The Gathering 2018

There are around 138,000 paid staff in the third sector in Scotland. Looking after them requires following a raft of employment legislation.

If you’re a member of SCVO, you can access our free legal advice service which provides up to 2 hours of free advice to SCVO members with an annual income of less than £500,000

The following information provides advice on some common enquiries.

SJC Salary Scales

SJC scales are local government pay scales which are extensively used in the voluntary sector.

They are agreed through negotiations between trade unions and local government employers.
SCVO is not involved in these negotiations.

You can keep up-to-date with the negotiations on the Unison Scotland website.

We are often asked what grade a particular job should be placed at on the SJC scales, but SCVO cannot advise on this.

SCVO has negotiated a special deal on a subscription to the COSLA Employers website on behalf of SCVO members only.

SCVO Members can contact us to gain access.

If your organisation is not a member of SCVO you can find out more and apply online.

If you would like more information, please contact Tracey Bird on 0131 474 6168 or Rhonda McLean on 0131 474 6167 or email us.

Pension auto-enrolment

If you are an employer, you have a duty to provide a workplace pension scheme for your staff.

What is Auto-enrolment?

Auto-enrolment has been coming in stages since 2012 and will be fully implemented by 2018. All employers have a statutory duty to automatically enrol their employees in to a pension scheme.

This applies to all employees who:

  • Are not already in a qualifying pension scheme
  • Are at least 22 years old
  • Have not yet reached State Pension age
  • Earn more than the minimum earnings trigger − assumed to be £10,000 a year (2016/2017)
  • Work or ordinarily work in the UK

What do I need to do?

If you don’t already have a pension scheme in place you will need to choose one. SCVO has a partnership with Keegan and Pennykid to provide independent financial advice to voluntary organisations in Scotland. They also carry out workforce assessments to confirm which of your employees have to be automatically enrolled.

There is lots of help available from the Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator will contact you 12 months before your staging date, the date by which you have to have auto-enrolment in place). You can find out your staging date on their website.

You should communicate with your employees so that they know ahead of time what is happening and can decide whether to join the pension scheme or not. Even though employees will be automatically enrolled, they can still choose to opt out.

From your staging date you should make all eligible employees members of the pension scheme, unless they have opted out.

You must keep records for all employees to show that they have opted in or out.

The Charity Finance Group has useful guidance:

Auto-enrolment for charities: a how to guide

Auto-enrolment for small charities: what you need to know


SCVO’s mediation service can help deal with any thorny issues.

Page last modified on 26th March 2018