Severance Policy in Devolved Public Sector in Scotland

Closed 23 Jun 2017

Opened 31 Mar 2017

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Scottish Government seeks to ensure severance arrangements are fair and equitable while providing value for money for the people of Scotland. Severance continues to play an essential role in ensuring employers across the public sector in Scotland deliver services efficiently and effectively by enabling them to manage changes to workforces in reaction to changing organisational circumstances - while at the same time helping leavers bridge the gap into new employment.

Across the devolved public sector in Scotland, over 3,000 exit payments at a cost of £119 million were made in 2015 16. In most cases, the cost of this exit payment is recovered from the year on year savings from no longer paying salary for such posts. This consultation represents an opportunity to provide assurance this is money well spent and assess whether reform is required.

To do this, the Severance Policy for Scotland consultation will set out current practice across the public sector landscape to manage and control severance arrangements and the underpinning policy set out by the UK Government. It will ask you to consider four policy options and whether there is a case for change to severance arrangements in the devolved public sector in Scotland and if so, what that change could look like.

Why We Are Consulting

Scottish Ministers want to hear your views on whether recent powers should be used - or other reforms taken forward - to achieve better outcomes by delivering best value to taxpayers, flexible and responsive public services and a fair deal for public sector employees, through changing exit payments arrangements, in particular through the introduction of an exit payment cap, recovery of exit payments and changing exit payment terms.

Following your response to this consultation, Scottish Ministers will consider all responses and decide what option to take forward; balancing the maintenance of constructive relationships with unions and employers, value for money for the taxpayer and the fair treatment of the public sector workforce.

Click here to view the consultation paper.


  • People of Scotland


  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Constitution and Democracy
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Public Sector
  • Health and Social Care
  • Work and Skills
  • Scotland Performs