Anti-racist employment strategy: easy read

Easy read version of the strategy which is a call for action and a guide to address the issues and disadvantage experienced by people from racialised minorities in the labour market in Scotland.

Anti-racist employment strategy : Easy read version

What is racism?

Racism means being treated unfairly because of your race or your ethnicity.

Ethnicity is the word we use to describe our background.

People from an ethnic group might have the same language or culture.

Racialised minorities are people who may be treated unfairly because of their race or their ethnicity.

'A Fairer Scotland for All: An Anti-Racist Employment Strategy' is a strategy to deal with the disadvantage experienced by people from racialised minorities who are in work or looking for work in Scotland.

This strategy is an important part of:

  • helping Scotland to become a leading Fair Work Nation by 2025
  • our 'National Strategy for Economic Transformation'

Our economy is how the country produces and uses goods, services and money.

Facts, figures and information show that:

  • people from racialised minorities are more likely to be unemployed than white people, particularly people from African, Gypsy/Traveller, Arab, Caribbean and Black ethnic groups
  • racial inequality affects some people from racialised minorities more than others
  • workers from racialised minorities often earn less than white workers
  • people from racialised minorities are more likely to have work that is low paid or be employed on zero hours contracts

A zero hours contract means a worker does not know how much work they will get each week.

  • organisations do not have many people from racialised minorities:
    • in senior jobs
    • as board members

Board members look at the work an organisation is doing and check it is working well.

  • people from racialised minorities looking for work send more than 3 times as many job applications to get the same success rate as applicants with a white-sounding name.

This shows that there is institutional racism.

Institutional racism is a form of racism that is part of the laws and rules of an organisation.

It is important that everyone understands what institutional racism is, so that we can deal with it.

Racism affects:

  • how workplaces are run
  • how we recruit, train and promote staff

Racism can be traumatic for people to experience.

Trauma is the emotions you feel when a bad or frightening event has happened.

Racism can have a bad effect on people's mental health that can last for a long time.

Racism means many people find it difficult to get a job or progress in a job.

The Scottish Government must set a good example in treating people fairly.

We must do more than just what the law says we must do.

The strategy includes guidance, advice and examples of good practice for employers.

Leaders in public services have an important part to play in making things change.

The Scottish Government will use the work in the 'Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan' to share our learning and what has worked well.

People from racialised minorities have different experiences of the workplace.

We are looking at how to get more facts, figures and information to:

  • know how racialised minorities are represented in the workforce and what their experience of work is
  • help people making new policies
  • help employers know what racism is and how to deal with it

The Public Sector Equality Duty means that the Scottish Government and public bodies must think about how they can make sure their work supports equality:

  • in the services they provide
  • through their jobs
  • through the money they spend

We will use the Equality Duty review to make sure more information is reported.

This includes reporting on the difference in average pay between:

  • different ethnic groups
  • disabled and non-disabled groups

We will encourage and support councils to collect data on the ethnic background of their workforce.

We will tell employers about Scottish data that they can use to help make work policies.

We want employers to know the benefits to business in having workplaces that:

  • have a mix of different kinds of people
  • make sure that everyone can take part
  • represent the people who live in Scotland
  • are trauma-informed – they understand how trauma can make people feel and behave

More organisations are recording information on their ethnicity pay gap.

This is the difference in pay between workers from different ethnic backgrounds.

It is usually recorded to compare the difference in pay between workers from white ethnicity and non-white ethnicity backgrounds.

The work we will do includes:

  • listening to what people and organisations told us in the community engagement project when we make new work policies
  • telling people about the Scottish Government's 'Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit' and checking if organisations are using it
  • doing work on the recommendations of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee's report into race equality, employment and skills
  • sharing what we have learned from giving out the money in the Workplace Equality Fund

The Scottish Government will use its 'Race Recruitment and Retention Action Plan' to encourage leaders in organisations to:

  • be against racism
  • be able to change:
    • the way work policies are developed
    • workplace culture - what an organisation believes in and how the workforce behave and think
    • attitudes of staff at all levels

We will work with employers to support them to do this.

Employers across the economy can use their understanding of institutional racism to:

  • check how it can affect people from racialised minorities – for example when getting and keeping jobs
  • make sure people from racialised minorities are not disadvantaged when getting and keeping jobs

Leaders can make sure that staff:

  • do not experience discrimination, bullying or harassment
  • feel safe and supported to talk about any concerns or challenge behaviour that makes them uncomfortable

The strategy looks at 4 main things.

  • knowing your workforce through facts, figures and information
  • action on:
    • recruitment – the way employers advertise jobs and choose people to do them
    • representation – making sure the workforce reflects the mix of people who live in Scotland
  • working to change workplace culture and attitudes – what an organisation believes in and how the workforce behave and think
  • the laws that can change things and make fair work happen

Work that will support this:

  • set up senior leadership networks to support understanding of racism and racial inequality
  • develop an intersectional and anti-racist training framework

Intersectional means we have looked at:

  • how policies and laws affect people and their identities
  • how someone could be treated unfairly because of their identity

An identity is how you see yourself.

For example, a disabled woman who is a Muslim might be treated unfairly because of her religion, her disability and because she is a woman.

Equality law is reserved to the UK Government.

This means the Scottish Government does not have the power to change equality law.

We will use Scottish Government powers to support this strategy and to do the work in our Fair Work action plan including:

  • changing Fair Work First rules
  • asking for the Scottish Parliament to have employment powers so Fair Work is supported

The new Human Rights Bill will strengthen the law that protects people who are from racialised minorities.

The action plan will include work to make sure:

  • the number of people getting and keeping jobs in an organisation reflects the mix of people in that area
  • more employers are doing more to stop people from being treated unfairly because they are:
    • from a racialised minority
    • disabled
    • a woman
    • or are a combination of these
  • more employers have safe, diverse and inclusive workplaces
  • more employers are checking that work policies treat everyone fairly
  • more employers are doing more to stop the disadvantages experienced by people with more than one protected characteristic

You can find out more about protected characteristics in this Easy Read document.

The work from this strategy and the new Fair Work Action Plan will be checked and reports made about how well work is going.



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