Nations update - Scotland

Monday 12 April 2021

The ALARM Scotland Branch have held their first seminar of 2021: Concurrency, Resilience and Reflection.

We heard from excellent speakers on how the Scottish public sector is preparing for and dealing with concurrent risk events, how we are all adapting to new ways of working, and how COVID-19 has impacted insurance and business continuity arrangements.

We now look ahead to our May 2021 seminar, with a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. We are in the process of securing some fantastic speakers, so please do remember that as we are delivering virtually, you don’t need to be a Scottish member to take part! The more, the merrier.

Update to the Redress Scheme

The Scottish Parliament passed the Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill on 11 March following a lengthy Stage Three debate.

The key element which gave rise to a large part of the debate was around the waiver. This has been consistently lobbied by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) with ALARM involvement, to ensure public service organisations are in a position to contribute to the scheme. Without the waiver, many public service organisations may not have chosen to contribute, as the financial risk would not have been mitigated.

This significant step paves the way for a meaningful scheme for survivors. Redress Scotland, a new independent organisation, will be created to assess the applications from survivors and make decisions and review appeals for the redress award(s) for the next five years. The Scheme will provide financial redress, together with support for survivors too.

The redress award(s) have three levels above the initial award of £10,000 and assessments will be undertaken by Redress Scotland as to the level to be awarded. Where an award is offered, costs, expenses and legal costs will also be paid as part of the Scheme.

With the support and assistance of our sponsors, we have hosted many sessions on this topic over the past three years, and also invited the Scottish Government to hear our views in person. Representatives from the ALARM Board have supported a working group within Solace to provide information packs to all councils to ensure their readiness for the Redress Scheme when it goes live.

So, now the Redress Scheme is about to go live, what should risk and insurance managers be thinking about?

  • The impact of the Redress Scheme on civil litigation claims going forward for our organisations.
  • How will historical claims be handled where more than one organisation or a legacy organisation is involved? Are our internal processes in place to ensure information and responses can be provided timeously?
  • The proposed introduction of qualified one-way costs (QOCS) end in June in Scotland – how will this impact your organisation and other claims?
  • It is proposed there will be a cap on legal costs that can be claimed as part of the Redress Scheme to ensure clarity and consistency for organisations representing claimants.
  • Are you engaging with your stakeholders internally to ensure risks, challenges and opportunities are identified and mitigated?
  • Where your organisation is not based in Scotland, is a redress scheme planned for your area? Consider how you can get involved in the process to ensure all voices are heard.

Fiona Miller, Enterprise Risk Manager, Police Scotland and Chair of the ALARM Scotland Branch

Ruth Kydd, Insurance Manager, City of Edinburgh Council, Member of the ALARM Scotland Branch

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