Briefing for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election

About this briefing

We believe Scotland has the opportunity, the capability, and the will to tackle deeply entrenched inequalities and become a fairer, more prosperous and inclusive society – if that will is reflected in the next Scottish Parliament.

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Our recommendations

We believe that all parties should commit to the following policy priorities for the 2021-26 session of the Scottish Parliament:

1. Strong equality and human rights laws to protect people

  • Incorporating the UN human rights treaties into Scots law
  • Equality and human rights must be safeguarded
  • Making the Public Sector Equality Duty as effective as possible
  • A better understanding of inequality to effect change
  • The process for gender recognition must be simplified
  • A more civil debate
  • A Parliament that represents Scotland

2. Fair work for everyone

  • Supporting flexible working as a day one right for all jobs ​​​
  • Providing adequate childcare
  • Increasing diversity in employment
  • Work should be safe and secure
  • Addressing the inequalities of employment faced by some ethnic minority groups
  • Eradicating harassment, including sexual harassment, at work

3. Inclusive justice

  • Making Scottish courts and tribunals, and their working practices should be accessible to all
  • Building capacity in the criminal justice system

4. Education that changes the world

  • The Curriculum for Excellence should do more to promote equality
  • Education must be accessible to all
  • Closing the attainment gap
  • Children in Scottish schools must be protected from unlawful restraint and seclusion

5. Going places

  • Public transport must be accessible
  • Rail travel in Scotland must work for those with different needs

6. Health and social care

  • Reforming the social care system to put the interests of those being cared for at its heart
  • Detention under mental health legislation should not discriminate
  • We need a better understanding of people in our mental health system

7. A fairer Scotland

  • There should be a review of public authorities’ implementation of the Fairer Scotland Duty final guidance (to be published April 2021) during the next Parliament
  • The next National Planning Framework should embed equality as a key consideration at the outset of planning strategies and decisions
  • Equality should be embedded in Scotland’s Climate Change Plan

Last updated: 05 Nov 2020