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Our work in Scotland

In this section you can read all about the work of the Commission in Scotland.

Commission in Scotland priorities 2017 to 2018

Scotland benefits greatly from the work that the Commission delivers across Great Britain as a whole. Our team work closely with colleagues in England and Wales on programmes spanning the public and private sector, domestic and international human rights and in using our legal powers. The Commission’s priorities for 2017 to 2018 are set out in our business plan.

The Scotland Directorate

There are 18 staff in the Scotland Directorate made up of legal, policy, parliamentary, communications and business support. We work on a wide variety of issues important to the people of Scotland, as set out in our annual Business Plan and our 3 year Strategic Plan.

As well as delivering on all our core policy, communications, parliamentary and legal activities, our priorities for 2017 to 2018 include:

  • Ensure that constitutional changes, including Brexit, further devolving powers to Scotland and British Bill of Rights, lead to coherent and workable arrangements which maximise the promotion and progression of  equality and human rights.  
  • As part of our programme of work assessing the effectiveness of the Scotland specific equality duties, we will be monitoring and reporting on how Scottish public authorities have met the public sector equality duty (PSED) specific duties over the 4 year reporting period, 2013 to 2017, in order to inform effective future legal and policy interventions. The end of the first 4 year cycle of the specific duties also provides an opportunity to look beyond compliance to identify what has changed as a result of the specific duties during this time. The Commission in Scotland will carry out an evaluation of the effectiveness of the specific duties to provide evidence to support or refute the need for change to the PSED specific duties as we move into the second cycle of reporting.
  • To expand access to justice by improving and increasing the availability of advice and assistance available to individuals by advice providers across Scotland around equality and human rights. Transferring our expertise through a programme of conference, seminar, training events and online training resources for advisors and lawyers across Scotland.
  • Ensuring that Scotland is effectively included in the Commission’s treaty monitoring activity and that we support the Commission in meeting its mandate as an ‘A’ status NHRI.
  • Delivering the Scotland element of a Great Britain housing inquiry focused on the extent to which housing policy enables disabled people to live independently.
  • To promote fairness and equality of opportunity in Scotland’s economy and labour market. Supporting the delivery of our pregnancy and maternity discrimination recommendations and working to ensure equality is central to the delivery of the Fair Work Convention, the Business Pledge and Healthy Working Lives.

The Scotland Committee

The Scotland Committee has delegated responsibilities in providing information, advice and guidance and conducting research in Scotland and for advising the Scottish Government about the effect of Scottish legislation. The Committee also advises on the impact of the Commission’s wider work in Scotland, through consultation by the Board of Commissioners on matters affecting people in Scotland and through advice and support to the Scotland Directorate. In the coming year, the Scotland Committee will continue their programme of engagement around Scotland and will:

  • advise the Board of Commissioners on the work of the Commission in so far as it affects Scotland

  • consider proposals from the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament and Members of Scottish Parliament, for example, in relation to social security and constitutional changes, such as the UK’s exit from the EU

  • continue to engage with stakeholders in Scotland on delivering improvements in the priority issues arising from Is Scotland Fairer? (2015) and support the work to deliver our next state of the nation review in 2018

  • advise on the key strategies being developed and delivered across the Commission in 2017 to 2018, including those that have been agreed as part of our new domain-based approach

  • seek to maximise social returns, in terms of jobs and housing, on the significant public and private sector investment, using the City Deals as an example

  • investigate the increasing use of guardianship orders, to ensure that disabled people’s rights to the support they require to exercise their legal capacity are being fulfilled.

Last updated: 19 May 2017