This document supports consideration of the impact of the Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund (LCMCF) on people with protected characteristics.
The Scottish Government is mindful of the three needs of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) - eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Therefore the LCMCF has been designed to take into account the needs of the PSED when considering how the fund will operate.
Where any negative impacts have been identified, we have sought to address this by considering how the fund can be operated in such a way as to mitigate any negative impacts. We are also mindful that the equality duty is not just about negating or mitigating negative impacts, as we also have a positive duty to promote equality. We have sought to do this through considering how the fund can have a positive impact on reducing inequality.
The LCMCF recognises there will be positive impacts across many of the protected characteristics through the:
- opportunities that the fund provides for new, good green, high value jobs for people with protected characteristics;
- opportunities to break down existing barriers to careers in the sector through the introduction of new technology and processes as a direct result of the fund;
- opportunity to close existing pay gaps through the recruitment, or reskilling, of people with protected characteristics to undertake new jobs, transformed jobs or substituted jobs;
- wider societal benefits for people with protected characteristics throughout Scotland as a result of the transformation of the manufacturing sector to a low carbon manufacturing sector that contributes to a circular economy and net zero targets.
The LCMCF has the potential to impact all those who are involved in the Scottish manufacturing Industry, such as employers, employees, trade unions and workplace representatives, workplace contractors, customers and suppliers. It has been identified that the fund may have some impact on all 9 protected characteristic groups, with some groups being more impacted than others. Where any negative impacts have been identified, we have sought to address these.
Fairer Scotland Duty
The Scottish Government are required by the Fairer Scotland Duty (which forms part of the Equality Act 2010) to actively consider ('pay due regard' to) how to reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage and to consider alternative options to maximise our impact. This impact assessment incorporates the LCMCF Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment.
As a longer term aim, the LCMCF should result in a positive effect on low paid, vulnerable, workers in the manufacturing industry by creating a platform for the creation of good green jobs in the Scottish manufacturing sector, provide opportunities for people to upskill and move into well paid, high value jobs, and support the sector as it transitions to low or zero carbon emissions.
More immediately, we will seek to ensure that any grant funding paid to businesses will be in line with existing SG policies, such as the Scottish Government's commitment to the Scottish Business Pledge, based on boosting productivity and competiveness through fairness, equality and sustainable employment; and Scottish Government's Fair Work Action Plan: Annual Report in the absence of control over employment laws, the Scottish Government are using their spending powers to leverage employers commitment to Fair Work. Fair Work policy and Fair Work First criteria is being applied to grants and funding awarded by the public sector. This includes asking employers to adopt the following: investment in workforce development; appropriate channels for effective voice, action to tackle gender pay gap and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace; no inappropriate use of zero hour contracts; payment of the real living wage; offer flexible and family friendly working; oppose the use of hire and rehire.
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