Rocket Science UK Ltd was commissioned by Social Security Scotland to analyse the feedback from an online public consultation and events across Scotland relating to their Draft Maintstreaming Equality Outcomes. The public consultation was open from 7 November 2019 to 6 February 2020. 81 individuals and organisations completed a response online. Nine events also took place across the country to compliment the public consultation: Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dumfries, Falkirk, Glasgow and Perth. 108 people in total attended these events. The methodology is outlined in more detail in Chapter 2. Survey details may be found in the Appendices. In this report, the analysis is broken down into:
- An analysis of the public consultation (online survey)
- An analysis of the consultation events
- An analysis of the Easy Read responses to the public consultation.
The four most important messages emerging from the analysis are set out below.
Respondents to the consultation encouraged Social Security Scotland to go beyond supporting only protected characteristics
Participants to the public consultation as well as the consultation events felt that Social Security Scotland had a unique opportunity to "go beyond" legal requirements of supporting protected characteristics. Participants encouraged Social Security Scotland to be more ambitious and improve draft outcomes more generally to include those who may need support but aren't protected by their characteristics. For example, carers, those experiencing poverty or those from more disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and acknowledging that many groups face multiple inequalities and interacting disadvantages
Wording and the language used for the outcomes was a significant issue for many respondents
Respondents at events and from the online survey were concerned with the overall wording and language used in the outcomes. It was felt that wording of the entire outcome could be improved to be more specific and that outcomes could be written with more clarity in how they were to be achieved. This includes concerns about the outcome statement itself, how it meets general duty and protected characteristics, measures of success and supporting activities.
This would be done by outlining the situation and need of certain groups first, then detailing the change required, describing a rationale, detailing the activities and strategy to achieve this and finally, describing in detail the means of measuring success of each activity and outcome.
Respondents wished to see specific protected groups be explicitly mentioned in the overall outcomes as well as the activities and measures of success
It was mentioned often by respondents that the outcomes should explicitly acknowledge the inequalities some groups face and the disadvantages they therefore face in terms of accessing welfare benefits. By doing this for each group, Social Security Scotland could then outline specific, relevant and time-bound outcomes which are achievable through activities which could be measured.
Respondents wished to see more involvement of groups with protected characteristics
It was felt by respondents, especially those who identified as coming from protected groups, that those from protected groups be consulted frequently during the design of the Mainstreaming Equality Outcomes process.