Ukraine - A Warm Scots Future: equality impact assessment

The equality impact assessment considers the impacts of the 'A Warm Scots Future' policy paper on equality and the protected characteristics of displaced people from Ukraine. It builds on, and should be read alongside the Fairer Scotland duty summary and the child rights and wellbeing impact assessment.


Policy Aim

Upon Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Scottish Government stood in solidarity with Ukraine and committed to supporting those seeking sanctuary. While our Warm Scots Welcome programme focused on the welcome accommodation and the immediate needs of displaced people from Ukraine, it is clear that a move towards a longer-term and more sustainable response is required.

A Warm Scots Future sets out the policy direction for the next phase of Scotland’s response to the humanitarian crisis created by Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine. This will help the Scottish Government and our partners transition from an emergency response to a long term and holistic approach that supports the integration of displaced people from Ukraine, in alignment with the New Scots refugee integration strategy.

Five overarching strategic priorities have been identified to guide this next phase of Scotland’s Ukraine response:

  1. A trauma informed, holistic and rights-based approach to long-term integration, in line with the New Scots refugee integration strategy
  2. Reduce reliance on welcome accommodation
  3. Boost long-term settled housing that leaves a legacy for Scotland
  4. Pursue clarity on routes to settlement, family reunification and repatriation
  5. Continued partnership and collaboration, ensuring good governance and recognising the lived experience of displaced people from Ukraine

The Equality Act 2010 places a duty (known as the Public Sector Equality Duty, or PSED) on public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation; advance equality of opportunity; and promote good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (Regulation 5) require public authorities to assess and review policies and practices against these three needs of the PSED.

This overarching EQIA aims to look at the next phase of Scotland’s Ukraine response through a holistic lens to explore how the Scottish Government’s direction, as set out in the policy position paper, may impact on people with protected characteristics.

In developing the Warm Scots Future policy position paper, the Scottish Government is mindful of the three needs of the PSED. Where any negative impacts have been identified, we have sought to mitigate or eliminate these. We are also mindful that the equality duty is not just about preventing or mitigating negative impacts, as we also have a positive duty to advance equality.

Who will it affect?

The strategic priorities outlined in this paper will have an impact on displaced people from Ukraine who have already arrived or plan to move to Scotland under the super sponsor scheme and other visa routes. It will also affect the communities in Scotland in which displaced people from Ukraine reside, including local services, businesses, employers and members of the public.

What might prevent the desired outcomes being achieved?

The breadth of the Warm Scots Future is wide ranging as it follows the immediate response to assist Ukrainians fleeing war. We therefore recognise there are a number of challenges that may prevent desired outcomes from being achieved – challenges which may also be shared by the wider Scottish population, refugees and asylum seekers, not just displaced people from Ukraine.

The financial landscape

These challenges are exacerbated by the financial landscape within which the Scottish Government and partners are operating. Although funding is not within scope of the policy position paper, there have been significant cuts to the resettlement tariff funding local authorities receive from the UK government to provide vital integration support for people displaced from Ukraine.

Availability of suitable housing

The pressure on current housing stock is a significant obstacle to supporting displaced people from Ukraine in transitioning from welcome accommodation to long term, settled accommodation.

Recognition of skills and qualifications

In terms of employability, there may be challenges in ensuring that people’s skills and qualifications are recognised to allow displaced people from Ukraine to enter into employment and higher education.

English as a Second or Other Language resources

Similarly, access to ESOL resources may be an obstacle for Ukrainians who are unable to read, write or speak in English. This may hinder their ability to integrate into communities; for example, by limiting employment and learning opportunities, and preventing full understanding of their access to rights and entitlements.

Immigration as a reserved matter

As immigration is a reserved matter, the Scottish Government has no competence to extend visa duration or provide clarity on what will happen in the period after expiry of visas. The course of action taken by the UK Government in relation to visa matters may prevent desired outcomes from being achieved.



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