Public sector - understanding equality data collection: executive summary

A summary of research that explores the range of equality and socio-economic disadvantage data collected by the public sector. Findings offer insights into what works best in terms of collecting, utilising and safeguarding robust data, highlighting major barriers to its collection or use.


1. Scottish Government, National Performance Framework.

2. Equality Act 2010.

3. For the purpose of this research the term 'data collection' is restricted to quantitative data collected through surveys, equality monitoring forms or administrative processes.

4. From here onwards, the phrase 'equality data' is used to mean 'equality and socio-economic disadvantage data'.

5. Note that the Data Protection Act 2018 provides the current legal framework for the collecting and processing of personal data in the UK. This Act codifies into UK law the European Union's General Data Protection Legislation.

6. Specifically, Health and social care, Justice, Education and skills, and Employment, labour and welfare.

7. The nine (9) protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010 cover: age, religion and belief, race, disability, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, and gender reassignment.

8. The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) classifies small geographical areas (called 'data zones') based on information across seven domains: income, employment, education, health, access to services, crime and housing.

9. Office for Statistics Regulation, National Statistics.

10. An equality monitoring form is a self-contained set of equality questions that can be used in relation to a number of different processes or services.



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