To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to Part One of the National Disability Strategy, published July 2021, what recent steps his Department has taken to (a) encourage and support workplace disability networks, (b) achieve and maintain the highest level of Disability Confident accreditation, (c) ensure responsive and timely support to meet workplace adjustment needs and (d) develop and embed flexible working.
The Scotland Office does not employ staff directly. All staff that join do so on an assignment, loan or secondment from other government bodies; principally the Scottish Government and the Ministry of Justice, who remain the employers. However, I am very supportive of the National Disability Strategy and can confirm that:
(a) all Scotland Office colleagues have access to and can fully participate in their Departmental disability networks;
(b) both of our recruiting Departments (Scottish Government and the Ministry of Justice) are Public Sector Leaders in the Disability Confident scheme;
(c) we are fully committed to identifying and removing any barriers that colleagues face including meeting workplace adjustment needs;
(d) in addition to the standard flexible working offer provided by our recruiting Departments, the government is also committed to adopting smarter working, enabling people to work in a variety of locations to best deliver business needs.