1.1 There has been continuing interest in Scottish Government staffing information and as a result we have produced this publication providing information on:
- Full-time equivalent numbers of directly employed  Scottish Government staff 
- Headcounts for contingent workers  , who are those not employed directly by the Scottish Government
- Sickness data for directly employed Scottish Government staff
- Diversity data for directly employed Scottish Government staff
1.2 Scottish Government staff work to support the Government of the day in developing, implementing and communicating its polices as well as delivering public services. Each year the Government sets out its Programme for Government focusing on the key legislative and practical steps the Government will take, highlighting it priorities. Levels of staff employment will reflect the requirements of delivering the Programme for Government. This publication provides information on the size of the Scottish Government workforce for the last five years.
1.3 Sickness absence can lead to a loss in productivity for an organisation and it is important to monitor this. The Scottish Government works proactively and continuously to improve the level of sickness absence. It has adopted a range of processes to support staff while they are ill and to enable their return to work. The publication includes information on sickness absence of directly employed staff for the last five years.
1.4 Equality and diversity are key priorities for the Scottish Government. In addition to improving equality as a policy making organisation, the Scottish Government has responsibilities as an employer. This involves demonstrating that it is not only complying with the Equalities Act, but it is leading by example on equality issues. Therefore, both regular monitoring of staff diversity and developing our understanding of colleagues' experiences in their working lives are required. This publication includes information on the diversity of directly employed staff.
1.5 The data in this publication are taken from information held on the Scottish Government's electronic human resources system. This is a live database that is continuously updated to reflect workforce changes. This publication presents 'snapshots' of the data as it appears on the system at the end of each year quarter  . Annex A contains more information about the data sources. Quarterly updates to the data in this publication will be released on the Scottish Government's website approximately three months after the end of each quarter.
Email: Shona Rennie