Social Security Scotland – dignity, fairness, respect

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Social Security Scotland – dignity, fairness, respect

As we highlighted in a previous post, SIBF have representation on the Scottish Government Experience Panels tasked with redesigning the Scottish Social Security agency.

The Scottish Government has now announced the new name and logo of their Scottish Social Security agency:

‘Social Security Scotland’

with the starpline:

dignity, fairness, respect

Many will hope the new Agency will live up to that strap-line.

Their ‘Positioning statement’ reads:

We believe that social security is a human right and we are working to make sure that people get what they are entitled to.
We believe that they should be able to get support when and where they need it and this is exactly the way we will approach the delivery of the assistance that is devolved.
Social Security Scotland will be built with you – not for you. Together let’s build a public service to be proud of.
Putting dignity, fairness and respect at the heart of everything we do, your new agency is a place where everyone is welcomed and treated equally. Our service works in a clear, helpful and friendly way to get you what you’re entitled to, on time and comfortably. We look forward to helping you, and to building a fairer Scotland for everyone.

Further details can be found here:

Below is the text of an e-mail received from Jeane Freeman, the Minister for Social Security and the Social Security Research Team:

Dear Experience Panel member,

Last year you took part in focus group sessions and workshops to help shape the brand for Scotland’s new social security service and I want to thank you for taking part in those sessions and the help you gave us.

Your involvement has been very valuable to us and we have listened carefully to your views. I am now writing to let you know that we have decided on the name and logo for the social security agency.

We are working on guidelines to make sure that this brand is more than just a design – that it represents a new kind of social security service. A service that we can all be proud of.

We have worked together to develop this brand and this is how we will continue to build our social security service in Scotland – with the people who will use it.

Please find enclosed the logo and our stated intentions for the new agency – Social Security Scotland. Thank you, once again, for helping to create this.


Excerpt from previous SIBF news post:

Scotland’s Benefits Takeover

As part of the agreement between Westminster and Holyrood to strengthen devolution further, the Smith Commission recommended that Scotland have more control over certain welfare benefits. Over the next few years the Scottish Government will take control of a number of benefits and have the power to make changes to suit the Scottish context. These are mainly the very disability benefits already discussed; ESA, PIP and some others.

In preparation for that major shift in responsibility from South to North, the Scottish Government has set up a process to prepare to take over this important role, and to do so by making every effort to get it right from the start (a lofty and worthy aspiration, indeed). Words such as “dignity” and “fairness” are peppering the debates in the Holyrood Chamber and the conversations in the corridors. On a more pragmatic front, a programme of community engagement has begun to ask those citizens who have lived (survived in some cases) the current benefits system as administered centrally from London.

“Experience Panels”

The SIBF has been participating in what are called “Experience Panels”. This effort is led by a team of seemingly very earnest and friendly (and listening) researchers and Scottish Government officials. To properly maintain the integrity of the research exercise it is not appropriate to go into detail about who attends and what people talk about, but it is fair to say that there is an appetite to do things differently (better) by removing the aspects that are barriers to people being treated with dignity and fairness, but also recognising what works and is worth keeping.

For SIBF there has been involvement in various aspects of the prospective Scottish version of the benefits system through these Experience Panels, including:

  • Identifying the pros and cons of the current PIP and ESA benefits, including the application and assessment processes
  • The corporate image of the agency that will deliver the benefits regime in Scotland
  • Providing support to people with the costs of funeral expenses when required.

If folks want to find out more themselves about this Scottish focus to development in the benefits system, there are some links below. Some very useful reports have been produced and are worth a read for those with a special interest in this area of social policy.



Scottish Government publications on Benefits in Scotland

(Social Security Experience Panels: About Your Benefits and You – Visual Summary of Focus Groups and Survey Research Findings)

(Social Security Experience Panels – About Your Benefits and You – Qualitative Research Findings)

(Results of the online ‘About You and Your Benefits’ survey)

(Section of the Scottish Government website about developing the new Scottish Social Security system)






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