be able to comment on applications.
The Statement of Principles document rightly focuses on fair and meaningful contributions, which refer to a proportion of redress payments made which are relevant to a specific organisation. Despite this, fair and meaningful contributions are not about a particular organisation paying redress to any named applicant, rather it is a national, collective scheme to provide redress in respect of the harms of the past.
The level of contributions received will not impact redress payments
Redress payments will not be dependent upon organisations making financial contributions to the scheme. We will meet the total cost of the payment, or a portion of the payment where relevant, if a named organisation does not contribute to the scheme.
There is no fixed budget or limit to the number or amount of redress payments which will be paid by the Scottish Government. We are committed to giving financial redress to survivors, regardless of the financial contributions received, because it is the right thing to do.
The Scottish Ministers will decide if a proposed financial contribution is considered to be fair and meaningful.
Decision-making on applications will solely be the responsibility of Redress Scotland. Scheme contributors will not be able to view applications or challenge or appeal any decisions made by Redress Scotland.
We will only be able to view the applications for the purpose of processing them, but we will not be able to challenge or appeal any decisions made by Redress Scotland.
What the Scottish Government will pay towards the scheme
The Scottish Government will meet all the costs of setting up and delivering the redress scheme, the costs associated with providing support to survivors during the application process, legal costs for survivors to apply and costs associated with delivering non-financial redress, such as therapeutic support.
We will also:
- fund all fixed rate payments (£10,000)
- fund all next-of-kin payments (£10,000)
- fund the greater of £10,000 or one third of each individually assessed payment
- fund this portion of the payment where a relevant organisation is not a scheme contributor or no longer exists
We will pay in full the cost of redress payments to survivors if the organisation that provided their care does not make a fair and meaningful contribution to the scheme.
It becomes more complicated when more than one care setting is named in an application, but generally we will split the cost of a payment equally between the relevant care settings named in the application. Where the organisation responsible for the relevant care setting is not a scheme contributor, we will fund this portion of the payment.
What local government will pay towards the scheme
The Scottish Ministers are seeking a collective contribution from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to reflect the legacy of local government responsibility for historical child abuse in relevant care settings.
The local government contribution will reflect the exposure of local authorities for:
- the abuse carried out in care settings run by them or in boarded out or foster care placements,
- the broader responsibility of local authorities for the placing of children in care
- the oversight and scrutiny of care in local authorities
- the historical failure to respond appropriately to allegations of abuse where they were made
Published list of the scheme contributors
The Scottish Ministers will publish a contributor list, which will be updated on a regular basis. The contributor list will set out the organisations which have committed to and have made a fair and meaningful financial contribution to the scheme. These organisations will be known as “scheme contributors”.
Details of the financial amounts committed to and paid by each scheme contributor will be included on the contributor list.
When an applicant receives their redress payment offer letter from Redress Scotland, they will also receive a copy of the contributor list as it was on the day the decision was made on their application. This contributor list will include all of the organisations the applicant’s waiver will apply to.
Having this information will help survivors make an informed decision on whether or not to sign the waiver. We would strongly encourage all applicants to seek legal advice when making this decision. We will fund this legal advice for all applicants.
Scheme contributors – the amount they will contribute and how they will pay
Two contribution approaches have been presented to potential contributors to reflect their different circumstances and historical legacy. The approaches ensure participating organisations will make contributions which are fair and representative of the applications received which name the organisation.
In both cases the Scottish Ministers will carefully consider and determine, in accordance with the Statement of Principles, if the proposed contribution is sufficient for an organisation to be added to the contributor list and have the waiver apply to them.
Once an organisation has committed to make a fair and meaningful contribution in agreement with Scottish Ministers, and has paid the first instalment of their contribution, the organisation will be added to the contributor list.
If affordability or sustainability is an issue for an organisation, the Scottish Ministers may consider giving the organisation a longer amount of time to pay the fair and meaningful contribution amount.
In exceptional circumstances, the Scottish Ministers may decide that the contribution amount should be less than the total number of payments relating to that organisation. A reduction in the contribution amount will only be considered by Ministers where the organisation produces information and evidence on its financial circumstances and the services it provides.
The Scottish Ministers will give contributors the opportunity to agree a maximum financial contribution to be paid (known as “a cap”). This is to give scheme contributors certainty in regards to their financial planning and to make sure that important services delivered by the organisation are not compromised.
What happens when a scheme contributor fails to pay
Where a scheme contributor fails to make its agreed contribution, the Scottish Ministers will work with the organisation within a time-limited period to look at changing the payment schedule to ensure the payment can be made, where possible.
If no agreement can been reached to make a missed payment, the contributor will be removed from the scheme contributor list so that no new waivers will be granted from that point. If the scheme contributor is behind on their payments and owes money to cover the applications which have resulted in a redress payment, the organisation can be removed from the contributor list with retrospective effect. If so, this means that the waivers that were signed in relation to this organisation will be revoked from the point where the money the organisation paid ran out.
Where a waiver has been revoked, rights will be returned to the applicants who signed the waiver in relation to this organisation after the date the organisation was retrospectively removed. Where this happens, applicants whose waivers were revoked will be able to raise civil action against this organisation once again.
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