This report was commissioned to look at how effectively the current Scottish Public Sector Equality Duty specific duties have helped public bodies achieve their obligations under the general equality duty. The duties were introduced by the Scottish Government in 2013 and were intended to give structure to public bodies work on equality. The research is based on material published by public authorities and looks at the duties relating to equality outcomes, employee information and pay gaps. 

The Scottish Government has announced that they intend to carry out a full review of the operation of the specific duties next year. We hope that this research will help inform their thinking on this.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission believe that the duties can make a valuable contribution to a fairer society.

However the key findings from this research indicate that;

·      Too many public bodies are focussed on the administrative aspects of the duties and not the intended purpose

·      Too often reports focus on what has been done but not on the outcomes or what has been achieved

·      Public bodies often do not have obvious systems in place to be able to track and evidence improvements

·      As a result it is often difficult to attribute progress on equality to the duties

The Commission will be using this research: 

and the other evidence collected over the years to inform our thinking and recommendations to the Scottish Government review for how the duties could be improved.

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