Gender pay gap action plan: annual report

This progress report provides an update on actions within the Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan since publication in 2019. It also sets out our future priorities for continuing to advance work on this issue across Scottish Government as part of our economic recovery and renewal.

Next Steps

Although we have achieved our headline goal to reduce the Gender Pay Gap by 2021 across all measurements we know that gender pay gap is persistent and that we have yet to feel the full impact that BREXIT and COVID-19 has and will have on the Scottish economy in the coming year. We will therefore continue our work to reduce the gender pay gap throughout the reporting year 2021 to 2022.

We will develop an equality and human rights mainstreaming strategy that is underpinned by a comprehensive approach to intersectional data collation to improve the gender competence of policy makers across government. We will also establish an Economy Centre of Expertise on equality and human rights to drive progress in this area. Reviewing the public sector equality duty will be a key task to ensure public bodies apply an equality analysis to their policies including the impact they will have on women. 

In the absence of powers over employment legislation and within our devolved powers we will influence and support employers to embrace diversity in the workplace and address gender pay gaps. We will continue
to deliver our Workforce Equality Fund
and Women Returners Programme in
2021-22 and support them to adopt flexible working practice that not only benefit women but all workers. We will build new forums to offer support and best practice to employers in implementing gender equality policies including launching the Gender Beacon Collaborative and a Centre For Workplace Transformation. We will also call on the UK Government to increase protection and provision for women at work including tackling harassment at work and discrimination due to pregnancy/maternity. 

Within early learning settings and schools we will continue to break down gender stereotypes and occupational segregation in the next review of the national occupational standards and resulting qualifications for the early learning and childcare and out of school care sector. We will also continue to accelerate progress on the Developing Young Workforce Strategy interventions to reduce gender imbalance and undertake a practice and improvement evaluation of the equality outcomes in Developing Young Workforce as part of the delivery of the Young Person's Guarantee. 

In our future skills delivery options we will continue to explore the opportunity to access intersectional gender-disaggregated data within the Flexible Workforce Development Fund and Transition Training Fund. This will investigate possible breakdown by sector to consider and address occupational segregation. We will ensure that new skills investment focussing on areas of jobs growth such as green Jobs consider gender equality in their design.

In designing the new employment support as announced in the Child Poverty Action Plan, we will challenge occupational segregation and improve women's quality of employment, taking into account the impact COVID-19 on women's unemployment. Social Security Scotland will also publish its first Equality Strategy in 2021 with a key commitment to improve the accessibility of data and understanding of intersectionality.

We will look in more depth at the impact the disproportionate responsibility of unpaid care impacts on women's access to labour market opportunities and consider possible mechanisms to address this issue. This will include reinstating work on developing an approach to treat investment in childcare and social care as economic infrastructure. 



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