SLAB is committed to the promotion of equality and to tackling discrimination of any form, including age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, marriage & civil partnership and pregnancy & maternity.
Our equality aims and priorities
Equality and diversity matter to us and we continue to work hard to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and associated Scottish Specific Equality Duties. In April 2013 we identified four equality outcomes to achieve by April 2017.
These outcomes are based on evidence we have collected and on feedback from our staff and various representative bodies. We believe they challenge us positively in the right areas and will make a real difference. Our equality outcomes for 2013-2017 are:
People, irrespective of their equality characteristics, have equal access to appropriate information that helps them in accessing legal assistance in a timely manner
People who apply for legal assistance are aware of why we collect equalities information and can conveniently disclose this information
Our diverse workforce is aware and understands equalities and diversity and the impact of this in helping us manage and deliver our business
Those who deliver legal assistance are aware and understand equalities and diversity and the impact on the accessibility of legal assistance
In April 2015 we published a progress report outlining our achievements against these outcomes and areas where we need to improve. The report shows how we continue to mainstream equality across our business and provides updated equality monitoring data and equal pay information.
More information can be found in the Equality Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes reports and additional information below:
Equality Impact Assessment
Our equalities work is supported by our equality impact assessment (EqIA) process. It helps us meet the general public sector equality duty to give due regard to the elimination of discrimination, advancement of equality of opportunity and fostering of good relations. Undertaking an EqIA also ensures we think about the impact of new and current policies or projects on protected equality groups.
A full EqIA is undertaken where the policy or practice is a major one in terms of scale or significance, or it is likely to have a major impact on equality groups. In some cases a screening exercise is completed first which helps us decide where a full impact assessment is needed. Our current full EqIAs are listed below:
• Procedure for consideration of exclusion of solicitor or advocate under Section 31 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986
• Children's legal assistance: the legal aid aspects of the Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
• Contact Guidance
Consulting with our stakeholders
We are committed to involving and consulting with our stakeholders in our equality work. We have used interviews and focus groups to inform our equality schemes. We also regularly collect equality information in our more general research and national surveys. See our research pages for the research we have done to engage with our stakeholders. Recent equality research and consultations include:
- Disability involvement project 2009/2010. We worked with other partners across the justice sector to commission number of involvement events with disabled people. This aimed to identify the factors that created barriers for disabled people who are using the justice system and to discuss how to improve disabled people's experiences of and access to the justice system. The work was managed by Capability Scotland and full details, including the final report, can be found on its website.
- Through the Working Group on Interpreting and Translation (WGIT) we work with criminal justice partners to establish high standards of interpreting and translation services across the Scottish Criminal Justice system. In 2013, the WGIT commissioned Skills for Justice to review and evaluate the provision of interpreting and translation across the Scottish Criminal Justice Sector. The Skills for Justice report ‘Enhancing the professionalising of the provision of interpreting in the Scottish Criminal Justice system’ and WGIT joint statement outline the research findings and recommendations.
Have your say
We are keen to hear your views about our approach to equality; the priorities we have identified and how you think our policies or functions impact on equality. Please contact us to provide feedback or let us know if you wish to be further involved in SLAB's equality work.
Corporate Policy Officer (Equalities)
Direct dial: 0131 240 1981