This chapter sets out the approach to assessing the potential impacts of the RAP and ARES. The assessment criteria consider how the actions could have both positive and negative impacts. In considering the impacts, this FSDA takes a 'worst case scenario'.
The approach for undertaking this FSDA and compiling this report follows a six-stage process:
- 1. Screening for impacts
- An overview of guidance and requirements, key evidence and issues and initial screening for potential impacts including a framework for more detailed assessment.
- 2. Stakeholder engagement
- Interviews with stakeholders from equality organisations representing a range of groups and businesses.
- 3. Impact Assessment Input Note
- A technical note for the Scottish Government highlighting the key impacts identified through initial screening and stakeholder engagement for the purpose of finalising the draft RAP and ARES
- 4. Baseline evidence review
- Review of relevant legislation and policies as well as evidence relating to the Fair Work agenda with regards to protected characteristic groups, deprivation, poverty and labour market statistics.
- 5. Assessment of potential impacts
- Informed by a consideration of the policy context, reviewed evidence and feedback received through stakeholder engagement.
- 6. Recommendations and conclusions
Concluding on key positive and negative impacts as well as planned and recommended actions for minimising negative or uncertain impacts.
2.1 Screening for impacts
A series of screening reports, including a FSDA screening report, were produced for the Bute House Agreement grant conditionality commitment, RAP and ARES in October 2022.
These reports presented a screening of potential impacts for the six headline actions of the draft RAP and the eight key actions of the draft ARES provided by the Scottish Government. The screening was prepared using publicly available data and evidence.
A screening report was also undertaken for a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which invited statutory consultees to comment through the Government Gateway. This process concluded that there are no significant environmental impacts, and a final impact assessment is not required.
2.2 Stakeholder engagement
Stakeholder engagement was undertaken to support the evidence outlined in the screening report and contribute to finalising the draft RAP and ARES documents. The views of equality organisations and businesses towards the RAP and ARES actions have also been used to prepare the final impact assessments report including the final FSDA.
The Scottish Government and AECOM identified 103 stakeholders for AECOM to engage with across all impact assessments. This included:
- The ARES Short Life Working Group;
- Disability Short Life Working Group;
- Gender Short Life Working Group;
- Protected characteristic groups;
- Island communities; and
Several stakeholders identified as important for this impact assessment contributed the views and experiences of those with lived experience of poverty, such as the Poverty Alliance. Many other organisations were able to bring lived experience of poverty to the fore of discussions in an intersectional manner, where it was appropriate.
Stakeholders were invited to complete an online survey to submit their views on the two draft documents. Alternatively, one-to-one discussions were offered to stakeholders who required a more in-depth discussion of the initiatives. Alongside one-to-one discussions and the survey, the following stakeholder engagement activities took place:
- Organisations first contacted via email on 26th October 2022;
- Webinar to equality focused organisations on 31st October 2022;
- Business organisations contacted via the Scottish Government's October 2022 bulletin; and
- Virtual business engagement session on 7th November 2022.
The Scottish Government provided an overview of the Bute House Agreement grant conditionality commitments, the RAP and the ARES to share with stakeholders via email and in one-to-one discussions.
Four stakeholders took part in one-to-one discussions, both on Microsoft Teams and in person, and four submitted survey responses between 26th October and 15th November which fed into the technical note for the Scottish Government.
AECOM used the findings of the stakeholder engagement to develop an Impact Assessment Input Note which was submitted to the Scottish Government on the 15th of November 2022. This set out key issues, consideration and recommendations for finalising the draft RAP and ARES documents.
Following this, AECOM continued stakeholder engagement between 15th November 2022 and 9th January 2023 to ensure that a wide range of voices contributed to the development of the impact assessments. An additional six stakeholders engaged in one-to-one discussions, and five submitted survey responses which fed into the final assessment of impacts.
2.3 Impact Assessment Input Note
An input note was submitted to the Scottish Government on 15th November. For each impact assessment, this highlighted the key potential impacts of the actions within the draft RAP and ARES as identified through the screening process and stakeholder engagement activities.
AECOM delivered a virtual presentation of the input note to the Scottish Government colleagues involved in the drafting process of the RAP and ARES.
The input note provided a final opportunity for external input into the two documents prior to the finalisation of actions.
2.4 Baseline evidence review
The baseline covers the following:
- Review of all relevant documentation and available information regarding the RAP and ARES including the Fair Work Framework (2016), Fair Work Action Plan (2019) and 'Becoming a Fair Work Nation' consultation documents;
- Review of relevant legislation and policies to develop context pertinent to the FSDA; and
- Evidence and key issues regarding potential equality impacts for socio-economically disadvantaged groups as identified through secondary data and research provided by the Scottish Government, stakeholders, and desktop review.
2.5 Assessment of impacts on socio-economically disadvantaged groups
This FSDA presents the potential direct or indirect positive and negative impacts of each individual action in the RAP and ARES for socio-economically disadvantaged groups. The actions within the RAP are organised into the four headline actions, while each ARES action sets out the RAP action it corresponds to or is incorporated into.
Those experiencing inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, including:
- People on low incomes
- People living in deprived areas (and within communities of place and interest)
- People with no/low wealth or in debt
- People in material deprivation
- People from different social classes
- Communities of interest or communities of place, which could be more affected than others
The assessment and identification of potential impacts has been based on the evidence and key issues (as set out in Section 4 of this report), information provided through discussions with the Scottish Government and stakeholder engagement.
The scoring mechanism used for the assessment initially provides a score of the effect of the policy for each of the relevant groups as follows:
- Major Positive Effect - The action contributes significantly reducing inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.
- Minor Positive Effect - The action contributes to the reducing inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage, but not significantly.
- Neutral/Negligible Effect - There is no clear relationship between the action and reducing inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage, or the relationship is negligible.
- Minor Negative Effect - The action detracts from the achievement of reducing inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage, but not significantly.
- Major Negative Effect - The action detracts significantly from reducing inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage. Mitigation is therefore required.
- Uncertain Effect - The policy has an uncertain relationship to the Fairer Scotland Duty, or the relationship is dependent on the way in which the aspect is managed. In addition, insufficient information may be available to enable an assessment to be made and will be gathered through further consultation and/or research.
2.6 Recommendations and conclusions
Section 7 of this report sets out conclusions on the impacts of the RAP and ARES.
The final section of this report sets out recommendations for enhancing the benefits to those affected by the Fair Work initiatives as well as appropriate mitigation against adverse impacts.
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