Tackling child poverty delivery plan 2022-2026 - annex 7: equality impact assessment

Results of our equality impact assessment on the policy development of Best Start, Bright Futures: the second tackling child poverty delivery plan 2022 to 2026.

Executive Summary

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) requires the Scottish Government (SG) to pay due regard to the need to meet its obligations under the Equality Act 2010[1] by assessing the impact of applying a proposed new or revised policy or practice upon equality. Therefore, SG undertook an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) as part of the process to develop the second delivery plan ("the plan") due under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017[2] – Best Start, Bright Futures.

An EQIA aims to consider how a policy may impact, either positively or negatively, on different sectors of the population in different ways. Equality legislation covers the Protected Characteristics (PCs) of: age, disability, gender reassignment, sex, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.

The plan covers the period 2022 - 2026 and sets out a range of policies and proposals that will contribute to meeting the interim and final targets set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.

Minimum consultation requirements were placed upon Scottish Ministers as a part of the Act. To respond to this, as well as our duties under the PSED, discussions were held with a range of stakeholders to learn about their views on implementation and progress since the publication of the first delivery plan (what went well, what changes are required) and to obtain feedback on the known barriers faced by priority families[3] and families with protected characteristics, and how to overcome these.

The Plan contains a wide range of policies - the analysis presented in this EQIA is a summary consideration across these policies and proposals and is not intended to replace policy specific assessments. Some policies are already in implementation and have undergone an EQIA, other commitments within the Plan are still in early development. As these policies develop, they will require their own EQIA to ensure that the specific barriers for each protected characterises are fully considered. his EQIA should be read, understood and used together with the Tackling Child Poverty

Evidence Review (Annex 6) and other impact assessments (Annexes 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10) which collaboratively have been used to inform the contents of the Plan.

This EQIA has found that the principles and policies set out the in the Plan will be mainly positive across many protected characteristics, in particular age, race, disability, pregnancy and maternity and sex. This is largely due to the overlap between these characteristics and the child poverty priority family types. For other characteristics, particularly gender reassignment and sexual orientation, we have limited data. Nevertheless as part of the ongoing and monitoring of this EQIA we will keep this under review. However, we have found no evidence of negative consequences for people with these characteristics at this time. For some particular characteristics, including age, race, disability and sex, higher levels of child poverty persist, therefore the targeted action for the priority family groups and wider action to reduce child poverty will be particularly beneficial for these groups.

Specifically, the EQIA considers impacts on equalities groups based on the three tests it is required to address:

  • Does this policy eliminate discrimination for each of the 9 Protected Characteristics? If not is the discrimination justifiable? Can it be mitigated?
  • Does this policy advance equality of opportunity for Protected Characteristic groups?
  • Does this policy foster good community relations between people of PC groups?



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