Equality outcomes and mainstreaming report 2017

Update on Scottish Government's progress incorporating equality across its activities and delivering equality outcomes set in April 2013.

2.3 Setting Equality Outcomes for 2017-2021

2.3.1 Process

Developing new outcomes

Ministers have placed equality of opportunity at the heart of their Programme for Government, which focuses on the themes of: an education system providing opportunities for all; an economy with more jobs and fair work; public services fit for the future, and empowering people and communities through strengthened local democracy. Our equality outcomes for 2017 - 21 sit within this commitment.

When developing draft equality outcomes, we:

  • reviewed and built on work already undertaken - the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, the Race Equality Framework, the Disability Delivery Plan, the Labour Market Strategy, Equally Safe and other initiatives
  • considered our current equality outcomes (2013-2017) and how they can shape our next set of outcomes, including whether they continue and any lessons learned
  • considered the relevant equality evidence and data
  • had a series of meetings with equality organisations, including involving Ms Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities
  • published draft outcomes on our website to enable comments from a wider range of stakeholders

When developing the draft outcomes we have adhered to the following principles:

  • Scottish Government's equality outcomes must reflect the Government's functions - we should not set outcomes that are for local authorities or other partners to deliver; and
  • our outcomes should be measurable

The themes of the outcomes arose from our discussions with equality stakeholders and reflect their deep understanding of the challenges facing their communities and the injustices they experience. We are very grateful to the many organisations which have participated in this process, and while it has not been feasible to include all of their requests, we hope that they will be able to see the impact of their contributions.

This suite of equality outcomes for 2017 - 21 will ensure a strong focus on the areas covered. They are not, however, all that the Scottish Government is doing to achieve equality of opportunity, eradicate unlawful discrimination and promote good relations between people with different protected characteristics and none. The development of policy and legislation will continue to be assessed for its equality impact and our equality stakeholders will continue to hold us robustly to account. We welcome their scrutiny and challenge, as it drives us to continue to improve and to progress towards our shared goal of a truly equal Scotland.

A robust equality evidence base will be crucial to the measurement of the Scottish Government's new set of equality outcomes.

The Scottish Government values equality evidence and analysis and makes this available on its Equality Evidence Finder web resource. It will soon publish a new Equality Evidence Strategy, which will set out how it intends to strengthen Scotland's equality evidence base over the next four years. Some of the evidence will be filled by Scottish Government analysts through further development or analysis of existing surveys but other gaps will require close working with our partners across all sectors to identify data sources, methods or approaches to improve our understanding.

Progressing the evidence strategy will facilitate an improved equality evidence base, enabling national and local policy makers to develop sound policy and measure the impact of this on all of Scotland's equality groups. A stronger equality evidence base will allow for improved measurement of progress towards equality outcomes, better informed decisions and more inclusive policy making, helping to create a Scotland that is fairer for all its people.

2.3.2 New Equality Outcomes

Our suite of equality outcomes for 2017 - 21 cover the following themes:

  • Children Affected by Domestic Abuse and the Justice System
  • Participation in Decision Making (Ministerial Public Appointments)
  • Employment (both as an employer and as a policy maker)
  • Mental Health
  • School Education
  • Violence Against Women and Girls
  • Social Security
  • Hate Crime

Theme: Children Affected by Domestic Abuse and the Justice System

Outcome: We will ensure that children affected by domestic abuse are increasingly recognised and supported in the justice system by 2021

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

Feedback from children and their representative organisations on improved capacity and provision in term of advice and support. Measurement will be identified as part of the development of the work programmes outlined below.

Associated work-streams:

Actions in the Equally Safe Draft Delivery Plan include:

  • Ensuring that children's interests are better reflected in the justice system and that their voice is heard
  • Consider the application of lessons from various international examples of the "Barnahus‟ concept for child victims and how these could potentially apply within the Scottish context
  • Improve the experience of vulnerable witnesses, including child complainers and vulnerable adult witnesses through the greater use of pre-recorded evidence
  • Consider the findings from the National Advocacy Scoping Exercise commissioned to help understand the provision of services in this area with the aim to determine where the provision of services could be extended and improved
  • Develop the Scottish Women's Rights Centre as a model for legal services, consider the need for victims of gender based violence and continue to work with stakeholders to ascertain the most appropriate model of support for women, children and young people experiencing violence

Through the Domestic Abuse Bill, we will:

  • Ensure the Bill effectively acknowledges the impact that domestic abuse can have on children through the operation of a statutory aggravation to the new offence of domestic abuse.


Equally Safe

Equally Safe, Scotland's Strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls, was published in 2014 and updated in 2016. It sets out a vision of a strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and protected, and where women and girls live free from all forms of violence and abuse - and the attitudes that help perpetuate them. The definition of violence against women and girls we have adopted explicitly includes children of all genders as subject to harm through violence. This plan aims to improve the lives and experiences of all children affected by violence and the ways of thinking that maintain it.

Work on Equally Safe has been taken forward in a number of thematic workstreams. The members of the different Workstream groups are drawn from a wide range of partners with a wealth of experience and informed by the experience of women, girls, children and young people who have been subject to violence or abuse.

The Justice workstream has been led by the Scottish Government Justice Directorate. It has focused on developing a victim-centered approach to the justice system through a coordinated approach within both the civil and criminal justice systems. The profile of the violence against women and children agenda within the justice system has never been more prominent and the Justice Expert Group established to take this forward have sought to harness this momentum and continue to work through the existing issues that remain within the justice system, despite significant progress in recent years.

Domestic Abuse Bill

The Domestic Abuse Bill, introduced to the Scottish Parliament in March will bring clarity for victims so they can see explicitly that what their partner or ex-partner has done to them is wrong and perpetrators will see what they are doing is criminal and unacceptable behaviour. The offence will improve the powers of the police, prosecutors and our courts to hold perpetrators to account in specific cases.

During consultation on the specific draft offence a number of respondents raised concerns that the offence as drafted did not recognise that children are victims of domestic abuse committed against their parents/carers.

The aggravation was developed in response to the comments received during the consultation, as a means of acknowledging through the criminal law the impact that domestic abuse can have on children, and ensures that the fact that a perpetrator involved or directed behaviour at a child in committing the offence is formally recorded and that there is transparency as to what account has been taken of this in sentencing. Scottish Government officials met with a number of stakeholders who raised the issue of how the offence deals with the impact of domestic abuse on children to help inform development of the aggravation.

Theme: Participation in decision making

Outcome: Ministerial public appointments are more diverse reflecting broadly the general population by 2021

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Race; Sex; Disability; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

Diversity analysis of public appointments applicant cohort is published annually by Scottish Government and included in the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland's annual report. Diversity analysis of public appointees cohort is published annually in the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland's annual report.

Associated work-streams:

The Public Appointments Improvement Programme, which is supported by a dedicated Public Appointments Improvement and Outreach Manager, is designed to deliver diversity in regulated Ministerial public appointments. Work currently planned in that programme includes:

  • Identifying and engaging key partners / umbrella bodies in promoting and enabling participation of underrepresented groups, including identifying real and perceived barriers to participation and raising awareness of public appointments as a way to participate in public life in Scotland
  • A focus during 2017/18 on working with disabled applicants and applicants under the age of 49
  • The continued delivery of our effective outreach programme, reaching out to the broadest range of potential applicants, and using role models so potential applicants can see themselves in the boardroom
  • Work with existing Chairs and members to make sure they are diversity confident, and a focus on developing the Chair pipeline
  • A research project, delivered in partnership with the Commissioner's office, to establish a solid evidence base for the benefits of diversity on public boards

Delivery of this outcome is also supported by the work of the SG Public Bodies Unit in supporting and developing board capacity including succession planning, induction and appraisal.


Equality and diversity are key to Scotland's success. As a nation that prides itself on fairness, we seek to create equal opportunities for all regardless of gender, disability, ethnic background, age, religion/belief or sexual orientation. Public authorities, including the Scottish Government, make decisions that affect the lives of people in Scotland and therefore it is particularly important that the people in leadership roles in our society reflect the diversity of our population.

In the context of the boardroom, where the Scottish Government can influence diversity, this means creating a culture and environment that enables us to harness the talents of everyone, enabling and promoting the participation in public and corporate life of people from under-represented groups. Public bodies make decisions which are of relevance and importance to communities across Scotland and are responsible for spending over £14bn of public money, therefore it is important that those serving on their boards come from the widest of backgrounds if those bodies are to have rounded and informed input and credibility across Scotland.

There's also compelling evidence that having greater diversity of thinking and talent in the boardroom leads to better performance, encouraging new and innovative thinking, maximising use of talent and leading to better business decisions and governance. Increasing the talent pool available and supporting such participation leads to the creation of strengthened boards that are better able to understand consumer and community needs and deliver improved corporate governance. For our public bodies, this ultimately means improved public services that are high quality and value for money.

The Chairs of these bodies have a key leadership role in delivering effective and value for money public services. They also have an important role to play in tackling the inequalities that currently exist in Scottish society by increasing the diversity of their public bodies - not only in the boardroom but throughout the organisation.

Appointment is on merit but under-representation of a range of groups at member and Chair level makes it likely that talent is being lost or under-utilised. This is also the case in other leadership roles but the focus for our own Equality Outcome must be in the area where we can take direct action: Ministerial public appointments.

The Scottish Government Public Appointments Team has the lead to drive this forward, working from the following baseline:

Demographic profile of applicants

For the year to 31 December 2016:

43% of our applicants and 59% of appointees were women.

27% of our applicants were under 50, and 31% of appointees were under 50.

9.8% of our applicants and 10.1% of our appointees were disabled people.

5.5% of applicants came from a minority ethnic background, with 1% being appointed.

4.4% of applicants were gay, lesbian or bisexual, with 7.1% appointed.

Over 47% of applicants were Christian, with 4.7% having another religion or belief.

Demographic profile of board membership

At December 2015:

Target Group Profile of board members at the end of 2015 † Scottish Population (2011 Census)
Female 42.0% 51.5%
Disabled 11.8% 19.6%
Black and minority ethnic 3.5% 4.0%
Aged 49 and under 17.6% 54.3%
Lesbian, gay and bisexual 3.0% 6.0%

† All board members inclusive of the chair unless otherwise stated. Percentages do not include those who did not make a declaration.
* Scottish Population aged 18 to 49 as a percentage of the whole population aged 18 and over.
** Estimated based on information from Stonewall Scotland website
At February 2017, 24.1% of Chair appointments are held by women.

Theme: Employment

Outcome: Employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers are reduced. Employment opportunities for women and ethnic minorities are increased and progress made towards reducing, by at least half, the employment gap between disabled people and the rest of the working age population.

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Race; Sex; Disability

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

  • To be determined. A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People commits the Scottish Government to consult interested parties around the target.
  • Under the Public Sector Equality Duty, data is published by public authorities on gender, disability and race pay gaps and occupational segregation. First reports published at the end of April 2017.
  • Labour market data.

Associated work-streams:

Actions in A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People include:

  • Disabled people are 20% of the population, but make up only 11.2% of the private sector workforce and 11.6% of the public sector workforce. We will consult with DPOs and public sector bodies around setting targets to redress this imbalance.
  • Pilot a work experience scheme specifically for young disabled people
  • Explore opportunities to promote the Project Search model
  • Actively promote the Department for Work and Pensions' Access to Work scheme to employers and disabled people to ensure a higher uptake and use of the scheme in Scotland.
  • Explore innovative ways of integrating health, disability and employment support in Scotland
  • Improve the employment prospects of disabled people, through newly devolved Scottish employability programmes.
  • Disabled young people will be supported through the Developing the Young Workforce Scotland's Youth Employment Strategy.
  • Remove the barriers that have previously prevented young disabled people entering Modern Apprenticeships ( MA), through the implementation of The Equalities Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland.
  • Provide young disabled people with the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding
  • Publish information on equal pay policy and occupational segregation for disabled people
  • Deliver a disability internship programme
  • A two-year NHS internship programme for disabled graduates will be delivered
  • A Learning Disability Employment Programme will be delivered
  • The Scottish Business Pledge and other employer networks will be used to raise awareness
  • Continue to promote the Supported Employment framework
  • Backing supported businesses to increase their sustainability
  • Publish a ten-year Social Enterprise Strategy
  • Stimulate more inclusive pre-start activity for social enterprise
  • Provide funding during the current parliamentary session to enable more disabled people to volunteer
  • The Carer Positive scheme complements the Fair Work agenda
  • We will hold a major congress on Disability, Employment and the Workplace (planning to start during 2017)

Through the Race Equality Framework and associated commitments, we will:

  • Publish a Race Equality Action Plan in Summer 2017
  • Launch a Workplace Equality Fund, with a particular focus on race and disability
  • Provide specific support to ethnic minority led Social Enterprises
  • Hold an Ethnic Minority Employment Summit
  • Respond to the Fair Work Convention Framework and its recommendations, and address the issues raised in the engagement process of the development of the Race Equality Framework including recruitment, retention, career progression, occupational segregation and in work poverty
  • Review current approaches to supporting in-work training, including Individual Learning Accounts
  • Work with key stakeholders to promote greater diversity during our expansion of the early learning and childcare workforce
  • Work with Skills Development Scotland ( SDS) in their delivery of the Equality Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland, to ensure that the number of individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds who are apprentices increases to equal the population share by 2021.
  • Develop a long-term 2020 vision for our contracted employment programme, using feedback from race equality stakeholders to continue to examine the inclusion of ESOL provision, work experience and mock interviews for minority ethnic clients
  • Include measures to improve access to high quality advanced, vocational and conversational ESOL provision, linked to both employability schemes and with employers
  • Work with partner organisations through the Refugee Integration Forum and New Scots working groups to explore what more we can do on the recognition of overseas qualifications including commissioning a short project to review and update the recommendations of the 2010 'Scoping Study on Support Mechanisms for the Recognition of Skills, Learning and Qualifications of Migrant Workers and Refugees'
  • Work to ensure that by 2025 the Scottish Government's own workforce reflects the minority ethnic population in Scotland at every level
  • With partners, consider scoping a programme of work around improvements in workplace equality practice which might include:
    • Work to better understand the issues around the reasons for appointment deficit at interview
    • The use of equality impact assessment of HR practice and policy including around progression and retention
    • Best practice in positive action

To support the entry and progression of women in employment, we will:

  • Legislate for gender balance on public sector boards by the end of this parliamentary year
  • Increasing the number of employers paying the real Living Wage which will be of particular benefit to women who dominate low paid, part-time work,
  • Continue to champion our Partnership for Change 50/50 by 2020 campaign, encouraging organisations and businesses from the private, third, and public sectors, to make a voluntary commitment to work towards gender balance on their boards by 2020,
  • Encourage businesses to sign-up to the Scottish Business Pledge, a mutual pledge between business and government to ensure that prosperity, innovation, fairness and opportunity develop hand in hand in Scotland,
  • Provide funding to 'Close the Gap' in 2017-18, to encourage and enable action to address the gender pay gap. This includes encouraging stakeholders to go through the Think Business, Think Equality toolkit, an online self-assessment tool for small and medium businesses who want to find out how their business can benefit from improved gender diversity.
  • Work with the EHRC to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination. The Minister for Employability and Training is chairing a working group whose remit includes creating guidelines for employers to ensure best practice, as well as improving access to guidance for pregnant women and new mothers.
  • Fund the Family Friendly Working Scotland Partnership to support and promote the development of family friendly workplaces across Scotland and to encourage employers and employees in Scotland to take advantage of Shared Parental Leave
  • To work to remove the barriers to women's participation in the workforce.
  • Expand our 'Returners' projects so that women can get help updating skills and knowledge and employers can retain skilled staff after a career break.

To support those young people furthest from the labour market and to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021 we will:

  • Continue to build on progress already being made and bridge the gap between education and industry, to produce more work-ready young people and promote the value of work-relevant learning through the implementation of our youth employment strategy, Developing the Young Workforce.
  • For young people who have been in care, we will provide over £1 million to fund the pilot of a new employability programme delivered by a third sector consortium, (Prince's Trust; Action for Children; Barnardo's) to help them to progress onto work, training or educational opportunities.
  • Undertake a review of the learner journey for 15-24 year olds to ensure that young people can achieve the best qualifications and outcomes.
  • Deliver 30,000 new Modern Apprenticeships a year by 2020.
  • Invest £6.1 million in Community Jobs Scotland ( CJS) in 2017/18 to create 700 more training opportunities with support for up to 12 months for 16-29 year olds facing the greatest barriers to employment and continuation of support for CJS employers to pay the Living Wage.
  • Continue in 2017/18 to support employers to recruit young people who face the biggest barriers to employment, through Scotland's Employer Recruitment Incentive ( SERI).
  • Continue in 2017/18 to fund local authorities and partners to deliver the 'Opportunities for All' commitment to support 16-19 year olds, furthest from the labour market, to take up appropriate offers of a place in learning or training to get the skills needed to get a job and investing up to £7.4 million in improving post-16 transitions to employment, Activity Agreements and Inspiring Scotland 14-19 Fund.

In the Fairer Scotland Action Plan, we are committed to supporting those who want to work past pension age:

  • We will ensure that older workers' needs are considered in the development of new employment services, which will be devolved to Scotland from April 2017. Particular support requirements might include retraining and confidence building, as well as increased support for flexible working. All programmes will be fully person-centred, with support plans being tailored to individual needs
  • We will undertake research which follows on from initial research published in June 2016. This showed more can be done to support those older people who are already working or who want to work but find it difficult to do so. The second stage of research will be undertaken with older people themselves. This will explore the key issues and concerns of older people who work or actively seek employment, aiming to identify interventions to help reduce the barriers they face.


A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People has an ambition around decent incomes and fairer working lives. It sets out actions (as above) to contribute to a country where:

  • Disabled people are able to participate fully in education and paid employment enabling their talent and abilities to enrich Scotland
  • Disabled people are supported through transitions in their lives e.g. from school to work.
  • Poverty is addressed for disabled people and their families and Scotland's social security system is built on the principles of fairness, dignity and respect.

This approach reflects the principles set out by the Fair Work Convention in their Framework and supports the ambitions of Scotland's Labour Market Strategy. In the Scotland we want:

  • Disabled people are visible and participating within communities, learning and education, volunteering and employment.
  • Equal opportunities for disabled people in education and employment.
  • Greater understanding and a positive attitude amongst employers and educators to disabled people
  • Improved awareness and understanding of discrimination, prejudice and barriers faced by disabled people including the physical environment, stigma and negative attitudes.
  • Benefits delivered in a way that is rights-based and helps meet the additional living and mobility costs of disabled people and treats them with dignity and respect throughout the process.

The Race Equality Framework sets out a vision for 2030 on employability, employment and income, that:

"Minority ethnic people have equal, fair and proportionate access to employment and representation at all levels, grades and occupation types in Scotland's workforce and experience fewer labour market, workplace and income inequalities."

It continues to say that outcomes for minority ethnic people in accessing the labour market, experiences within the workplace and issues around poverty and income are closely interlinked. Across these areas, both quantitative and qualitative evidence suggests that further action is needed to remove barriers, tackle discrimination and promote equality.

The key goals are:

  • Identify and promote practice that works in reducing employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers for minority ethnic people, including in career paths, recruitment, progression and retention
  • Ensure robust policy responses that support race equality in relation to income and poverty
  • Ensure access to appropriate early learning and childcare for minority ethnic families
  • Reduce barriers and provide support for minority ethnic people who are new to the labour market, including school leavers and new migrants
  • Minority ethnic entrepreneurs and business owners have equal access to business and enterprise support
  • Scotland's public sector workforce is representative of its communities

Key statistics

Key labour market indicators for Equality groups are shown in Table 1 below. Key points are:

Disabled People: The employment rate for Equality Act Disabled was 41.9%, down 2.9 percentage points over the year. This compares with 81.7% for Not Equality Act Disabled up 0.5 percentage points over the year. The gap in the employment rate between those Equality Act Disabled and Not Equality Act Disabled is 39.8 percentage points. (Source: Labour Force Survey Oct to Dec 2016)

Minority Ethnic People: In 2016 the employment rate for Minority ethnic people decreased by 1.3 percentage points over the year to 57.6%. Lower than the employment rate for all (72.9%), down 0.2 percentage points over the year.

Older people: In 2016 the employment rate, for those aged 50 to 64 years 68.8% (increasing by 0.2 percentage points over the year) and for those aged 64 and over 9.1% (increasing by 0.8 percentage points over the year), are below the employment rate for Scotland as a whole 72.9%.

Young people: Scotland outperforms the UK on youth employment, unemployment and inactivity rates. Scotland's youth unemployment level has halved over the last year to 32,000. The youth unemployment rate (8.9%) is the 3rd lowest rate in the EU. (Source: Labour Force Survey Dec to Feb 2017)

Women: Latest data for Dec-Feb 2016 show that Scotland exceeds the UK for Women's employment and inactivity. The difference between male and female employment rates in Scotland has decreased from 11.7 to 6.8 percentage points (Dec-Feb 2007 compared to Dec-Feb 2017). The gender employment gap in the UK decreased over this period (from 12.4 p.p. to 9.4 p.p.). (Source Labour Force Survey Dec-Feb 2017, seasonally adjusted, ONS)

The gender pay gap in Scotland based on full-time hourly earnings (excluding overtime) has decreased from 7.7% in 2015 to 6.2% in 2016 and in the UK it has decreased from 9.6% to 9.4%.(Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016, ONS)

Table 1: Headline Labour Market Indicators by equality groups; Scotland and UK

Table 1: Headline Labour Market Indicators by equality groups; Scotland and UK

1. Labour Force Survey Dec-Feb 2017, seasonally adjusted, ONS
2. Annual Population Survey, Jan 2016 to Dec 2016, 16-64 year olds, ONS
3. Labour Force Survey, Oct-Dec 2016, not seasonally adjusted, 16-64 year olds, ONS
4. Annual Population Survey, Jan 2016 to Dec 2016

Theme: Mental Health

Outcome: Over the 10 years of the Mental Health Strategy, we will work on achieving parity between mental and physical health

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Gender Reassignment; Race; Sex; Disability; Pregnancy & Maternity; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

To achieve the outcome, we must see, and be able to measure, the following for mental health compared to physical health:

1. Equal access to the most effective and safest care and treatment.
2. Equal efforts to improve the quality of care.
3. The allocation of time, effort and resources on a basis commensurate with need.
4. Equal status within healthcare education and practice.
5. Equally high aspirations for service users.
6. Equal status in the measurement of health outcomes.

The Scottish Government will develop a mental health strategy data framework. The aims are to have data that is useful to planners of services, clinicians, and people developing policy, and to cut back on the collection of data that is under-used or not fit for purpose.

Associated work-streams:

The Strategy contains 40 specific actions. Each action is intended to tackle a specific issue and, in this way, the Strategy will make a positive and meaningful difference to people with mental health issues, including those across the protected characteristics, and will contribute towards the improvement of their overall health and wellbeing. Actions laid out in the Strategy cover the first 3-4 years. Other priorities will emerge through time.


The scale of the challenge to achieve parity between mental and physical health is considerable:

  • Only 1 in 3 people who would benefit from treatment for a mental illness currently receive it, on current estimates
  • People with life-long mental illness are likely to die 15-20 years prematurely because of physical ill-health
  • People with a mental health problem are more likely than others to wait longer than 4 hours in an Emergency Department

Equality affects every part of the Mental Health Strategy. The Strategy states that "inequality related to disabilities, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and background can all affect mental wellbeing and incidence of mental illness."

The Strategy contains a broad range of initiatives and acts as a framework for the development of national and local action. It is not one sole policy. It has a 10 year timeframe and a broad range in regards to the people it affects, all ages, all conditions, from mental wellbeing to severe and enduring mental illness, in all settings and across the country, affecting all of the population. Just as we all have physical health, we all have mental health.

The overarching concern of the Strategy has been to address the poorer outcomes experienced by people with a mental health condition, with specific actions targeted where we are aware of evidence of those poorer outcomes and of evidence of the effectiveness of possible action to improve those outcomes. For example:

  • People with a severe and enduring mental illness may die 15 to 20 years prematurely than they might otherwise do from co-occurring but treatable physical health problems and addictions. This is a massive inequality.
  • Smoking can be an issue that significantly contributes to premature mortality. We wish to take action to reduce smoking rates.
  • People with a mental health problem are more likely than others to wait longer in an Emergency Department for more than 4 hours. This is another inequality that the Strategy looks to address.
  • Evidence shows that adults with learning disabilities have higher rates of mental ill-health than any other group in the population. The Strategy looks to ensure that services for this population are accessible.

We also want to target action at some early intervention activities where evidence indicates that stepping in promptly and early may help to prevent the development of later mental ill-health. As well as a continued focus on bringing down waiting times for access to specialist mental health services, we are also seeking to support the development of better knowledge of evidence-based interventions that can help children and young people's mental health.

Many of the determinants of poor physical health are also the determinants of poor mental health, and so measures to tackle these will help support improved mental health. In particular, evidence shows that measures to tackle poverty are also very likely to address poor mental health. The success of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan is therefore crucial to good mental health for Scotland's population.

Our Equality Impact Assessment for the Strategy considers further evidence: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/03/9309/1

Theme: School Education

Outcome: Within the longer-term outcome that every child and young person should thrive and have the best opportunity to succeed regardless of their social circumstances or additional needs, there will be progress by 2021 in the educational experience of those for which evidence indicates their success is impacted negatively due to a protected characteristic

Protected Characteristics impacted: Gender Reassignment; Race; Sex; Disability; Pregnancy & Maternity; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

  • Annual statistical analysis: Attainment; Leaver destination; pupil census
  • Bi annual statistical analysis: Attendance; Exclusions
  • Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research analysis
  • The Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Levels statistics (currently experimental statistics [22] )
  • On-going engagement with respect me (national antibullying service in Scotland, core funded by the Scottish Government) and their progress towards goals in supporting capacity building inn preventing and dealing with bullying, including across protected characteristics
  • On-going engagement with stakeholders representing disadvantaged groups, particularly priority groups, for example Scottish Traveller Education Programme which is part-funded by the SG
  • On-going engagement with Education Scotland to measure and analyse data and trends and support delivery of advice, information and resources to support improvements in delivery of education, including against the new HGIOS 4 Quality Indicator 'Ensuring Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusion'
  • When measuring progress towards the equality outcome it is important that educational attainment is not considered in isolation. Attainment should be taken together with other measures in order to show educational experience in the widest sense.

Associated work-streams:

The 2017 National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan for Scottish Education - achieving excellence and equity which drives improvement for children and young people and addressed our key priorities, which are:

  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy;
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children;
  • Improvement in children and young people's health and wellbeing; and
  • Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school leaver destinations for all young people;

Developing the Young Workforce: Scotland's youth employment strategy (A seven year strategy from 2014-21)

The education actions of the Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016-2030

A programme of work through a newly created LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group to promote an inclusive approach to sex and relationships education.


We remain committed to our aim of an education system in Scotland that is inclusive of all pupils, encouraging young people to develop, no matter what additional support they may need. The National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan for Scottish Education are clear around our drive for improvement. We know that Scottish education is getting better but evidence shows that we must do more to support groups of children and young people who share a protected characteristic and do less well than others. That is why, in terms of protected characteristics, we need to continue to focus on:

  • Race - specifically Gypsy Traveller pupils and white Scottish pupils
  • Sex (gender) - specifically boys
  • Disability

We now understand more about bullying, including prejudice based (identity based) bullying across all the protected characteristics, and how it can affect children and young people's confidence, resilience, participation and attainment, both in the short term and long term. For example, we recognise that there are particular concerns for LGBTI young people. We will therefore continue to focus on anti-bullying. We will also work hard to maintain low rates of exclusion and high rates of attendance.

Theme: Hate Crime

Outcome: People feel increasingly confident in reporting hate crime when they experience it or witness it; and the prejudicial attitudes that drive hate behaviours are reduced

Protected Characteristics impacted: Gender Reassignment; Race; Disability; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct is prohibited
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

We will evaluate the impact of a planned hate crime awareness raising campaign in terms of increasing understanding, and will liaise with Police Scotland on the learning from their own campaigns. The annual Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal report "Hate Crime in Scotland" provides an indication of levels of reporting, which may or may not be down to increased confidence and awareness. The Scottish Social Attitudes module on discrimination includes information on prejudicial attitudes.

Associated actions:

We will bring forward a programme of work later this year setting out how we intend to implement the recommendations of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion which reported in September 2016. Actions we are taking:

  • The Scottish Government recognises the value of having strong, resilient and supportive communities, and the importance of community cohesion in ensuring there is 'One Scotland' where people live in peace and everyone has the opportunity to flourish.
  • We have commissioned an independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland which is being led by Lord Bracadale.
  • We invested over £3.2 million in 2016-17 in work to tackle racist and religious intolerance, as well as improve the lives of minority ethnic and religious communities in Scotland.
  • We have published a Race Equality Framework for Scotland to promote race equality and tackle racism following extensive engagement with stakeholders and minority ethnic communities.
  • We continue to invest in Scotland's equality communities, with £20.3m being allocated in 2016/17.
  • We have published Scotland's ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Strategy, setting out our approach to English language provision to enable new Scots to integrate and contribute to Scottish life through work, study, family and local communities.
  • We are working closely with stakeholders and community leaders to ensure that everyone in Scotland feels safe, and is able to achieve their full potential.
  • Scotland is considered to be one of the most progressive countries in Europe regarding LGBTI equality and has a very clear position on promoting LGBTI rights
  • We will publish a refreshed and strengthened disability action plan in December - including commitments to tackle disability hate crime
  • Through Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights, we are working to raising awareness of both human rights and core democratic values, including actively defending the right of everyone in society to be treated fairly, and with dignity and respect


Tackling hate crime is a priority for the Scottish Government and there is desire amongst stakeholders to see it reflected. It cuts across key protected characteristics and is an issue commonly reported by stakeholders as something that minority communities in Scotland continue to experience.

  • Race crime: In total 3,712 charges relating to race crime were reported in 2015-16, a decrease of 3% compared to 2014-15. This is 18% lower than the peak in such charges in 2011-12, and is the lowest annual figure since 2003-04 when 3,322 charges were reported.
  • Religious crime: the number of religiously aggravated charges reported, at 581, is 3% higher than in 2014-15 but still at the second lowest level since 2004-05.
  • Disability: in 2015-16, 201 charges were reported with an aggravation of prejudice relating to disability, 14% more than in 2014-15. There is a broad consensus however that this type of crime continues to be under reported compared to other forms of hate crime.
  • Sexual orientation: in 2015-16, 1,020 charges were reported with an aggravation of prejudice relating to sexual orientation, 20% more than in 2014-15. The 2014-15 figure was the first annual fall in charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010. The 2015-16 figure re-establishes the previous trend of year on year increases in charges reported.
  • Transgender identity: in 2015-16, 30 charges were reported with an aggravation of prejudice relating to transgender identity. This is the highest number of charges reported since the legislation came into force, although the numbers remain very small.

The 2016-17 data from the Crown Office will be published in summer 2017. At the same time, SG will publish annual research into Racially Aggravated Offending.

On 30 September findings from the 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (covering attitudes to discrimination and positive action) were published. Research was funded by the Scottish Government, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and undertaken by ScotCen. Overall, the findings are positive, with decreases in discriminatory attitudes towards all equality groups compared to previous years. However, some of the findings are more challenging:

  • Attitudes towards Gypsy/Travellers are either staying the same or not improving as quickly as views towards other groups.
  • Although still a minority of the overall population, a number remain concerned about the impact of immigration: 35% agree Scotland would begin to lose its identity if more black or Asian people came to live in Scotland, and 26% agree people from ethnic minorities take jobs away from other people in Scotland. The figures in relation to people from Eastern Europe are 38% and 30%, respectively.

Theme: Violence Against Women and Girls

Outcome: Violence against women and girls is reduced, along with the harms of gender based violence on women and their children

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Gender Reassignment; Race; Sex; Disability; Pregnancy & Maternity; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

This is contained within an outcomes and indicators framework currently being consulted on as part of the draft Delivery Plan for Equally Safe. Evidence sources at national and local level are in the process of being identified. A copy of the draft framework is at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/04/6896/5 and the draft indicators are at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/04/6896/6.

Associated actions:

The draft Delivery Plan sets out a range of actions, which mandates that interventions are early and effective, preventing violence and maximising the safety and wellbeing of women, children and young people. The draft Delivery Plan is subject to change following the conclusion of the consultation process. Actions we are currently taking:

  • We are investing £24 million over 2015-17 from the Equalities portfolio to support a range of projects and initiatives - this continues to support a range of front line specialist services working with women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.
  • In 2015, we announced an additional dedicated £20 million over the period 2015-18 from Justice budgets to be invested in a range of measures to tackle all forms of this type of violence.
  • In February, we announced 3 year rolling funding for equality and violence against women organisations, which will help provide greater clarity for the sector and allow better planning for the longer term.
  • We are implementing Equally Safe, Scotland's strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls - working with stakeholders to prevent violence from occurring in the first place, build the capability and capacity of mainstream and specialist services to support survivors and those at risk, and strengthen the Justice response to victims and perpetrators. We published a draft Delivery Plan for consultation in March 2017.
  • On 20 March, we introduced the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill which creates a specific offence of domestic abuse covering not only physical abuse but also forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using the existing criminal law.
  • In March 2016, Parliament passed the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act, which will, once implemented, create a specific offence of sharing private intimate images without consent. The new Act includes a new statutory domestic abuse aggravator to ensure courts take domestic abuse into account when sentencing an offender and statutory jury directions for certain sexual offence cases. It was commenced this month.
  • The £20 million announced last year is already going to good use and has boosted resources to our courts and prosecutors by £2.4 million each year to reduce court waiting times for domestic abuse cases - reducing to 8-10 weeks by the end of 2016/17.
  • Through the work of the Equally Safe Justice Expert Group, the Scottish Government is looking at both medium and longer term improvements that can be made to the justice system for all victims of this type of violence including domestic abuse victims and their children.
  • In November 2016, we announced investment of additional £360,000 in the Caledonian System to challenge men's abusive behaviour, prevent further abuse and change violent behavioural patterns.
  • We are investing an additional £450,000 in 2015-18 to accelerate delivery of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme by engaging new local authorities in development and delivery. The £1.85m to Rape Crisis Scotland from the justice budget includes support to deliver their sexual prevention work in schools.


Preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls is a priority for the Scottish Government. This outcome aligns closely with the direction of Equally Safe, Scotland's strategy to prevent and eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.

  • In 2014/2015 there were 59,882 recorded incidents of domestic abuse. This decreased by 3% to 58,104 recorded incidents in 2015/2016. The disproportionate impact on women has remained consistent, with 79% of incidents involving a female victim and male perpetrator
  • In 2014/2015 there were 1797 recorded incidents of rape and 104 recorded incidents of attempted rape. In 2015/2016 there were 1692 recorded incidents of rape and 117 incidents of attempted rape. There were 3727 recorded incidents of sexual assault in 2014/2015 compared with 3963 incidents in 2015/2016. In 2014/2015 there were 3555 recorded incidents of other sexual crimes compared with 4254 recorded incidents in 2015/2016
  • 646 non-harassment orders (civil and criminal) were granted in 2014/2015 compared to 941 in 2015/2016
  • In 2015 the UK National Referral Mechanism received 145 referrals of potential victims of human trafficking in Scotland, an increase of 30.6% on 2014. 42 of these potential victims were minors. Victims trafficked for sexual exploitation included 40 adults and 8 minors, both predominantly female
  • The 2014 social attitudes survey on public attitudes towards violence against women findings tell us that people are less likely to recognise verbal abuse and controlling behaviour (as opposed to physical abuse) as being wrong and harmful, and there are circumstances under which people view abusive behaviours as less serious (e.g. an extramarital affair has occurred). People tend to think that sex without consent is less seriously wrong or harmful if perpetrated by the victim's spouse than by someone she has just met. More than a third of people believe common myths about rape, and people are much less likely to be negative about commercial sexual exploitation than about the other forms of violence against women. Stereotypical views on gender roles persist, and those who held stereotypical views on gender roles are consistently less likely to view a wide range of abusive behaviours as wrong or harmful
  • Attitudes of young people showed they were less likely than adults to think the various kinds of violence against women that they were asked about were very seriously wrong, or to think that they would cause a great deal of harm. In some cases, the extent to which young people appear to hold more permissive views than adults about violence against women is striking. Stereotypical gender views played a role in this.

Theme: Social Security

Outcome: Equality is at the heart of the development and creation of a devolved social security system for Scotland and we will design this in partnership with the people of Scotland

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Gender Reassignment; Race; Sex; Disability; Pregnancy & Maternity; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct is prohibited
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools

This outcome is somewhat unique in that it is focussed on the creation of a new system rather than on the performance of something that already exists. For that reason, it is unlikely that we will have gathered meaningful performance data on delivery over the relevant period. This means that measurement will be more focussed on the successful execution of the work streams described below and perhaps also by positive public statements from the key stakeholders we are collaborating with. Similarly, the Social Security Committee will be following our work closely and will likely report on progress. The Bill will also place a duty on Ministers to report on progress made against the commitments contained in the Charter.

Associated actions:

Key principles

All aspects of the new system will be underpinned by 6 key principles, two of which are directly relevant to equalities:

  • Social security is an investment in the people of Scotland;
  • Respect for the dignity of individuals is at the heart of everything we do;
  • Our processes and services will be evidence based and designed with the people of Scotland;
  • We will strive for continuous improvement in all our policies, processes and systems, putting the user experience first;
  • We will demonstrate that our services are efficient and value for money;
  • Social security is itself a human right and essential to the realisation of other human rights .

Human Rights Based Approach and the Social Security Bill

  • The Minister for Social Security has stated publicly that a human rights based approach, dignity and respect will be at the heart of all social security policy and service design.
  • Reflecting the strength of this commitment, these principles will be enshrined in the forthcoming Social Security Bill.
  • The intention is that establishing these principles in primary legislation will help define the more positive ethos of the Scottish system from the very outset.
  • It will also provide a legislative mechanism for Parliament to scrutinise and challenge the Scottish Government in any circumstances where it is felt that the system is falling short of these core principles.
  • The intention is to introduce the Bill to Parliament before the end of June 2017.
  • In developing the Bill, and the associated secondary legislation, we will work closely with people who have direct lived experience of the system.

A Charter

  • In line with strong support in our consultation exercise, Ministers have committed to developing a publicly accessible 'Charter' to communicate in clear terms what people are entitled to expect from the Scottish system and to frame the culture and positive ethos of the new social security agency.
  • There will be greater flexibility to review and update a Charter without having to amend primary legislation; meaning the Charter will be refined as the system matures and grows.
  • The Charter could therefore be seen as an accord or compact between the service and the people who use it, creating a formal mechanism for scrutiny, enhanced accountability and driving improvement.
  • However, Ministers accepted the concerns of some respondents that similarly well intentioned ideas have sometimes fallen short of delivering the intended outcomes. To avoid this, Ministers have committed to using the Bill to introduce:
    • A statutory duty on Scottish Ministers to ensure a Charter is created and periodically reviewed;
    • A statutory requirement that the Charter must reflect the core principles;
    • A statutory duty on Scottish Ministers to periodically report on their delivery against the Charter.
  • Finally, in line with the strong consensus reflected in the consultation, we will work with people with direct experience of the present system, and the organisations who represent their interests, to develop the Charter.

Collaboration: Experience Panels and Stakeholder Reference Groups

  • One of the most distinctive features of social security policy is the commitment to collaboration with people with direct experience of social security to co-design policy and services.
  • The key mechanism for this will be Experience Panels: we will work with at least 2,000 volunteers with direct experience of the current system to design a new system. We are also working to ensure that equalities groups are fairly represented in Experience Panels.
  • The Panels will support work on application processes and communications, testing new technology, through to details such as stopping the use of intimidating brown envelopes and using clearer, more positive language in correspondence.
  • We will also draw on the knowledge and experience of expert individuals and organisations through a series of Stakeholder Reference Groups who will support us to develop policy.
  • Examples include: the Disability and Carers' Benefits Expert Advisory Group and the Carers' Benefit Advisory Group

The Agency

  • Ministers are clear that human rights, dignity and respect must be a defining feature of the new agency.
  • We currently are in the process of identifying the best model for the agency and one of the key tests being applied is to place people at the heart of the system; exploring how it would feel for someone to interact with each of the different possible models.
  • We will also work closely with Experience Panels to ensure agency staff are trained to uphold these key principles in their duties.
  • This will include ensuring staff are trained to understand the diverse needs of those interacting with the system and that they are able to tailor their approach to meet those specific needs.

Equality and Low income

  • In taking forward the EQIA on the Bill, as well as in the work streams noted above, we are acting on the consultation findings that we should:
    • involve a wide range of stakeholders, including equality and human rights specialists, equality organisations and the public;
    • consider the cumulative impacts, intersectional impacts and relationships between devolved and reserved benefits;
    • use an approach which embeds human rights, and also considers other related impacts on child rights, health inequalities and the impact of rurality;
    • embed equality from the beginning, and use the impact assessment to explore how to address inequalities identified.


The Scottish Parliament will soon gain powers for the delivery of 11 benefits, equating to around 15% (£2.8 billion) of social security spending in Scotland, impacting the lives of one in four Scots. This is the most significant and complex package of devolution since 1999 and requires the Scottish Government ( SG) to design and build a major new public service from scratch.

SG has made clear its ambition to use this opportunity to create a fairer system with dignity, respect and human rights placed at its heart. The outcome is therefore focused on the achievement of this ambition and will demonstrate SG's ability to design a new public service in which equality is a cornerstone.

Theme: Employment

Outcome: The Scottish Government's workforce increases in diversity to reflect the general Scottish population by 2025

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Gender Reassignment; Race; Sex; Disability; Pregnancy & Maternity; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

In order to become a diverse organisation that reflects the Scottish population, we will seek to:

  • enable a better representation across grades and professions of women, LGBTI, disabled people, those from ethnic minority backgrounds and with diverse religions/beliefs
  • develop talent schemes which are successful in increasing the diversity of the organisation
  • create opportunities for young people to develop and progress their careers.

We routinely collect and report data on the diversity characteristics of staff through regular reports, such as the HR Official Statistics Publication and Directors' HR Management Information Packs. In addition, we carry out ad-hoc diversity analyses of new recruits, promotions, talent management programmes and leavers. We will use this data to establish a baseline in 2017, and monitor progress until the end of the reporting period, in 2021.

Associated work-streams:

We are working to improve our declaration rates for protected characteristics, particularly ethnicity, disability, religion/belief and sexual orientation. In December 2016 declaration rates were as follows: 87% for ethnicity, 72% for marital status, 64% for disability, 63% for sexual orientation, and 62% for religion/belief. We will be consulting with stakeholders within the organisation to identify gaps in the data we currently collect and report, and to explore factors affecting motivation in relation to completing declaration forms.

We are committed to offering a range of opportunities to unemployed young people, including Modern Apprenticeships, and have a firm commitment to attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining young people to help to reduce the youth unemployment landscape in Scotland. Between January and December 2016, almost half of all recruits (48%) were young people aged 16-29.

We will ensure that our development and graduate programmes are an exemplar in terms of diversity and equality with the advertising and recruitment process reaching deep into communities to connect with under-represented groups.


The outcome is based on the assumption that, by being truly reflective of the society it serves, the Scottish Government as a whole will be better recognised within society, can gain broader insights, engage more fully with all of our stakeholders, and ultimately better support Ministers to make decisions that benefit the entire Scottish population.

Theme: Employment

Outcome: The Scottish Government fosters an inclusive workforce culture and values the contribution of employees from all backgrounds

Protected Characteristics impacted: Age; Gender Reassignment; Race; Sex; Disability; Pregnancy & Maternity; Religion or Belief, and Sexual Orientation

Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct which is prohibited
  • Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Measurement Tools:

In order to foster an inclusive, open and fair culture, we take steps to enable our workforce to realise their full potential, by identifying and removing barriers that prevent employees from underrepresented groups to enter the organisation and progress their careers. We encourage senior leaders to role-model inclusive leadership behaviours, foster good relations and support change in the workplace. Progress towards achieving this outcome will be assessed drawing from a range of sources, such as evaluations of talent development programmes and the post-specific promotion policy, People Survey scores and the review of staff diversity networks.

Associated work-streams:

Several work-streams feed into this outcome, both at corporate and business area level.

  • We understand the worth and benefits that staff diversity networks can bring to an organisation and will continue our programme of work to review, refresh and improve the offer to our networks. We will continue to support the work of our newly appointed diversity champions, including our bullying and harassment champion.
  • We understand the human cost as well as the organisational and team costs associated with unacceptable behaviours. Responses to our People Survey suggest that in 2016 approximately 10% of staff have experienced bullying and harassment and 9% personally experienced discrimination at work. Our organisational transformation programme SG2020 places particular emphasis on behaviours. Our Permanent Secretary takes personal leadership of the development of management skills focused on building a more open and frank culture. We will continue to carry out research into the drivers of positive and inclusive cultures.
  • We are currently considering plans to embed diversity and inclusion indicators across all aspects of our People Plan, which describes improvement work across the Scottish Government's HR function.
  • We appreciate that our internal progression opportunities need to take into account the needs of all our staff. We are working to ensure that we eliminate any discrimination in the processes and will monitor the diversity impact of the post-specific promotion policy and talent programmes.

We will be consulting with stakeholders within the organisation to define indicators of success for this outcome. We will map current and planned work-streams across SG that contribute to achieving the outcome, and identify further sources of evidence to monitor progress.


This outcome underpins our corporate efforts to become a world-leading, diverse employer where people can be themselves at work, and is based on research evidence that a more inclusive workplace is more productive and innovative. It aims to encompass all diversity objectives in the organisation, ranging from those of the Permanent Secretary and diversity networks to individual diversity objectives, so as to emphasise the individual contribution and impact of staff to creating an inclusive culture in the organisation.


Email: Nicole Ronald, Mainstreamingequality@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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