Publication - Progress report

Making Progress: Scottish Ministers' equality duty

Published: 23 Dec 2015

A progress report on the activities that have taken place to deliver the Scottish Ministers' proposals for improvement to assist Scottish public authorities to better perform the public sector equality duty.

Making Progress: Scottish Ministers' equality duty
1. Scottish Ministers' Duty: Background and Our Approach

1. Scottish Ministers’ Duty: Background and Our Approach

1.1 BACKGROUND

The Scottish Ministers’ Duty

Equality and fairness are central to the Scottish Government’s purpose, outcomes and approach to public service reform. In this context the public sector equality duty is a key strategic lever for change. In order to help create conditions for authorities, including the Scottish Government, to improve performance, Scottish Ministers are subject to a duty to publish proposals to assist Scottish public authorities to better perform the public sector equality duty, and report on progress in this area.

In December 2013, the Scottish Ministers published proposals for improvement, based on four linked priority areas for improvement over the period 2013-2017:

Four linked priority areas for improvement over the period 2013-2017

The Scottish Ministers’ proposals were informed by the experience of public authorities in 2013 producing for the very first time their equality outcomes and mainstreaming reports. It also took account of supplementary research including:

This progress report describes the activity that has taken place to deliver the proposals during the first phase of the project, covering the period January 2014 – December 2015.

1.2 OUR APPROACH

THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL EQUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (SNEIP)

During 2014 the Scottish Government worked with authorities, the Equality and Human Rights Commission ( EHRC) and other partners to develop the approach to be taken. It sought to test the proposals and develop a set of plans to support their implementation. The Scottish National Equality Improvement Project ( SNEIP) has been set up to help drive improved performance on the public sector equality duty and deliver on the identified proposals.

The Core Project Team consists of the Scottish Government, the EHRC and Close the Gap. This reflects the need for expertise in both compliance with the legislation and around the subject areas of gender pay and occupational segregation. SNEIP is a collaborative project which tests ideas and shapes improvement activity, with a Sounding Board comprising equality networks including the Equality Challenge Unit, NDPB [1] Network, Health Board Network, Scottish Councils Equality Network ( SCEN), COSLA, Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The Core Project Team

The Scottish Government provides core funding for Close the Gap to support work to address women's inequality in the sector, and to meet the requirements of the public sector equality duty.

From the outset it was acknowledged that a drive for improvement had to be at the heart of the project. The work would centre on supporting organisations and working with them on an individual basis and through national collaborative events to make progress. The engagement of the EHRC in the process has been welcome and their contribution has been important. The EHRC of course has an enforcement role in relation to the public sector equality duty but this project does not interfere with that role.

PROJECT THEMES

The project identified four themes for activity:

  • Setting and Reporting on Equality Outcomes
  • Practice Sharing and Knowledge Transfer
  • Reporting on Pay Gaps and Occupation Segregation
  • Improving National and Local Data Availability

Each theme is focused on addressing a clearly defined issue. However, there are strong links between each theme and we have worked to build on these synergies as we have developed and implemented the proposals for activity.


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