Voluntary Health Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposals for the review into the effectiveness of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in Scotland. The consultation closed on Monday 11 April.
We welcome the potential move towards a more intersectional approach with regards to data collection and the proposal to extend pay gap reporting to include ethnicity and disability. However, we do not believe the current proposals go far enough in terms of considering socio-economic circumstance and caring responsibilities. Socio-economic circumstance is central to issues of inequality and it is not currently included in the PSED. Poverty is often the driving force behind inequality, and we need to consider how it intersects with the protected characteristics currently covered by the PSED. Voluntary Health Scotland welcomes the proposal for the Scottish Government to take on more of a leadership role in setting national equality outcomes while ensuring listed authorities have the flexibility and responsibility to address issues specific to their community.
Our response underlines the importance of inclusive communication for informing and empowering people, but also for building trusting relationships with services. We have highlighted the persistent failure to support the communication needs of certain groups, and the need for better understanding of people’s diverse communication needs.
Furthermore, we have welcomed the commitment to involve people with lived experience and the organisations that represent them when developing national equality outcomes. This engagement must be early in the process and meaningful. We also believe there needs to be a much greater understanding by listed authorities that asking people to share their lived experience is sometimes asking them to relive deep trauma. There needs to be a commitment to provide resources and assistance to enable and support people not only to share, but to cope with any issues that sharing entails for them.
We have responded to the elements of the consultation most relevant to us as an organisation which often works in collaboration with the public sector and in tackling inequalities.
You can read our full response here: VHS Consultation Response – Public Sector Equality Duty in Scotland
For more information please contact Kimberley