What is the purpose of this consultation?
Ministers are clear that we need to accelerate the pace of change so that both adult carers and young carers are fully supported and achieve better outcomes as a result. There is a crucial role for new carers' legislation in raising the bar and providing further impetus to this important agenda.
This consultation paper provides an opportunity for you to offer your views on new legislation that will be introduced to enable the changes that Ministers propose.
Within this consultation we have sought to describe the proposed new legislation in enough context to help inform your answers to the questions we have asked. Nevertheless, this consultation does not - indeed, could not - provide a comprehensive description of every aspect of policy development and practical implementation that will underpin change. Moreover, the fact that both the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill and the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill - which are very relevant to supporting carers and young carers - are before the Scottish Parliament provides further context.
Should the legislation proposed in this consultation pass through the Scottish Parliament the Scottish Government will, with input from a wide range of stakeholders, develop statutory guidance to support the changes that will be enabled by the new legislation set out here. The guidance will provide further important detail to the provisions in the new carers' legislation.
Who should respond to this consultation?
Most of us will either have been a carer at some time in the past, are now a carer or will be a carer in the future. Some of us have been young carers or some young people are now young carers. Some people speak about looking after others without realising that they are describing a caring situation. A wide range of professionals across health, social care, education, housing, sport and leisure and beyond will support carers and young carers. We therefore expect that this consultation will be of interest to a wide range of people, including carers, young carers, cared-for people, and professionals, Directors and Chief Executives across the sectors.
Equality Impact Assessment
The public sector equalities duties require the Scottish Government to pay 'due regard' to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, victimisation, harassment or other unlawful conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010;
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
- foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic.
These three requirements apply across the 'protected characteristics' of age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; and sexual orientation.
In effect, this means that equality considerations are integrated into all functions and
policies of Scottish Government Directorates and Agencies.
A key part of these duties is to assess the impact of all of our policies to ensure that we do not inadvertently create a negative impact for equality groups, and also to ensure that we actively seek the opportunity to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations.
We have developed a partial Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA), attached at Annex E. We welcome your feedback regarding the equalities impact of the proposals presented in this paper, and the effect it may have on different sectors of the population.
Business Regulatory Impact Assessment
The Scottish Government is committed to consulting with all parties potentially affected by proposals for new legislation, or where any regulation is being changed significantly.
All policy changes, whether European or domestic, which may have an impact upon business or the Third Sector should be accompanied by a Business Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).
The BRIA helps policy makers to use available evidence to find proposals that best achieve the policy objectives, whilst minimising costs and burdens. Through consultation and engagement with business, the costs and benefits of the proposed legislation can be analysed. It also ensures that any impact on business, particularly small enterprises, is fully considered before regulations are made.
A partial BRIA is attached at Annex F. We welcome your views regarding the impact that the proposals presented in this paper may have on businesses, and your comments and feedback on the partial BRIA.
Responses to this consultation
We look forward to receiving your response to this consultation. Please send it to:
Carers Branch (Consultation)
Adult Care and Support Division
Directorate for Chief Nursing Officer, Patients, Public and Health Professions
Director-General Health and Social Care
The Scottish Government
2ER, St Andrew's House
By: 16 April 2014
Email: Alun Ellis