Our latest Client Diversity and Equalities statistics

15 September 2020

black woman talking to Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People

Today official statistics were published on our Client Diversity and Equalities analysis covering the period 9 December 2019 to 31 May 2020.

This publication provides information on the diversity of our clients and the equality of the outcomes of client applications for Best Start Grant, Best Start Foods, Funeral Support Payment and Young Carer Grant.

We collect equality information so that we can better understand how different groups are engaging with our benefits. This will help inform evaluation of both Scottish Government policy and our delivery of benefits to help us continually improve.

We improved how we collected equality information from 9 December 2019. This improvement means that it is now mandatory for clients to complete our equality monitoring and feedback form when applying. Clients can still chose an option of ‘prefer not to say’, but this has now provided us with more robust data to help make informed improvements.

Around 7% of applications across all our benefits are from people living outside Scotland, and the majority of these are denied. This can have a large impact on approval rates for some of the equalities groups.

We therefore produced headline equalities statistics, which include analysis for all applications, and a breakdown removing the applications from people living outside Scotland to provide further insight.

Now that we have this equalities information, we intend to use it to continue a conversation with expert stakeholders including our newly formed external Equality Network. This group has representation from eighteen organisations and is chaired by Miriam Craven, our Deputy Director for Strategy and Client Experience.

These conversations will be one of the ways that we use to help us understand the trends, and if there are areas for concern or improvement. They will also help us identify additional actions we can take to continually improve the service provided to all of our clients. This will be a key theme in our first Equality Strategy that is currently being developed following a public consultation earlier this year.

The publication is available on the Scottish Government website.

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