Carers (Scotland) Act 2016: equality impact assessment

Updated equality impact assessment (EQIA) conducted for the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.


Key Findings

Protected characteristic

Available evidence gathered


  • The age group where someone is most likely to be a carer is 50-64 years old [7] .
  • Those aged 65 and over are most likely to provide more intensive care (35+ hours per week) with over half of these carers doing so [8] .
  • Poor carer health and wellbeing is concerning for both the carer and the cared-for person. It can result in greater use of health and care services, particularly older people, for example: through admission and delayed discharge at hospital; referral to a day hospital or other unit; and admission to institutional care. [9]
  • It is estimated there are 44,000 young carers aged 4-17. [10]
  • It is estimated there are 29,000 young carers aged under 16 [11] .


  • 41% of carers have a long-term health condition. [12]
  • 16% were deaf or had partial hearing loss; 16% had a physical disability; 11% had a mental health condition; and 44% had another condition not listed. [13]
  • Nearly 6% of carers report having a long-term mental health condition compared with 4% of non-carers [14] .
  • The percentage of carers with one or more long-term health condition increases with the number of hours caring – from 36% of those caring for 1-19 hours to 50% of those caring for 35+ hours. [15]


  • For carers aged 16 and over, 59% are women and 41% are men.
  • Women are more likely to be carers than men until retirement age when equally 19% of both women and men are providing care. In the oldest age group (75+) more men than women (12% and 9% respectively) provide care.
  • 62% of male carers providing care of 35+ hours a week are aged 25-64. This compares with 69% of women carers.


  • Research published in 2007 by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Intersex ( LGBTI) Centre for Health and Wellbeing [16] reported that 0.8% of respondents from Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Borders provided full-time caring.
  • Some LGBTI parents/carers felt that reporting incidents affecting them would 'out' their children in the neighbourhood and make their children a target for bullying or harassment.
  • The LGBT Youth Scotland written response to the Carers (Scotland) Bill consultation [17] provided further evidence of issues affecting LGBT carers:
  • o Many LGBT carers or the LGBT people they are caring for may have reduced social networks due to a lack of acceptance of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can result in accessing less support than other carers.
  • o Many LGBT people fear potentially experiencing homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from services or have previous experience of discrimination from a service.
  • o There is often a lack of visibility of LGBT identities within services which are necessary to counter LGBT people's expectations of discrimination, or a lack of confidence that service services are able to meet their needs.


  • The Pakistani community who make up 0.9% of Scotland's population is the largest BME group. This is followed by the Chinese community with 0.6% and then by the Indian community with 0.6%. The Gypsy/Traveller population account for 0.1% of the total population. [18]
  • 96% of carers are of a "White Scottish / British / Irish" ethnicity, while 4% are of "Other" ethnic backgrounds. [19]
  • 8.7% of the Pakistani population in Scotland provide some form of unpaid caring. This compares with 4.3% of the Chinese and 5.5% of the Indian communities.
  • People from older ethnic groups such as "White: Scottish" and "White: Other British" were the most likely to provide unpaid care. People from ethnic groups with younger age profiles, such as the "Arab" and "White: Polish" groups, were least likely to provide unpaid care. [20]
  • There is 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. [21]


No data is available about adult carers or young carers under this protected characteristic grouping.


No data is available about adult carers or young carers under this protected characteristic grouping.


No data is available about adult carers or young carers under this protected characteristic grouping.


No data is available about adult carers or young carers under this protected characteristic grouping.


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