Equality and diversity/Fairer Scotland Duty

Fairer Scotland Duty

The Fairer Scotland Duty, came into force in April 2018.

Local authorities must:

  • Actively consider how we can reduce inequalities of outcome in any major strategic decision we make
  • Publish a written assessment, showing how we have done this

Scottish Government recognises that the public sector is key to delivering a fairer Scotland and this new duty is intended to help make sure that the sector takes full account of socio economic disadvantage when key decisions are being made.

Key areas of focus in a fairer Scotland

Socio-economic disadvantage is focused on:

  • Low income – cannot afford to maintain regular payments such as bills, food clothing
  • Low wealth/no wealth – enough money to meet basic living costs and pay bills but have no savings to deal with unexpected expenditure on provision for the future
  • Material deprivation – being unable to access basic goods and services i.e. financial products like life assurance, repair/replace broken electrical goods, warm home, leisure and hobbies
  • Area deprivation – (including communities of interest and communities of place) – where you live, where you work, visit or spend a continuous amount of time can have an impact i.e. rural areas, accessibility of transport, education and employment, people who have experienced homelessness and/ or the asylum system, those who share an identity and/ or a Protected Characteristic
  • Socio-economic background – disadvantage that can arise from parents’ education, employment and income – social class in other words.

Our approach to meeting the duty:

  • Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) process has been revised and renamed as Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) Process. The revised process incorporates the requirements to meet the Fairer Scotland Duty. 
  • The revised process is a 2 stage procedure which enables the development or review of projects, policies, strategies, functions & services that meet the demands of Equality legislation and do not discriminate.
  • The IIA considers the Public Sector Equality Duty (previously covered by Equality Impact Assessment) and, where appropriate, the Fairer Scotland Duty.
  • IIA’s will continue to be published on our website and where appropriate will include detail on how the Fairer Scotland Duty has been met.