The power to legislate on equal opportunities is reserved to the UK Parliament.
The Scotland Act 1998 gives the Scottish Parliament power to encourage equal opportunities, particularly the observing of the equal opportunity requirements. It also has the power to impose duties on Scottish public authorities and cross border public bodies operating in Scotland.
The Scotland Act defines equal opportunities as:
"the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions".
The Scottish Government has designated equal opportunities as a key cross cutting issue and established the Equality Unit in the Government to take forward its work on equality.