Date lodged: 6 June 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that some of its and its agencies' staff have clauses in their contracts that prohibit them from speaking out or whistleblowing.
Answered by: Joe FitzPatrick 14 June 2018
There is nothing in Scottish Government contracts of employment which prevents employees raising concerns. Our policy on raising a concern under the Civil Service Code and Whistleblowing ensures that staff are fully informed about how to raise different types of concern and what support is available to them during this process. The policy also ensures that managers are aware how to respond to any concerns raised and clearly sets out the roles of individuals, managers, investigating officers, nominated officers and the Integrity Group as well as the Civil Service Commission. There are no circumstances under an employment contract which could legally prevent someone from making a protected disclosure.
In addition, advice is provided to all Board members of executive agencies to highlight their responsibilities under the Public Interest Disclosure Act to ensure that the body has appropriate policies and procedures in place to allow staff to raise concerns and links to guidance from Audit Scotland on whistleblowing.