The following information in respect of the compliance requirements for “Admitted Body” organisations in the Local Authority Pension Scheme (Scotland), set against the following extract from that scheme in England, as outlined below:
Equalities and Diversity
Ensuring the long term financial health of the Pension Fund will benefit everyone who contributes to it. Access to and participation in the Pension Fund is open to those with and those without protected characteristics, alike, provided that the criteria set out within the relevant Regulations are met. The 2010 Equality Act outlines the provisions of the Public Sector Equalities Duty which requires Public Bodies to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
- advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
- foster good relations between people from different groups.
1. Can you please advise me if the Equalities and Diversity criteria above are applicable to an “Admitted Body” in Scotland?
2. If the above is not the case, would you mind outlining the situation for Equalities and Diversity for a LSAPS “Admitted Body” LAPS in Scotland please?
3. Can you please advise me of all LAPS compliance requirements for an "Admitted Body" in Scotland?
1. The Scottish Parliament was created following a process known as ‘devolution’. Devolution is a system of government which allows decisions to be made at a more local level. In the UK there are several examples of devolved government including: the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Under this system of devolution Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom and the UK Parliament in Westminster is ‘sovereign’, i.e. it has ultimate power.
In 1998, The Scotland Act 1998 and several successive Acts of Parliament from the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament has been given the power to introduce new laws on a wide range of important issues which affect our everyday lives. These are known as devolved matters. However, the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to pass laws in other areas known as ‘reserved matters’. Only the United Kingdom Parliament can pass laws on reserved matters.
2. The Equality Act (2010) is a UK-wide legislation that prohibits discrimination against people who possess one of the protected characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, race, religion, etc.
The Equality Act 2010 introduced the Public Sector Equality Duty. The Act places general equality duties on public sector employers which require the Scottish Parliament (SP) to:
a) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
b) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
c) foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
3. The specific equality duty requires the SP to assess and review the impact of proposed new or revised projects, policies or practice against the needs of the general equality duty. The Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) (LGPS) 2018 must therefore meet the requirements of The Equality Act (2010) and this applies to all bodies who are listed in the LGPS regulations; including Admitted Bodies.
Uniquely among the main public service pension schemes in Scotland, the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a funded scheme (the other schemes are “pay as you go” schemes). There are 11 LG pension funds in Scotland, each administered by a fund administering authority. The Lothian Pension Fund, for example, is administered by the City of Edinburgh Council.
Bodies which meet certain criteria laid down in The Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2018 (“the Regulations”) can apply to the relevant fund to become an “admitted body” to the fund. This allows access to the LGPS for the staff of the body.
Where a local authority outsources work to a contractor, transferred staff must either be provided with a pension scheme “broadly comparable” to the scheme they were in, or if possible, be allowed to remain in their old scheme. Most contractors are unable to provide a pension scheme which is broadly comparable to the LGPS and therefore use the alternative option of applying to the appropriate fund authority for admission body status for the staff they are taking on in relation to the contract.
The resulting agreement is called an “admission agreement”. The agreement will specify who is an eligible person. In the case of an outsourced service, the Regulations provide that only those employees of the body who are employed in connection with the provision of the service are eligible. This provides scope for both initially transferred staff and new staff to be covered by the agreement, provided they are employed in connection with the service.
When writing The new Local Government Pension Scheme (Scotland) (LGPS) 2014, the policy team were required to complete an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA), in order to ensure that no one is excluded from the delivery of our services and implementation of our policies.
The EQIA is designed to help policy-makers anticipate the consequences of our actions and consider the effects of our decisions on different communities, individuals or groups. It is required to evidence that our decision-making includes a consideration of the actions that would help to avoid or mitigate any negative impacts on particular protected groups. EQIA’s also provide a positive opportunity to advance equality within all areas of work including projects, policies and procedures and that our policy decisions are based on evidence. This enables us to show that we have met our Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act (2010).
Access to and participation in the LGPS is open to all members, regardless of protected/non-protected characteristics or whether their employer is a Scheduled or Admitted body in the LGPS.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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