Carers Legislation - Consultation on Proposals

A consultation on proposed legislative measures to further support carers and young carers in Scotland.

Annex E

Partial Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA)

Carers Legislation

January 2014

Carers Legislation - Partial Equality Impact Assessment


1. The public sector equality duty requires the Scottish Government to assess the impact of applying a proposed new or revised policy or practice. It is a legislative requirement. More importantly, however, at the end of most policies there are people. People are not all the same and policies should reflect that different people have different needs. Equality legislation covers the characteristics of: age, disability, gender reassignment, sex, pregnancy and maternity, gender including pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation.

2. An equality impact assessment (EQIA) aims to consider how a policy for example, activities, functions, strategies, programmes and services or processes, may impact, either positively or negatively, on different sectors of the population in different ways.

3. This partial EQIA lists some of the data that we have on the protected characteristics of carers, young carers and the people they care for. The responses to this consultation will help us to develop a full EQIA which will be published with the resulting Bill as it's introduced to Parliament.

4. In order to ascertain stakeholder views on the equality impact of the legislative proposals, a specific equality question is contained in the consultation's Respondent Information Form. It is:

In relation to the Equality Impact Assessment, please tell us about any potential impacts, positive or negative; you feel the legislative proposals in this consultation document may have on particular groups of people.

Summary of demographics of carers

5. The following is an overview of existing data. This identifies some of the current evidence is available relating to particular population groups and population groups where there are gaps in evidence. The full EQIA will include, where available, further data and the likely impacts, both positive and negative, of the proposed legislation.

6. A large proportion of the data below is contained in the Scottish Government's publication Caring in Scotland: Analysis of Existing Data Sources on Unpaid Carers in Scotland.[55] The data contained within this document refers to the 2001 Census. It is expected that the full EQIA will reflect more data from the 2011 Census and other data that may emerge during this time.

7. This list is not definitive and, during the consultation period, more data may become apparent. Also, some of the data identified in this partial EQIA may turn out not to be relevant.

8. This list and links to other data have been produced to aid respondents to the consultation to consider the potential impact of its proposals on specific population groups.

Population Groups Demographics
  • the Scottish Health Survey for 2007/2008[56] shows that most carers are from the middle to eldest age groups in society. The youngest in society (0-18 years) make up the smallest group of carers, accounting for 6% of all carers.
  • the largest proportion of carers who look after someone who doesn't live with them come from the 40-69 age groups.
  • the number of respite weeks provided to Older Adults (65+) has increased from 85,270 in 2006/07 to 109,570 in 2010/11.[57] For adults aged 18-64 the number has risen from 55,770 in 2006/07 to 77,640 in 2010/11. And, for young people (0 to 17), this has risen from 22,610 in 2006/07 to 24,040 in 2010/11.
  • the 65+ age group saw biggest increase in carers claiming the carers' allowance. The number of claimants increased from 4,730 in 2000 to 38,760 in 2008.
  • the 2001 Census data shows that around 12% of people who have a caring role report their own health as "not good". This increases to 18% of those carers providing over 20 hours of care per week.
  • a recent study shows that many people providing over 35 hours of caring each week do not receive practical support and some stop work or retire early to care. In some cases, this is because the services for the cared-for person are not sufficiently flexible to allow the carer to continue in work.[58]
  • the 2001 Census data indicated that around 11% of women were undertaking a caring role, compared to 8% of men.[59]
  • according to the 2001 census, 60% of carers in Scotland are female with 40% male.
  • male carers are likely to provide less care the younger they are with over 80% of male carers aged 15 or younger providing less than 19 hours of care per week. They are most likely to be in extremely intensive caring roles (50+ hours per week) when they are aged 85+.
  • female carers are likely to provide the least care when aged 16-34 and are most likely to provide extremely intensive caring (50+) hours when aged 15 or under.
  • over 60,000 female carers were claiming the carers allowance in 2008, compared to 30,000 male carers.
  • 63% of women, compared to 37% men provide care to someone not living with them.[60]
Sexual Orientation
  • a publication released in 2007, sampling Edinburgh and the Lothians, by the LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing reported that 0.8% of respondents were in a full-time caring role.[61]
Gender Reassignment
  • no data exists is readily available, but will be explored as part of the full EQIA.
  • the largest single BME group, according to the 2011, census, is the Pakistani community who make up 0.9% (49,000) of Scotland's population (5,295,000). This is followed by the Chinese community with 0.6% (34,000) and then by the Indian community with 0.6% (33,000).[62] The Gypsy/Traveller population account for 0.1% of the total population (4,000).
  • 8.7% of the Pakistani population in Scotland provide some form of unpaid caring. 6.3% of the Chinese and 7.7% of the Indian communities provide some form of unpaid caring.[63] This is compared to 9.6 of the White Scottish population.
  • Increasing evidence that Gypsy/Travellers experience significant health inequalities, high infant mortality rates, premature deaths and higher than average rates of major long-term conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[64]
Religion or Belief
  • no data exists is readily available, but will be explored as part of the full EQIA.
Pregnancy and Maternity
  • no data exists is readily available, but will be explored as part of the full EQIA.
Other - Deprivation
  • the biggest proportion of households with a carer (28%) are in the 20% most deprived data zones in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. The proportion of households with a carer then decreases steadily as deprivation decreases, so households in the 20% least deprived data zones in Scotland are also least likely to have carers (13%).[65]

Rationale and aims of policy

Purpose and intended effect

9. Carers, or unpaid carers as they are also known, are individuals who provide care to family members, partners, friends and neighbours of any age who are affected by physical or mental illness, disability, frailty or substance misuse. In many circumstances this will be in instances where the cared-for person has one or more conditions. This care provided by unpaid carers is estimated to save the health and social care services over £10 billion[66] every year in Scotland.

10. The Scottish Government is supporting unpaid carers and young carers through a range of policies under the Manifesto commitments of the Government and the national carers and young carers' strategies, Caring Together and Getting it Right for Young Carers. These policies are being supported with over £112 million of funding being directed into local authorities, Health Boards and the Third Sector to improve outcomes for unpaid carers, young carers and the people they care for.

11. However, despite these policies and investments the pace of improvement is not taking place quickly enough and unpaid carers and young carers across Scotland are experiencing differing levels of support. It is the aim of this carers' legislation to accelerate the pace of change in supporting carers and to bring a more consistent approach across all local authority and health board areas.


12. The objectives of the carers' legislation will be to:

  • improve carers' health and wellbeing;
  • sustain the caring role;
  • enable carers to have life alongside caring;
  • assist carers to remain in or return to work;
  • enable access to community support networks; and
  • prevent or delay hospital or residential carer admissions for cared-for persons.

How carers' legislation fits with Scottish Policy

13. The Scottish Government's purpose is to focus Government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.

14. In order to achieve this purpose, Scottish Ministers are committed to the outcomes based approach as set out in the National Performance Framework's 10 year vision. This is a single framework to which all public services in Scotland are aligned, encouraging more effective partnership working. It is a framework based on delivering outcomes that improve the quality of life for people in Scotland, rather than on inputs and outputs. The National Performance Framework includes:

  • 5 Strategic Objectives describing where the Scottish Government will focus its actions;
  • 16 National Outcomes describing what the Scottish Government wants to achieve and the kind of Scotland we want to see.

15. The proposed carers' legislation closely aligns with the Healthier and Wealthier & Fairer Strategic Objectives, but also cuts across the Smarter objective.

16. It also aligns closely with a number of the National Outcomes, including:

  • We live longer, healthier lives;
  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people;
  • We are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation;
  • Our young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens;
  • We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society;
  • We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk;
  • We take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity;
  • Our people are able to maintain their independence as they get older and are able to access appropriate support when they need it;
  • Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs.

Rationale for Government intervention

17. The Scottish Government, with partners, is making progress in supporting Scotland's carers and young carers. However, it is clear from research[67] and other resources that more can be done to improve support to carers and young carers.

18. The aforementioned policies, as well as other recent and forthcoming legislation, will benefit carers and young carers.

19. The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 will provide a power for local authorities to support carers and young carers when it is planned to come into force on 1 April 2014. This will allow local authorities to support carers and young carers at their discretion.

20. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill, subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, will benefit both young carers and carers of disabled children by improving the way they are supported by services. It will promote cooperative working between services with the child at the centre.

21. The Public Bodies (Joint Working) Scotland Bill aims, through the integration of health and social care services, to improve outcomes for service users and carers by providing a framework to support improvement in quality and consistency across health and social care services.

22. Notwithstanding the aforementioned developments, there is a role for legislation specific to carers and young carers. The proposals contained within the consultation document cover the continuum of the caring journey. They aim to accelerate the progress that has already been made, ensure greater consistency and support for carers and young carers and help to achieve better and sustained outcomes. It also expected that carers' legislation will inspire renewed debate and ambition for what Scotland's carers and young carers can expect.


23. The legislation will be developed in a collaborative way involving colleagues from across and outwith the Scottish Government.

Within Government

24. We are working with colleagues across the Scottish Government to develop this legislation. This includes, but is not restricted to, the following teams:

  • Children's Rights and Wellbeing
  • Integration and Reshaping Care
  • Colleges and Adult Learning - Funding and Policy
  • Directorate for Legal Services
  • Health Analytical Services
  • Health Finance
  • Higher Education and Learner Support
  • Mental Health and Protection of Rights
  • Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser
  • Primary Care and Support
  • Primary Medical Services
  • Allied Health Professionals Unit
  • Equalities Unit

Public Consultation

25. A formal consultation for the carers' legislation is scheduled to be held from January to April 2014 and will follow the standard 12 week consultation process.

26. We are planning to meet with a number of groups and organisations during this period, including but not restricted to:

  • Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW)
  • Association of Directors of Education (ADES)
  • Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
  • Carers and Young Carers Strategy Implementation and Monitoring Group
  • Carers Reference Group
  • Health Boards
  • Local Authorities
  • National Carers Organisations
  • Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
  • Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • Scottish Youth Parliament

Formal Consultation

27. The formal consultation will take place between January and April 2014. The consultation materials will be available on the Scottish Government's website and will be sent to a wide range of stakeholders. We will also use social media, most likely twitter, to provide updates.

Current work to address the needs of carers from specific population groups

28. The Carers and Young Carers strategies, Caring Together and Getting it Right for Young Carers[68] acknowledge the impact of caring on specific population groups, including BME and LGBT populations. The Getting it Right for Young Carers strategy includes a specific action to develop, in partnership with the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance, information, advice and support for LGBT Young Carers.

29. Following on from the Women's Employment Summit, held in September 2012, the Strategic Group on Women and Work was established, chaired by Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment, to provide strategic direction to the Scottish Government's work to improve women's position in the workplace, and provide updates to Parliament on progress. The Scottish Government's Occupational Segregation Cross-Directorate Working Group has also been re-convened to address the specific recommendations on occupational segregation made at the Summit and those included in Royal Society of Edinburgh's Tapping All Our Talents report. It reports directly to Ms Constance's Strategic Group. Its membership includes the Scottish Government's Carers Policy Branch ensuring that the issues surrounding unpaid carers, (60% of whom are female) accessing, or remaining in, employment are being considered.

30. The Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP) has produced a briefing on cultural competence.[69] This illustrates the importance of culturally competent approaches.

31. Short breaks for BME groups - The voluntary sector short breaks fund has been supported with £13 million of funding from 2010 to 2015. The Time to Live, Creative Breaks and Better Breaks fund has supported 542 carers and 327 cared-for individuals from BME communities. They have also provided support to 123 projects that benefit BME carers and the people they care for.

Who needs to be consulted?

32. Through the consultation process a range of stakeholders will be consulted on the proposals for carers' legislation. These will include carers, young carers, cared-for individuals, local authorities, Health Boards, the Third Sector and relevant businesses. This consultation will include analysis of the impact on the population groupings detailed in the table on pages 3, 4 & 5 of this document.

Declaration and publication

I am satisfied with the partial equality impact assessment that has been undertaken and give my authorisation for the results of this assessment to be published on the Scottish Government's website.

Signed: Michael Matheson MSP

Date: 16 January 2014

Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health

Scottish Government Contact point:


Email: Alun Ellis

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