Event industry support fund 3: equality impact assessment

Equality impact assessment for the event industry support fund 3.

Key Findings

Impact assessment of benefits and/or disadvantages

Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic we are aware that there are gaps in knowledge and in the evidence base. We are developing data, research and understanding of lived experience as we move forward.[7] The headline data, engagement and information gathered to underpin the Event Sector Guidance EQIA, and which is also relevant here includes:

Age: Older People and Children and Young People

The Annual Population Survey 2019 found that approximately 51% of the events workforce is under the age of 35 compared to around 35% for Scotland's workforce as a whole. A disproportionately young workforce could result in a heightened risk and impact (in terms of lost lifetime earnings) of unemployment in the industry.

The Scottish Household Survey figures shows levels of cultural attendance, in 2020, when excluding reading, adults aged 16 to 24 (76%) were more likely to have participated in a cultural activity than adults aged 75 or over (44%).

Therefore providing support to new events businesses through EISF 3 funding so that they remain viable to operate once restrictions are eased, could disproportionately positively impact on young people who are more likely to work for these businesses compared to the wider workforce. In the longer term it could also disproportionately positively impact on young people attending events in the future as events may be more likely be able to take place once restrictions are eased. This is, in part, due to the availability of EISF 3 support sustaining businesses within the events sector during the December 2021 - March 2022 period so that it can restart and events can take place over the spring and summer.

Sex: Men and Women

The proportion of women aged 16 and over in employment in the events sector is higher than the proportion of women in employment in Scotland overall – 54.9% and 49.1% respectively.[8]

Research has highlighted a disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women. Women are more likely to have reduced hours, been made redundant, and been furloughed. Women working from home have had additional responsibilities (childcare and work). Not all women have been affected equally – young and minority ethnic more affected and pregnant women are also significantly impacted. Mothers are 23% more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs (temporarily or permanently) during the current crisis. Of those who were in paid work prior to the lockdown, mothers are 47% more likely than fathers to have permanently lost their job or quit, and they are 14% more likely to have been furloughed.[9]

The immediate priority of this funding support is to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic and help businesses survive. However, this funding to support businesses that have lost opportunity/income could disproportionately positively impact on women working in Events Catering Activities and women working in Other Reservation Service and Related Activities. This funding may also support female employment within the sector through supporting employers within the events sector.


With the events sector often making significant use of casual labour, Eastern European, African and other ethnic minority communities have been identified as potentially at risk groups of being affected by COVID-19. In terms of participation and attendance, access is in danger of being restricted by COVID-19 due to financial implications and lack of additional resources hitting ethnic minority families disproportionately hard.

According to the Ethnic Minority National Resilience Network (Scotland) which is coordinated by BEMIS Scotland, minority ethnic communities have disproportionate vulnerabilities to COVID-19 exposure. This is represented in both social and health outcomes. For example, due to the immigration status of some minority ethnic individuals it is financially harder to self-isolate because their precarious employment circumstances mean they will not receive support such as furlough pay or state benefits. This means they are more likely to work in low paid and non-unionised work environments where regulations are not being appropriately adhered to.

In 2020, cultural attendance (including cinema) was highest for 'White: Other' adults (65 per cent). 51 per cent of minority ethnic adults had attended or visited a cultural event or place compared with 42 per cent for 'White: Scottish' adults and 48 per cent for 'White: Other British' adults (Table 4.8). However, these differences were found not to be statistically significant.[10]

The scheme is in place to protect jobs and support businesses within the events sector which will have a positive impact on Minority Ethnic people employed in the sector.


In 2019, 27.5% of the workforce had a self-reported long-term condition (lasting 12 months or more), including 29.3% of the Transport and Storage workforce, 28.2% of the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation workforce, and 26.6% of the Accommodation and Food Services workforce.[11] We have not been able to source any specific data on the number of disabled people working in events businesses so we have considered this wider data as a proxy measure.

In the Scottish Household Survey, 'disability' is defined as the presence of any physical or mental health condition or illness that is expected to last 12 months or more, and that reduces the person's ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Attendance at cultural events or places of culture varied by disability in 2020. Only 32% of adults with a disability had attended a cultural event or place of culture, compared to 48% of non-disabled adults. The top concerns that disabled people have about visiting places as restrictions lift and events resume are: people not respecting and honouring physical distancing; not having access to venues' or public toilets when outside; and having to queue or wait outside venues, especially when weather is bad.[12]

The scheme is in place to protect jobs and support businesses within the events sector which will have a positive impact on disabled people employed in the sector.

Religion and Belief

There is no evidence of a differential impact identified at this time.

Sexual Orientation

There is no evidence of a differential impact identified at this time.

Pregnancy and maternity

There is no evidence of a differential impact identified at this time.

Gender reassignment

There is no evidence of a differential impact identified at this time.

Marriage or Civil Partnership

There is no evidence of a differential impact identified at this time.

Socio-economic disadvantage: any people experiencing poverty

Poverty has higher prevalence across protected characteristics. For example, risk of poverty is much higher for women, disabled people, minority ethnic people, lone parents, and children and young people. We know that work does not fully protect against poverty, with 60% of adults in poverty being in work[13]. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that low earners were seven times more likely than high earners to have worked in a sector that has shut down as a result of the lockdown in 2020.[14] Around 78% of workers in the events sector earn at or above the Living Wage compared with 83% of all Scottish employees.[15] This means that restrictions on the events sector may have a disproportionate impact on people earning below the Living Wage and so providing funding support to mitigate the impact of these restrictions may have a disproportionate impact on these people through retaining businesses and jobs in the sector in the longer term as events restart.

Adults from the most deprived areas are less likely than those from the least deprived areas to attend an event. 36% of adults living in the 20% most deprived areas had attended a cultural event or place of culture, including the cinema, compared to 53% of adults living in the 20% least deprived areas.[16]

Engagement with the events sector did not raise any specific concerns about differential impacts of the restrictions and development of funding support on people with any of the protected characteristics. However, it did provide feedback that some parts of the events sector rely on zero hours workers, who may be more likely to experience socio-economic disadvantage. While it was not ultimately possible to develop a support scheme for zero hours workers due to reserved powers, fraud assessment, and interactions with the benefits and tax systems, the Scottish Government did thoroughly explore options to create a support scheme for zero hours workers as part of omicron events sector funding.


Email: majorevents@gov.scot

Back to top