Fair Work Action Plan 2022 and Anti-Racist Employment Strategy 2022: equality impact assessment

Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) of the Fair Work Action Plan 2022 and Anti-Racist Employment Strategy 2022.

Appendix A Refreshed Fair Work Action Plan actions

A.1 Theme 1: Public sector leadership

A.1.1 Headline action 1: We will lead by example on the Fair Work agenda, including sharing and learning of practice, by 2025. We will continue to embed Fair Work in all public sector organisations, setting out clear priorities in the roles and responsibilities of public bodies

Action 1.1: Scottish Government will undertake an equal pay audit examining pay gaps by gender, disability, race and age by March 2024. We will act on findings to review and refresh our recruitment and retention policies to address workplace inequalities by end of 2025.

Action 1.2: Work with equality organisations and public sector employers to co-deliver a series of engagements with the public sector by end of 2023 to support employers to address the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament's Equalities and Human Rights Committee's inquiry report into race equality, employment and skills which recommended employers assess their organisations' understanding of racism and structural barriers; employers subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty as a minimum, voluntarily record and publish their ethnicity pay gap and produce an action plan to deliver identified outcomes.

Action 1.3: The EHRC and Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to:

Action 1.3.1: Implement National Equality Outcomes across protected characteristics (including disability, ethnicity, sex) from Sept 2022 to Sept 2025, in order to:

  • improve student success and retention rates;
  • ensure access to and confidence in support for students and staff that fosters good relations and tackle prejudice and discrimination;
  • increase diversity of staff in the workforce and on College Boards and University Courts.

Action 1.3.2: Develop a set of SFC annual thematic reviews to inform and direct improvement.

Action 1.4: Work with partners to establish senior leadership networks to build capability and understanding of racism and racial inequality in the workplace by the end of 2023.

Action 1.5: We will work with Scottish Government's analysts to run a series of official statistics dissemination sessions with interested stakeholders to help inform their understanding of the labour market landscape in relation to fair work. Where available data allows, this will include considering intersectionality

A.1.2 Headline action 2: We will continue to use conditionality to further embed Fair Work in all public sector investment wherever possible.

Action 2.1: As part of the Bute House agreement and NSET, and within the limits on devolved competence, we will:

Action 2.1.1: Extend Fair Work conditionality with clear standards and minimum requirements to cover all forms of Scottish Government support within the limits of devolved competence. We will use all levers at our disposal to deliver on this commitment – including the use of grants, reliefs and licencing provisions

Action 2.1.2: Consider how we can extend conditionality to the other Fair Work principles, including opportunity, security, respect and fulfilment by 2025.

Action 2.2: By 2023 update the Fair Work First criteria to better reflect priority action required to address labour market inequalities faced by women, people from racialised minorities, and disabled people, ensuring people can enter, remain and progress in work.

A.2 Theme 2: Our ask of employers and support available

A.2.1 Headline action 3: We will support employers to utilise the resources and support available to embed Fair Work in their organisations. We will work collaboratively to develop these resources to support and build capability among employers, employability providers and partners.

Action 3.1: By end 2023 we will work with partners to join up provision of advice and support for employers by establishing a central Fair Work resource, making it as simple and efficient as possible for employers to use. This would enhance and consolidate existing material to ensure employers have a clear route to access guidance, support and advice on Fair Work. It will involve:

  • Advice and tools to promote the benefits of Fair Work and workplace equality
  • Good practice case studies
  • Advice on networking and establishing peer support groups
  • Collaboration with existing trusted business support services and partners.

Action 3.2: Develop a communications strategy to highlight and promote the benefits of Fair work and a diverse workplace to employers including;

  • adoption of payment of at least the real Living Wage;
  • effective voice channels, tackling the gender pay gap; and
  • recruiting, employing and supporting disabled people and workers from racialised minorities.

The strategy will be informed by sectoral and regional analysis and utilise a range of channels.

Action 3.3: Increase the number of people who have security of pay and contract by encouraging employers to seek real Living Wage and Living Hours accreditation. We will achieve this through our continuing support of Living Wage Scotland to achieve an additional 5,000 workers uplifted annually to the real Living wage through increases in employer accreditation.

Action 3.4: By the end of 2025 we will review and disseminate learning and best practice from on the conclusion of the 2024 Workplace Equality Fund.

Action 3.5: We will develop and promote guidance to encourage more employers across all sectors to use positive action measures as per the Equality Act 2010 giving particular attention to sex, pregnancy, race, age and disability by end 2024.

Action 3.6: We will continue to promote existing and new advice and guidance on the benefits of flexible working to organisations across Scotland by working with public bodies to assess provision and highlight best practice throughout this parliamentary term (by 2026).

Action 3.7: Working with employers, equality stakeholders and training providers, develop and implement an intersectional and anti-racist training framework by 2025.

Action 3.8: We will work with employers and trade unions, in sectors where low pay and precarious work can be most prevalent, to develop sectoral Fair Work agreements that deliver improved employment outcomes such as payment of the real living wage, better security of work, and wider "Fair Work First" standards.

Action 3.9: We will work with employers, workers and trade unions to strengthen effective voice, through a range of appropriate channels. We will do this by supporting strong trade unions and, in line with our NPF employee voice indicator, will promote the benefits of collective bargaining (including sectoral agreements) and other forms of effective voice at individual and collective levels.

A.3 Theme 3: Support for people to prepare for, access and sustain fair work

A.3.1 Headline action 4: We will work collaboratively to develop resources to support workers to access, remain and progress in fair work.

Action 4.1: Work with enterprise agencies and Business Gateway to promote Fair Work and deliver wider conditionality, and:

Action 4.1.1: By end of 2023 undertake a review of the Business Gateway website, utilising analytical and tracking techniques to ensure that disabled people find the website accessible, and are able to utilise the advice given to overcome the barriers they face.

Action 4.2: SG Employability Delivery: we will continue to work with Fair Start Scotland providers, within the timescales of the current contract until March 2023, to implement a continuous improvement approach to enhance delivery and outcomes for disabled people and those furthest from the labour market, including racialised minorities and women. This will include drawing upon learning from Pathfinders/ test and learn projects being delivered by Disabled People's Organisations and the pilot project on community engagement being delivered by CEMVO Enterprises CIC in 2022/23.

Action 4.3: Scottish Government to work with stakeholders to develop a Delivery Plan 2023-26, outlining the next phase development of No One Left Behind (NOLB) from April 2024. This will:

Action 4.3.1: Build Fair Work outcomes into the design of No One Left Behind by taking account of the lived experience and needs of disabled people, people from racialised minorities, women and the over 50s.

Action 4.3.2: Draw upon the findings and recommendations of the following:

  • Health and Work Strategy Review (2019)
  • Supported Employment Review (2022)
  • Health and Work Support Pilot final evaluation (2022)
  • Individual Placement and Support Review (2022 – forthcoming)

Action 4.4: Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC) will, on an annual basis, review disaggregated management information including the newly disaggregated Learning Disability statistics and take action where required where poorer outcomes or underrepresented groups are identified. This will include:

Action 4.4.1: Review the equality incentives for disabled people in relation to Work Based Learning (WBL) and make recommendations by end March 2024 with regard to impact on participation and achievement rates for disabled people.

Action 4.4.2: Review learning from pilot projects for Foundation Apprenticeships for disabled pupils and mainstream lessons learned by October 2023.

Action 4.4.3: Use intelligence from training and learning providers and participants to develop and deliver disability equality-focused continuous professional development to build the capacity of learning providers to support disabled individuals and ensure a continuous development cycle is implemented by 2023.

Action 4.5: Skills Development Scotland (SDS) will:

Action 4.5.1: Implement Scotland's Career Review recommendations and develop a model to ensure future career services across sectors provide meaningful and accessible support for disabled people that is both tailored to their needs and available when they need it. The implementation phase of the Career Review is due to be completed by the end of 2022.

Action 4.5.2: Continue to implement the Principles of Good Transitions across our Career Information Advice and Guidance (CIAG), through targeted Continuous Professional Development for all customer-facing CIAG colleagues and managers by the end of March 2023.

Action 4.6: Aligning with the Scottish Government's Fairer and More Equal Society (FMES) Programme by December 2023, Public Health Scotland (PHS) to:

  • Collaborate with NHS Boards to develop the NHS Scotland contribution to achieving fair and healthy work outcomes for people across Scotland; and
  • Work with Scottish Government, Local Government and NHS Boards to define the health offer to enable those with health conditions to secure, sustain and progress in work.


Email: FairWorkCommissioning@gov.scot

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