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The number of Social Security Scotland employees able to work remotely and the number returning to the office: FOI release

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

FOI Reference: FOI/202300355791
Date received: 9 May 2023
Date responded: 7 June 2023


I am seeking an update on figures provided in FOI/202100264794:-

The number of employees in your organisation and, of these, the number able to perform their work remotely (i.e., not those who are front-line workers) and the number who have started returning to in person work.

Can you provide figures up to Sept 2022 and then figures up to Feb 2023.

Response to your request

An exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies to some of the information requested because we intend to publish headcount figures up to February 2023 on Tuesday 13 June 2023 which is within 12 weeks of the date of your request. We consider that it is reasonable to withhold the information until that date, rather than release some of this routinely published information before the planned publication date.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.

We recognise that there is some public interest in release because the number of employees at the end of February 2023 gives an indication of the capability of Social Security Scotland and this will be met by our planned publication. In the meantime, there is a greater public interest in taking the time necessary to ensure the information has been properly collated and checked before it is published as planned. Also, we see no public interest in disrupting our programme of work to release the information ahead of the intended publication date.

Number of employees as of end of September 2022: 4,116*

Of which are able to work from home: 4,116**

Of which have returned to the office on a regular basis: Social Security Scotland has adopted hybrid working in its central buildings. All colleagues based in Dundee and Glasgow are expected to spend part of their working week in an office.

*As per published headcount figures (The latest period is to the end of December 2022, published in March 2023.) Figure includes both directly employed staff and contingent workers.

Social Security Scotland – workforce information: December 2022 - (

Figures up to February 2023 will be published on Tuesday 13 June 2023.

** All colleagues have been provided with the necessary equipment to work from home in a hybrid manner, where their circumstances allow.

Our workforce information is regularly published on our official statistics page:

Social Security Scotland statistics: publications - (

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