Data collection and publication - disability: guidance

Guidance for public bodies on the collection of data on disability.


The Equality Act 2010 (the 2010 Act)[1] protects people from discrimination because of disability. The legislation covers areas including education, employment, the provision of goods and services to the public and the exercise of public functions.

The 2010 Act also introduced a public sector equality duty[2], which came into force on 5 April 2011. The duty requires public authorities, including the Scottish Ministers, to give due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. The duty covers nine protected characteristics,[3] including disability.

In addition to the public sector equality duty, Scottish Ministers have the power to supplement the public sector equality duty by placing specific duties on certain Scottish public authorities, and have done so by means of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 20124].

It is recommended that all public authorities follow good practice in gathering and using relevant evidence and information. Disability statistics are important for monitoring discrimination and inequality. Good quality disability data will help with understanding the issues faced by disabled people, allowing for intersectional analysis with other socio-demographic characteristics, including those protected by the 2010 Act. The information may also be used to inform policy formulation and service delivery.



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