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Home Guidance and resources Equality legislation Performance of the specific duties in Scotland 2015

Performance of the specific duties in Scotland 2015

As part of the specific duties of the public sector equality duty, listed colleges and HEIs in Scotland were required to report on their progress by April 2015.

The public sector equality duty (PSED) came into force on 5 April 2011. It is supported by specific duties for each nation in Great Britain. In Scotland these were commenced on 27 May 2012. Scottish colleges and HEIs are covered by the PSED and the specific duties.

By April 2015 Scottish colleges and HEIs were required to report on their progress in mainstreaming equality and delivering their equality outcomes since 2013, report on employee equality information and on their gender pay gap.

ECU review

ECU conducted a review of Scottish colleges’ and HEIs’ specific duties reporting in summer 2015. Only listed institutions were included in the review, which included 25 colleges and 18 HEIs. The full findings are published in ‘Reporting on equality’, which can be downloaded from this page.

How did our sectors do?

Overall, the vast majority of colleges and HEIs had met the minimum publication requirements by 30 October 2015, although several institutions did not meet all requirements by the April 2015 deadline.

Colleges’ publication rate was slightly lower than that of HEIs, and HEIs’ publication rate almost matched the publication rate of the public sector as a whole.

Areas for development

  • Where mainstreaming and equality outcomes are published in the same report, this should be clearly differentiated.
  • Collection, analysis and publication of employee information on pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment require improvement.
  • Gaps in monitoring data for many protected characteristics suggest a need for institutions to do more to encourage disclosure of protected characteristics by their staff.
  • Reporting of employee information in relation to recruitment, retention and development by protected characteristic is an area for improvement for both sectors.
  • Gender pay gap reporting requires greater consistency and transparency. Institutions should:
    • present the overall gender pay gap, as well as pay gaps by job level
    • include all staff in the analysis, including part time and senior staff
    • provide analysis of gender pay gap information
  • Many institutions could do more to ensure their reports are easily accessible to their staff, students and the public. This includes:
    • clear positioning of reports on websites
    • clarity of titles of reports, including which duties they contain and publication dates
    • providing summary versions of longer reports
  • Reporting on progress rather than actions is an area for development for most institutions. For future reports, use of success measures could enable measurement of, and reporting on progress.

Examples of effective reporting

The review report shares effective reporting practice used by institutions in April 2015 to report on equality outcomes, mainstreaming, employee information and gender pay gap. It highlights a variety of examples drawn from different institutions’ reports. These can be found at the back of the report.