Public Sector Equality Duty Implementation of Scottish Specific Duties: Views from public authorities

This explored Scottish public authorities’ experiences in approaching their Public Sector Equality Duties. This report presents views about what authorities have learnt from their implementation of the Scottish specific duties.

The Scottish Government commissioned the research in September 2013, to help inform Scottish Ministers as they prepare to meet their duty to publish proposals for activity to enable the better performance of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Appendix One Discussion Guide

Public Sector Equality Duties - Supporting the Ministers' Duty

Discussion Guide


By 31 December 2013, Scottish Ministers will publish proposals for activities to help public authorities to better perform the Public Sector Equality Duties.

This timing will allow Scottish Ministers to take account of the information published by Scottish listed authorities in their mainstreaming reports, equality outcomes, gender pay gap information and statements on equal pay and occupational segregation.

We have been asked by the Scottish Government to undertake research to inform Scottish Ministers as they prepare their proposals. They will also be working with a range of stakeholders to develop these proposals.

Our research is intended to provide views from a range of public bodies about what they have learnt from their implementation of the Scottish Specific duties, as a result of:

  • the processes that they have put in place;
  • what barriers they faced (and how they overcame these); and
  • areas in which additional support could assist in overcoming any remaining barriers.

We are doing this through one to one telephone interviews with a sample of 65 public bodies across Scotland. We are speaking both to those with a lead around developing equality outcomes; and to those leading on the publication of employee information.

Participation in the research is voluntary. However, your participation will help to shape the support provided by Scottish Ministers under the new duties.

We will not attribute anything to any individual or organisation in our report. However, if we identify examples of innovative or interesting practice, we will discuss with you whether these can be attributed to your organisation. But will only do so with your express permission.

The timescales for the study are relatively tight - as this research will inform the development of the Scottish Ministers' proposals which need to be complete by December 2013. Interviews will take place during September and October.

Do you have any questions about the research?

Your role

1. Can you describe your role within your organisation generally?

2. What is your role in relation to equality?

3. What was your role specifically in developing equality outcomes and the mainstreaming report?

4. What was your role in gathering and publishing the employee information?

Process for meeting the duties

5. Can you talk me through the general approach within your organisation to meeting the equalities duties - both general and specific?

  • Who led the work?
  • Who else was involved within your organisation?

Developing Equality Outcomes

6. Can you talk through how your organisation developed equality outcomes?

  • Who led the work?
  • Who else was involved within your organisation?

7. What evidence did you use? How useful and reliable did you find this?

8. Who did you consult or engage with beyond your organisation (including service users/ equalities groups)? How effective did you find this?

9. Did you work with or share experiences with other public bodies locally or nationally? How useful was this?

10. Can you give a broad indication of the resources that your organisation dedicated to producing equality outcomes? (For example, an estimate of the staff input and any external costs, such as consultants).

Process for publishing employee information

11. Can you give me an overview of how your organisation went about making sure that you could publish the required information on the protected characteristics of staff?

12. Who led this process?

13. Who else was involved?

14. Can you give a broad indication of the resources that your organisation dedicated to preparing the employment information?

15. Did you have to improve or develop the information you had on your workforce to meet the duties? How did you do this?

16. Is there more to be done to improving the information you have to ensure you meet your duties?

Barriers and success factors

17. Can you explain the main difficulties/ barriers that you have encountered in:

  • gathering the employee information on protected characteristics?
  • developing the equality outcomes?

18. How did you (or will you) overcome these barriers?

19. What worked particularly well, or helped you to be able to meet the duties more easily?


20. Based on your experience so far, how will you do things in future?

21. What additional support (either internally or externally) would help you to overcome these barriers in future?

22. Are you aware of any early changes that have happened as a result of the development of the equality outcomes, for example:

  • Is there greater and wider awareness of inequalities?
  • Are there agreed actions to tackle the inequalities identified?
  • Have systems measuring and reporting progress been improved?

24. What do you think will be the long-term benefits of taking the steps you have to meet the duties?

25. Do you have any other comments?


Email: Alison Stout

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