Data collection - protected characteristics: guidance - equality impact assessment

Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for guidance for public bodies on the collection of data related to age, disability, ethnic group, religion/belief and sexual orientation.

Stage 1: Framing

Results of framing exercise

The guidance is needed as part of a routine update to guidance across all protected characteristics following the release of Scotland's new census questions for 2022. The guidance will be brought in line with the 2022 census and the questions used by Scotland's major household surveys.

Better data collection should mean a higher quality of data available for public bodies and the government to use to base decisions on. Comparability with and across a range of Scottish and UK-wide surveys, such as the Scottish Household Survey, Scotland's Census 2022, the Labour Force Survey, and Family Resources Survey, will enable policy makers to design and review policies within a larger UK framework. This will allow analysts to collect data in a way that captures the diversity of people in Scotland and enable the design of appropriate services.

It will affect a large number of people – service users, service providers generally because it will determine how data is collected from them.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

A full equality impact assessment is required. Ultimately the recommended questions in the guidance will influence how data on protected characteristics is collected.

The guidance will also be used to encourage an intersectional approach, and therefore have potentially wider impacts on equality groups. Intersectional analysis gives insight into the experiences of different groups in society, and how particular characteristics can combine to impact on an individual's experiences. Being able to identify cases where combinations of factors result in disadvantage provides a more complete understanding of outcomes for people with different protected characteristics and enables policies to be developed and action taken to address these issues.



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