Social Security in Scotland: defining, operationalising and protecting the Social Security (Scotland) Act principles through participation, scrutiny and oversight

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Abstract

Impact case study for Research Excellence Framework 2021: Research at Ulster has had multiple impacts on the development of Scotland’s new devolved social security system since 2016. The research shaped the Scottish Government’s (SG) understanding of what dignity and respect could mean in Scotland’s social security system and impacted directly on how the SG operationalised these principles. This included the use of participatory methods to co-produce a statutory Social Security Charter, which in turn generated a transformative experience for the social security claimants involved. Our research guided the Scottish Parliament’s (SP) Social Security Committee scrutiny of the Social Security Bill, forming the basis for its key recommendations to the SG. This shaped the content of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 on legal and political accountability mechanisms to ensure compliance with the social security principles and Charter. Legislative provisions determining how secondary legislation is made under the Act, through a unique ‘super-affirmative’
parliamentary procedure involving pre-legislative scrutiny by an independent statutory body, flow directly from our research. The status and purpose of this independent body was determined by the SG on the basis of our research recommendations. This new scrutiny process has in turn resulted in changes to secondary legislation that have had direct impact on social security claimants.
Original languageEnglish
TypeImpact case study
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2022

Keywords

  • social security
  • devolution
  • scottish parliament
  • scottish government
  • Research impact
  • Social citizenship
  • welfare state
  • Social rights
  • human rights
  • Legislative scrutiny
  • coproduction

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