This is interim guidance for the Fairer Scotland Duty, which is coming into force from April 2018.
It's 'interim' because we want final guidance to be developed with public bodies, grounded on experience of working on the Duty and reflecting the good practice that's already in place. The Duty will be subject to a three year implementation phase where we'll be working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission – the Duty regulator – to make sure the Duty delivers better decision-making. We know that there's a lot of good work already underway and our plan is to build on that strong foundation.
We will also be funding a National Coordinator post in the Improvement Service to help public bodies share best practice through regional meetings, working with the sector and the Scottish Government to improve the guidance over time and manage the intersections between duties focused on socio-economic concerns and equality. And we're introducing a new funding stream, offering small sums of money to help bring the diverse voices of people with direct experience of poverty and disadvantage more directly into strategic decision-making.
The Scottish Government wants to encourage innovation in how public bodies meet the Fairer Scotland Duty and welcomes different approaches. Most importantly, we want the Duty to reduce inequalities of outcome and, for that to happen, we need to develop the Duty in partnership. To reflect this, the guidance is non-statutory – but has been developed with help from a range of partners. Thanks to all those who have worked on the text with us.
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