Equality outcomes and mainstreaming report 2019

Provides an update on progress made in promoting equality across activities and in delivering on a range of equality outcomes set in 2017.

Executive Summary

Whilst significant advances have been made in tackling discrimination and disadvantage, some people in Scotland still experience significant inequalities and some of these can be long-standing and deep-rooted. Public authorities, including the Scottish Government, make decisions that affect the lives of people in Scotland and we have a duty to consider how to promote equality, foster good relations, address inequalities and ensure that policies and actions are not unjustly discriminatory. Equality is thus an integral part of our business and the public sector equality duty provides a framework to help us deliver effectively.

This document provides an update on how the Scottish Government is making progress on incorporating equality across its activities and in moving towards the achievement of its equality outcomes, set in 2017, by 2021.

4.1 The Scottish Government as a policy maker

Building on policies and legislation already in place, the Scottish Government has introduced measures over the last two years to strengthen provision and to help advance equality. These include creating the legal framework to increase the diversity and gender balance of public boards and ensuring that the delivery of social security in Scotland is seen as a human right underpinned by the values of dignity, fairness and respect.

Within the Social Security and Older People portfolio, the Minister for Older People and Equalities has lead Ministerial responsibility for equality. It is an agenda championed by the Cabinet as a whole and is reflected in work across portfolios, and thus woven into the Scottish Economic Strategy, the Programme for Government and the Scottish budget.

This report highlights the Scottish Government's commitment to strengthening data and evidence to support equality analysis and assessment. Our Equality Evidence Finder, which was refreshed in November 2018, is a key resource for the Scottish Government, public authorities and other organisations to find equality evidence to inform policy and decision-making.

Scotland remains a leader in its approach to incorporating equality considerations in its spending plans. 2018 marked the tenth anniversary of the Equality Budget Statement (EBS); a statement on the equality impacts of the budget which is published alongside the Scottish Budget and represents a clear ongoing commitment to putting equality at the heart of the Scottish Budget.

The Scottish Government values its stakeholders and places considerable emphasis on working collaboratively with communities. The report highlights activity around communication and engagement including support for a range of organisations and projects designed to increase the capacity and voice of equality communities and those experiencing discrimination or disadvantage. The report acknowledges the importance of developing wider and more innovative means of participation and dialogue.

4.2 The Scottish Government as an Employer

The Scottish Government's commitment to Fair Work is a key part of its agenda. Our Business Strategy and People Strategy continue to promote equality, diversity and the need to 'be the Scotland we want to see'. We have committed to high-level actions including signing the Fair Work agreement with our Trade Unions setting out our commitment to being a model Fair Work employer; and, agreeing in 2019 in the Gender Pay Action Plan to conduct an equal pay audit.

The previous mainstreaming report referenced constraints around resourcing given limited opportunities to conduct centrally managed external recruitment campaigns. In 2018, we had an opportunity to improve the diversity of our workforce through our external campaign to recruit around 150 middle managers. Using increased diversity as a key success indicator, we secured an application pool comprising of applications from 8% minority ethnic candidates, and the successful group appointed was made up of 7% minority ethnic candidates. We will be sharing the learning from this with others to inform recruitment practise more generally in our organisation as part of a wider policy review.

The report highlights specific measures designed to expand the diversity of the workforce and equality of opportunity in recruitment and resourcing: The five year Equalities Action Plan for Modern Apprenticeships MAs in Scotland outlines the role Skills Development Scotland can play in stimulating change in the short, medium and long-term, specifically the challenges to improving the participation of disabled, care experienced and minority ethnic groups in Modern Apprenticeships, as well as addressing gender imbalance within uptake of some occupational frameworks. In 2019 Skills Development Scotland will publish a full equality impact assessment of its apprenticeship scheme, and identify improvements in equality and diversity.

The report emphasises the importance of staff engagement, measured through our annual People Survey, and support for the revitalisation of strong diversity networks. Since it was introduced in 2017 the number of positive responses to the People Survey question "the Scottish Government is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace" has increased by 2 percentage points.

The report provides summary and detailed tables of employee information and the gender pay gap.

4.3 Equality Outcomes

In April 2017, the Scottish Government set a suite of equality outcomes that it expects to move towards by 2021. These are on the following topics:

  • 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

This report provides information on progress to date and activity being undertaken on each outcome. As can be seen from the update reports in section two of this report, progress is being achieved across the programmes of work around each of the outcomes. We will report further progress by the end of the reporting period in 2021. 



Back to top