23 February 2020

A 2018 survey ‘people survey’ for staff at the Scottish Government’s new Directorate for Social Security has highlighted serious concerns around the working culture in place at the Directorate and the morale of staff.

Obtained under FOI appeal, Ministers vigorously refused to publish any of the survey which exposes working conditions in the department delivering Scotland’s £651m Social Security Programme.

The survey states that:

Less than one in four staff feel poor performance is dealt with effectively

Only 40 per cent of staff feel that change is managed well in the Scottish Government.

Only 41 per cent of staff think it is safe to challenge the way things are done in the Scottish Government

Less than half of staff believe the director and deputy director will take action based on the survey

Barely a quarter of staff think action was taken as a result of the last staff survey [2017]

14% of staff experienced bullying or harassment in the workplace, 3 points higher than the Scottish Government as a whole.

Barely half of staff had confidence in the decisions of their Director and executive team.

Commenting on these findings, Scottish Labour social security spokesperson Mark Griffin said:

“This survey highlights damning views on the leadership at the new Directorate of Social Security, as well as serious concerns for staff morale and the workplace culture.

“In the last week we have seen the price of the new social security system sky-rocket and the SNP hide a benefits freeze behind spin and obfuscation.

“What Scotland needs is a social security system fit to serve those most in need. Instead we have an over-budget system with an atrocious workplace culture.

“This isn’t good enough. Without staff having confidence in the management of the Directorate for Social Security, how can the wider public?”

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