Equality is an integral part of the Scottish Government's business. The public sector equality duty requires us to give due regard in our policies, legislation and activities to eliminating unlawful discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between people with different protected characteristics. We, and the other listed public authorities subject to the duty, make decisions that affect the lives of everyone in our communities and it is therefore important that we consider the equality impact of all that we do.
There has been considerable progress on equality over the last two years and a number of very significant policy developments that provide the basis for further advance in the coming period. This document provides an update on how the Scottish Government is making progress on incorporating equality across its activities and provides a final update on the equality outcomes which we set in 2013 to cover the period up to 2017.
The Scottish Government as a Policy Maker
The equality brief is held by Angela Constance MSP the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security & Equalities. This is a reflection of the importance attached to equality and human rights within the Scottish Government. Importantly equality is also a shared objective across Cabinet, strongly championed by the Cabinet Secretary and First Minister, and reflected in activity across all Ministerial portfolios.
It features strongly in the Programme for Government and it is an integral part of the process for determining the Scottish Budget. The equality analysis and assessment of the Scottish Government's spending plans are outlined in the Equality Budget Statement which is published alongside each Draft Budget. Scotland remains a leader in this work.
A wide range of policies developed and implemented over the past two years will help drive forward equality. Key among these are the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, the Race Equality Framework, A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People, Equally Safe: Strategy for the prevention of Violence against Women and Girls and the Fair Work Framework.
Since we last reported in 2015, we have continued to improve data and evidence to strengthen our policy work and inform the decisions that we take. The Equality Evidence Finder remains publicly available and is an extremely helpful resource for those working on equality. The Equality Evidence Strategy will shortly be published. This will provide the basis for further improvement in the data on equality.
We are fortunate to have an extensive range of equality stakeholders in Scotland and we value their engagement with us. The Scottish Government continues to work closely and collaboratively with them and the communities they represent. The report provides a number of examples of involving equality communities in policy development, including co-production, and also provides details of the Scottish National Equality Improvement Project, through which we discharge Scottish' Ministers duty to support the better delivery of the public sector equality duty.
The Scottish Government as an Employer
The Scottish Government is committed to giving all its staff the opportunity to shine, to nurturing talent at all levels and to having a diverse workforce reflective of the communities we serve.
Our aspiration is to be open, capable and responsive so that we can continue to improve outcomes for people in communities across Scotland. We place value on relationships. We pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of our advice and analysis. We have strong commitments of value and intent and are keen to ensure that there is no gap between the rhetoric and reality - this is central to our credibility and integrity.
We are clear that everyone should be able to be themselves at work, knowing that they will be treated fairly and supported to achieve their potential. Diversity and equality by their very nature are not 'one size fits all' policies or initiatives. A fairer, more inclusive society, community or workforce is one where everyone feels confident to play their part.
This vision is underpinned by the People Strategy. This sets out our ways of working: creating an environment, in partnership with our trade unions, where individuals can thrive and be successful and creating the conditions for consistently good people management and development - for all of our staff.
The People Strategy underpins our SG2020 transformation programme. We are in the process of developing a People Plan to set out how that transformation will be embedded across our core services and processes and encouraged through changes to local practice and culture. Our approach is to build the evidence base and to use this to inform further action and future policy.
To inform our actions with regard to the public sector equality duties we have used evidence from a range of sources: our annual People Survey, our electronic HR systems, specific evaluations and interaction with our staff networks and individuals.
Equality Outcomes 2013 - 17
The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public authorities including the Scottish Government to publish equality outcomes which it will work to achieve. In April 2013, the Scottish Government set a suite of equality outcomes to cover the period up to 2017. These were on the following topics:
- Scottish Government Representative Workforce
- Scottish Government - Equality and Diversity Matters
- Ministerial Public Appointments
- Violence Against Women and Girls
- Women and Employment
- Disability and Access to Justice and Advice
- Progress against these outcomes is outlined in this report.
Equality Outcomes 2017 - 21
In the light of the evidence and data and taking account of the priorities and views of stakeholders, a further suite of equality outcomes has been developed on the following themes:
- Employment - both as a policy maker and as an employer
- Participation in Decision Making
- School Education
- Hate Crime
- Violence Against Women and Girls
- Social Security
- Mental Health
- Children affected by Domestic Abuse and the Justice System
Information about the process of developing the outcomes as well as details of the evidence base for their inclusion, how they will be measured and early actions which will be taken to progress them are included in this report.
Email: Nicole Ronald, Mainstreamingequality@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House