Fairer Scotland action plan: progress report 2019

Progress made on the Fairer Scotland action plan published in 2016.

Progress at a glance

This table provides a quick overview of the progress made on each of the actions and recommendations across the three separate reports.  It indicates whether the policy:

  • is at an early stage of development
  • is in progress
  • has been completed, or
  • is one of continuous development where we will carry on pushing for improvements and making changes.
Fairer Scotland Action Plan actions Status
1. In 2017, we will introduce a new socio-economic duty on public bodies Completed
2. We will provide £100,000 new funding so that, across Scotland, people with experience of living in poverty can speak out, tackle stigma and push for change to public services Completed
3. Building on the work of local Fairness and Poverty Commissions, we will establish a national Poverty and Inequality Commission in 2017/18 Completed
4. We will launch a new £29 million programme, including £12.5 million from the European Social Fund, to tackle poverty in Scotland Completed
5. We will take action to tackle the poverty premium In progress
6. We will deliver 100% superfast broadband access by 2021, helping low income households reduce costs In progress
7. We will do more to help people to have a say in their local areas Continuous programme of work
8. We will take action to make democratic institutions more representative of the communities they serve In progress
9. We will reform public services to deliver the highest quality service to users, with dignity and respect at their core In progress
10. We will establish an Advisory Council on Women and Girls Completed
11. We will make sure that refugee families who settle here under Family Reunion rules can access crisis grants quickly and efficiently Completed
12. We will take forward the implementation of the Race Equality Framework In progress
13. We will review and reform gender recognition law so it is in line with international best practice for people who are Transgender or Intersex In progress
14. We will deliver more warm and affordable homes in this parliament In progress
15. We will deliver improved services for tenants in the private rented sector (PRS) in 2018 Completed
16. We will build on Scotland’s world-leading homelessness rights Continuous programme of work
17. We will make social security fairer where we can Continuous programme of work
18. We will do more to help carers as soon as we have the ability Completed
19. We will work with a range of partners to help people claim the benefits they are entitled to In progress
20. Over the term of this parliament, we will work to make Scotland a Good Food Nation by enabling more people to have access to affordable, healthy, nutritious food, in a dignified way In progress
21. Scotland’s most deprived communities need additional support on health, so we will recruit at least 250 Community Links Workers to work with GP surgeries to connect people with local services and support In progress
22. Within the next two years, we will extend home visiting services for families with young children Completed 
23. From 1 April 2017 coverage of the ‘Childsmile’ national oral health improvement programme will be extended to reach even more comparatively deprived communities In progress
24. We will make better use of community-based interventions to reduce re-offending further and to help people move on from offending Continuous programme of work
25. In the first year of the current parliament, we will introduce a Bill to establish domestic abuse as a specific offence Completed
26. In early 2017, we will introduce a new Child Poverty Bill Completed
27. As part of our support for families with children in the early years, we will introduce a Scottish Baby Box in 2017 to help reduce the costs of providing for a child in the early days and weeks of life that some families may find challenging Completed
28. We will create a new Best Start Grant (BSG) to bring together the system for Healthy Start food vouchers and the UK Sure Start Maternity Grant (SSMG) when powers transfer to Scottish Ministers, as part of our focus on reducing inequalities in early years, and subject to the outcome of the consultation on the Future of Social Security in Scotland Completed
29. By 2020, entitlement to free early learning and childcare (ELC) will almost double for all 3 and 4 year olds, as well as those 2 year olds that stand to benefit most, to 1140 hours per year (from current levels of 600 hours per year) In progress
30. We will take action to reduce the costs of school for low income parents Continuous programme of work
31. From April 2017, our proposed reforms will make the current Council Tax system fairer for low income families In progress
32. By 2018, we will ensure that every nursery in our most deprived areas has an additional qualified teacher or childcare graduate In progress
33. We are committed to making real progress in closing the attainment gap during the lifetime of this Parliament and to eliminate it, as far as we can, over the next decade Continuous programme of work
34. We will do more to address bullying in schools – including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic (HBT) bullying In progress
35. We will tackle poverty directly for some of our most vulnerable children by delivering parity of child allowances between kinship and foster carers Completed
36. We will take action to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021 Completed
37. We will significantly increase the numbers of young people getting industry experience while still at school to help them kick-start a successful career in their chosen field In progress
38. We will take action to widen access to university: our ambition is that any child born today should have an equal chance of entering university, no matter what their socio-economic background is Continuous programme of work
39. We will introduce a Job Grant for young people aged 16-24 who have been out of work for six months or more In progress
40. We will ensure that support for housing costs is not taken away from young people aged 18-21 Completed
41. Transport Scotland is working with Young Scot to make the National Entitlement Card smart ready for 11-25 year olds Completed
42. We will do more to promote the Living Wage Continuous programme of work
43. We will do more to help people in Scotland work flexibly Continuous programme of work
44. We will improve employment services for disabled people Continuous programme of work
45. By the end of 2016, we will launch a pilot ‘Returners’ project to help bring experienced women back into the workplace after a career break In progress
46. We will tackle discrimination on pregnancy and maternity leave in the workplace Continuous programme of work
47. We will help those older people who want to keep working after they have reached state pension age In progress
48. We will help older people claim the financial support they are entitled to In progress
49. Our planned reforms to council tax will protect older people on low incomes Completed
50. We will improve the current system of Funeral Payments, so it helps more people, is more predictable and provides help more quickly Completed
Shifting the Curve recommendations Status
1. Build on Living Wage Accreditation – a focus on larger employers, and on incentives, would be useful Continuous programme of work
2. Encourage pay ratio disclosure as a way of tackling pay inequality Continuous programme of work
3. Ensure childcare commitments focus on quality to improve outcomes, and consider providing a limited number of free hours of childcare for primary school aged children In progress
4. Make family flexible working more explicit within the Business Pledge, and consider whether approaches such as the Timewise programme could promote flexible working in Scotland In progress
5. Do more to ensure that people claim the benefits they are entitled to In progress
6. Make effective use of new social security powers but proceed with caution Continuous programme of work
7. Build more social housing In progress
8. Ensure fuel poverty programmes are focused to support those on low incomes, and do more to tackle the poverty premium in home energy costs In progress
9. Be bold on local tax reform In progress
10. Carry out a comprehensive review of the policies and services relevant to the life chances of older children and young adults, with particular emphasis on young people from poorer backgrounds Completed
11. Reduce the number of government-supported employment programmes targeting this group of young people and simplify the landscape, to provide a clearer, sharper focus In progress
12. Ensure that the new approach to employer engagement in education is having an impact on improving skills for work of young people In progress
13. Do more to tackle occupational segregation Continuous programme of work
14. Ensure that public service delivery is respectful, person-centred and preserves the dignity of people in poverty: pre-employment and in-service training should include the importance of avoiding stigma and developing understanding of the challenges of living on a very low income In progress
15. Commence the socio-economic duty in the Equality Act 2010, when powers are available to do so Completed
The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland recommendations Status
1. Develop new advice provision for young people, supported by a skilled, trained workforce Early stages of delivery
2. Continue work to improve data collection and sharing to track post school participation in learning, training and work for young people and make better use of that information to improve service delivery and develop Scottish Government policy Continuous programme of work
3. Do more to enhance the effectiveness of the work of the Developing the Young Workforce regional groups in building systematic engagement between local employers and schools and colleges on local and regional skills shortages Continuous programme of work
4. Do more to value non-academic learning routes, post-school Continuous programme of work
5. The Scottish Government should, through the 15-24 Learner Journey Review, ensure our FE and HE systems have more flex built in so young people can shift between routes Early stages of delivery
6. Employers need to think about ‘job design’ and recruitment processes that are free from bias and that match requirements for the job with the skill level needed to make applications In progress
7. All post-school internships should be advertised and every post-school intern should get paid Completed 
8. Raise concerns with DWP about the quality of support offered to young people in Jobcentre Plus Completed
9. Lobby the UK Government about exploitative zero hour contracts In progress
10. Lobby the UK Government on the need for the National Living Wage to apply to all those over 18 years old In progress
11. Do more to disseminate models of good practice on inclusive growth Continuous programme of work
12. Do more to provide subsidised/free transport for young people aged 25 and under In progress
13. Improve housing advice for young people  Completed
14. Deliver more affordable housing options for young adults  In progress
15. Ensure that tenants and landlords understand the arrangements for enforcing private rented sector regulations, and that monitoring is in place to make sure the new arrangements work as intended In progress
16. Encourage social landlords to make the social sector easier for young people to access In progress
17. Take action to embed positive mental health approaches, based on quality evidence, in key settings where young people engage In progress
18. The Scottish Government should fund applied research on school and classroom practices that encourage wellbeing and mental health In progress


Email: sjsu@gov.scot

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