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Information relating to grievances raised within Social Security Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

FOI Reference: FOI/202300372955
Date received: 13 September 2023
Date responded: 11 October 2023


Thank you for your request dated 13 September 2023 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

Your request

You requested information on the number of grievances that have been raised within Social Security Scotland. You asked for cases relating specifically to racism, bullying and harassment. You asked for this information from 2020–2021, 2021–2022 and 2023 - now.

Response to your request

Social Security Scotland encourages colleagues to raise any grievance informally with their manager in the first instance, except where it would be inappropriate to do so. Managers are the first point of contact for listening to, and addressing, concerns - where it's possible to do this informally. Social Security Scotland’s Charter sets out our commitment to treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect and, as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government, all staff are required to meet the obligations set out in the Civil Service Code.

Grievances can be made up of multiple elements. I have interpreted your request to relate to formal grievances which contain any element of racism, bullying or harassment. Please see the table below which shows a breakdown of some of the information. The figures are broken down by financial year and include those for 2022–2023.

An exemption under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This is because we believe that to disclose the number of grievances or their outcomes, where the number is five or less, could lead to the identification of individuals.

In order to assist you, and to protect the identities of those involved, we have provided a suppressed range in the table below. Where the answer is zero this would be disclosed and not be withheld. We can also confirm that for each of the periods 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023 to the date of your request, the outcome of the element of the grievances related to racism, bullying or harassment was upheld in one instance.

Financial Year (6 April to 5 April)

Number of formal grievances raised that contain any element of racism, bullying or harassment






Between 1 and 5

Exempt under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA


Between 1 and 5

Exempt under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA

2023 – date of request

Between 1 and 5

Exempt under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA

About FOI

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