NHSScotland maternity policy: equality impact assessment

National equality impact assessments were undertaken as part of the policy development process to refresh the extant NHSScotland Partnership Information Network (PIN) workforce policies. This report summarises key findings from the equality impact assessment record prepared for the NHSScotland maternity policy.

4. Key Findings

The EQIA has highlighted areas with potential impacts on different groups and opportunities for promoting equality.

The NHSScotland Maternity Policy is expected to have a positive effect in eliminating unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation across all protected characteristics. The Maternity Policy:

  • sets out the statutory and terms and conditions of service for eligible employees. There is no differentiation on entitlement to access the Maternity Policy in relation to any protected characteristic.
  • is open to all pregnant employees and managers are encouraged to take a person-centred approach.
  • details that employees have the right to paid time off for antenatal care. This includes parentcraft and relaxation classes in addition to medical appointments. The guides ask managers to take a person-centred approach dependent on the employee's individual circumstances. For example, in relation to the number of antenatal and postnatal appointments and length of time required.
  • risk assessment process will highlight any adjustments that need to be made. This is reviewed as the pregnancy develops.
  • guides recognise the predominantly female workforce (78.8%) who largely take on primary caring roles within the family.
  • references both IVF and surrogacy, which can support same sex couples.
  • reinforces compliance with the Equality Act (2010) and the Principles and Values | NHS Scotland.
  • is written to fulfil legislative requirements and comply with statutory responsibilities.

The NHSScotland Maternity Policy has a positive impact in advancing equality of opportunity across all protected characteristics. The Maternity Policy:

  • is open to all NHSScotland employees who meet the eligibility criteria. All employees are entitled to maternity leave. Eligibility for maternity pay is based on length of service as set by statutory (26 weeks for statutory maternity pay) or occupational in NHS terms and conditions (12 months for occupational maternity pay).
  • promotes inclusion through use of gender-neutral language.
  • will support a significant number of women. The NHS is a major employer with a 78.8% female workforce in NHSScotland.
  • is accessible through a purpose built NHSScotland Workforce Policies website. The website scores high on the System Usability Scale (universal usability scoring system). This may particularly support older staff or staff with certain disabilities, advancing equality of opportunity through accessibility.
  • advocates a person-centred approach in the application of all NHSScotland Workforce policies. This is demonstrated across the policy and supporting documents.

The NHSScotland Maternity Policy has no negative impact in promoting good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The policy is open to all pregnant employees. Managers are encouraged to take a person-centred approach.

Currently, there is no evidence of negative impacts on individuals with protected characteristics. Nevertheless, Scottish Government will continue to monitor and review this EQIA to ensure ongoing assessment of potential impacts on people with protected characteristics.


Email: ofs.workforcepolicies@gov.scot

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