Tuesday, 12 April 2022
Scotland's Councils miss equality targets in employment of BME people - no officials or elected members resign
Scotland's Councils miss equality targets in employment of disabled people - no officials or elected members resign
This reveals that there are over 45,000 disabled people missing from all of Scotland's Council workforces, almost 7 times the actual total currently employed. The City of Glasgow Council is the worst offender, with 5,603 disabled people missing.
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
WASP privilege indulged by Scottish government and Equality & Human Rights Commission in the running of local government
Wednesday, 6 January 2021
Structural discrimination in the key functions of Scotland’s Councils is going untraced, unchallenged and unchanged
It is now over ten years since Gordon Brown rushed through the House of Commons part of his legacy in the shape of the Equality Act 2010. There was little which was radically new in the Act. Much of the focus of the Act was in tidying up equality legislation dating back several decades and ensuring a coherent framework within which the different experiences of discrimination people with protected characteristics encountered could be placed.
The Equality & Human Rights Commission published a guide for public sector bodies in Scotland in 2016, ‘Evidence and the Public Sector Equality Duty’, and which was intended to “help authorities subject to the public sector equality duty to implement the duty as it relates to evidence”. On page 19, the guidance explains:
After reviewing the existing evidence base, you are likely to identify things that you do, or protected groups that access your services, for which you do not have equality evidence. This could be because you have good information but it is not disaggregated for all protected characteristics, or because you do not routinely collect information in relation to particular functions. Think about whether you have enough evidence, and the right type of evidence, to enable you to give rigorous consideration to the needs of the general equality duty across all your functions.
You will not be able to do everything at once, and it may take some time to develop relevant evidence across all of your functions. But a lack of evidence is not a valid excuse for inaction on the duty. It is important that you start to take action based on the evidence you have, while also taking steps to develop evidence in other areas.
· People with disabilities are less satisfied with burials and cremation services
What the report lacks is the actual data, by protected characteristic, of people using the burials and cremation services, so enabling comparisons between BME people accessing the services and non-BME people using the services. The report also fails to reveal exactly how Highland Council had managed to establish contact with disabled people who had died to establish their lack of satisfaction with their burials or cremations.
Increase the level of disclosure of equality information
In essence, the Council claimed the data requested could be found in the Council’s Equality Diversity and Rights Framework progress report 2019 and in Impact Assessments such as that for the Adaptation and Renewal Programme. The Council also referred to other papers submitted to Scottish Government as statutory reports. These were discounted as they did not fit the terms of the request made in the FoI.
Improved accessibility of council services, housing and buildings
Edinburgh Leisure manages and develops sport and leisure services on behalf of the Council and the Active Communities team deliver projects to people who face the greatest barriers and tend to be much less active: women and girls, people with disabilities, older adults, minority ethnic groups and those with low incomes
Monday, 26 October 2020
Friday, 23 October 2020
Scotland's public sector offers a thin dry toast of excuses for doing nothing on disability equality
It is now over 10 years since the Equality Act 2010 promised a bold new world order in making equality happen across the UK. It had been intended to be the freshest policy offspring of Gordon Brown's premiership, and would have marked the start of his new term of office, this time as an elected Prime Minister. Instead, the Equality Act 2010 became the unwanted and unloved orphan inherited by David Cameron, propped up by Nick Clegg.
In Scotland, government accepted that in the years prior to the Act, work on equality had become bogged down in the process of compliance with the then equality legislation and reporting on progress had become an end in itself instead of a vehicle for tracking and driving real change. New 'local' regulations on how the Act would be applied in Scotland were drafted by Scottish government with the aim of dislodging the stasis which had gripped public sector progress with delivering real equality which changed the lived experiences of people.
In 2015, Equality Here, Now looked at the performance on the delivery of employment equality of public sector organisations beyond the usual suspects of NHS, Councils and Universities. Research from then found that diverse organisations such as Visit Scotland to the Scottish Qualifications Authority were employing disabled people to the extent that they formed 2.98% of the sector workforce. At that time, Scottish government's Equality Evidence finder resource was flagging that the proportion of the adult population identifying as disabled was 20%.
The research in 2015 concluded that -
the employment data published by public bodies provides no evidence that there is any awareness that there could be even the remotest prospect of institutional discrimination in the sector’s employment of disabled people. There is also no evidence that disability discrimination in employment in the sector is to be eliminated in a coherent, planned manner based on gathering good quality evidence and analysis, and linked to measurable targeted changes in the lived experiences of disabled people. This failure of public bodies in Scotland to act decisively on institutional discrimination on the grounds of disability means that for a lot of young disabled people alive today, they will live out their lives and die before demonstrable and evidenced equality of employment opportunity is available to them.
Thursday, 21 May 2020
Scotland's Councils as employers being run by and for WASPs with privilege - government and EHRC decline to intervene
As with any law, valuable time could be wasted in picking over the mistakes in drafting the Bill, mourning the opportunities lost in Cameron's filleting of the Act, and denouncing the massive funding cuts to the EHRC budget. Or we could look at what public bodies have actually done in a decade of work focused on delivering the core aim of the Act - to eliminate discrimination - and decide whether the Act is delivering for the people it aimed to help - those discriminated against on an almost daily basis.
Over the intervening decade since the Equality Act 2010, 'Equality Here, Now' has carried out regular research into what Scotland's public bodies have been doing to rise to the challenges of the Act and eliminate discrimination through change in the polices, practices and cultures of how they deliver services and operate as employers. Most recently, this has involved scrutiny of what Scotland's 32 local authorities [Councils] published in their function as employers on the workforce profile of people employed by them, and by the protected characteristics of disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.