ILF Scotland

Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes Report - 2024 to 2026

Type of document: Other reports

Read the document

Published: April 30, 2024

Foreword

We are pleased to introduce our third Mainstreaming and Equality Outcomes Report. This document highlights the progress we have made in delivering our 2022 to 2024 equality outcomes. It also sets out our equality outcomes for 2024 to 2026 and the actions we will take to achieve them.

We aim to review our progress and planning relating to equality regularly and, as a minimum, to conduct a formal appraisal of our activities including our progress in achieving our mainstreaming equality objectives, on an annual basis.

We introduce this report at a time of positive change, with considerable work ongoing to support the phased re-opening of the Independent Living Fund in Scotland to new applicants.

This will provide an initial £9 million in the financial year 2024 to 2025, enabling up to 1,000 additional disabled people with the most complex needs to access the support they need to live independent lives.

To prepare for the re-opening for new applications in April 2024, ILF Scotland staff are collaborating with disabled people, their representative organisations, the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders on the co-production of the re-opened fund.

Through this important work, we wish to continue to operate high quality and efficient services to reach more recipients and overall to better enable independent living for disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.

Our Strategic Plan 2020 to 2023 ‘Hope & Ambition’ (extended until 2025), its associated Delivery Plan, our suite of ILF Scotland Policies and output from Equality Committee meetings, demonstrate our overall commitment to promoting equality.

However, it is our day-to-day activities that demonstrate our commitment to mainstreaming equality on a continual basis. Equality is at the heart of what we do as an organisation and runs through all our activities, thoughts, behaviours and plans.

Our Board and staff group are diverse with regards to their own lived experience and they are also well-informed about equality, diversity and inclusion on a broader basis. We always strive to further improve our practice and therefore we continue to build upon the work carried out to date. We continue to look for ways we can listen to, learn from and provide better informed services relating to equality, diversity and inclusion to our recipients, our staff and our other key stakeholders. Where there is challenge in delivery, we will seek to turn this into an opportunity to improve what we do.

The organisation does not operate in isolation and continues to seek out best practice, feedback, reporting tools, partnership working and latest ideas.

As well as addressing inequality in relation to protected characteristics, we are also considerate of broader definitions of diversity that focus on additional areas, such as neurodiversity, cognitive diversity, social mobility and socio-economic diversity. The need to consider the intersectionality and the impact of how a combination or more than one protected characteristic can perpetuate different forms of discrimination or inclusion challenges, is also paramount.

Our plans are informed by a consideration of the existing context, as well as anticipated future impacts, such as the increase in the use of AI technologies and increased regulatory interest in identifying meaningful diversity metrics. We also look to incorporate best practice and guidance such as the UK Government’s Disability Action Plan and Inclusive Britain action plan and policy commitments (DLUHC and Race Disparity Unit, 2022)

Anne-Marie Monaghan, ILF Scotland Board Chair        

Peter Scott, OBE, ILF Scotland CEO

Introduction

About Us

  • ILF Scotland operates as a discretionary fund providing financial awards to approximately 2,243 disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland to help them live independently. This includes the newly re-opened Independent Living Fund, which provides a regular 4-weekly award to enable individuals to pay for support so that they can live with choice, control and dignity in their homes and within their local communities.
  • In addition, the ILF Scotland Transition Fund provides one-off grant funding for young disabled people aged 16 to 25 years to help them to increase their independence and participate in their communities.

ILF Scotland employs:

  • 81 people (3 on temporary contracts): a team of 3 in Northern Ireland and 78 across Scotland, including 51 support staff in the Livingston office and 30 home-based assessors. We actively recruit colleagues who are disabled and who have long-term health conditions. In addition, we have 8 Board members, 4 of whom identify as disabled.

Legal Framework

The Equality Act 2010 sets out the ‘general equality duty’ for all public authorities to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other prohibited conduct.
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not, particularly by removing or minimising disadvantage; meeting the needs of particular groups that are different from the needs of others; and encouraging participation in public life.
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The Equality Act 2010 lists nine protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation

and defines direct and indirect discrimination as:

“Where someone is treated less favourably according to a protected characteristic or could be disadvantaged compared to someone who does not share that protected characteristic.”

All people are entitled to equal treatment and the way in which people are treated shapes their lives and lived experiences. It is important that we recognise and understand how unequal treatment under each characteristic impacts on people and particularly those who are living with more than one or multiple protected characteristics.

ILF Scotland must comply with the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 and the specific duties designed to help Scottish public authorities meet the general duty.

Regulation 4 of the specific equality duties requires that we base our Equality Outcomes on evidence and involvement of equality groups.

The The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) regulate performance against public sector equality duties. From April 2020, ILF Scotland is required to report on the areas outlined below, every two years, apart from the Statement on Equal Pay, which is every four years. We also have a duty to publish diversity information about our board members. This report meets our general and specific duties under the Equality Act 2010 and outlines:

  • Mainstreaming the Equality Duty in ILF Scotland
  • Report on Progress
  • Board Diversity Duty
  • Employee Information
  • Gender Pay Gap Information
  • Statement on Equal Pay (covering sex only)

Mainstreaming the Equality Duty in ILF Scotland

Introduction

As a fair work organisation working with disabled people, we regularly review our working practices to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are at the centre of our decision-making. We also seek to adopt recommended practices for mainstreaming as outlined in the Equality Human Rights Commission - Mainstreaming the Public Sector Equality Duty - A guide for public authorities in Scotland.

Mainstreaming equality and diversity is a long-term, strategic approach to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is truly integrated and sits at the heart of organisational culture and strategic and operational delivery.

It takes time and resources to develop this properly and it needs the commitment, encouragement and support of our Board and our Senior Management Team (SMT) to make sure that every member of our staff understands, accepts and embraces equality across every part of our organisation and in the services we deliver to our recipients. We believe that mainstreaming equality has many benefits including helping us to:

  • put equality at the heart of everything we do
  • embrace diversity across our organisation and attract and retain a motivated workforce, rich in talent, skills and experiences
  • continually improve our service delivery and make sure our services meet the diverse needs of our recipients
  • help us to be more socially inclusive and engage better with those most excluded in society
  • improve our performance
  • help us to deliver our Strategic Plan ‘Hope & Ambition’ and our associated Delivery Plan

We strongly embrace the principles of equality and are proud of the journey we have taken so far.

We became a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) in 2018 and since then there have been changes to the wider equality context in which we work. These include legislative changes, the impact of major events and societal changes bringing certain inequalities into the foreground.

Key examples to note include:

Legislation Milestones:

  • The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 encourages Public Bodies to achieve at least 50% representation of women on their Boards.
  • Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2020 enables people of different sexes to be in civil partnerships, a right that was previously only available for same sex couples (and had been introduced before same sex marriage was an option for same sex couples).
  • Ongoing debate and legal action to clarify the definition of sex in law and attempts to reform the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland in 2023 have increased awareness of the experiences of transgender people.
  • The Scottish Government has now committed to introducing a new human rights Bill for Scotland. This will incorporate United Nations (UN) human rights treaties of:
    • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
    • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
    • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
    • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The new Bill will also include the right to a healthy environment, as well as rights for older people and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQI+) people.

Key Events and Societal Changes

  • The UK’s departure from the European Union in January 2020 and the current Scottish Government’s pledge to become independent and apply to rejoin the EU has meant that the context we operate in is open to significant change.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic drew further attention to societal inequalities with women, disabled people, and ethnic minority groups disproportionately impacted by the effects of the virus and of lockdown measures. The pandemic has also changed the way we work and live, with more homeworking and reliance on digital technologies.
  • Events such as George Floyd’s murder; the exposure of sexual harassment cases; and high-profile murder cases demonstrating violence against women, together with the resulting impact of the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, have all brought societal and workplace inequality into the foreground.
  • Population growth in Scotland has been driven by international migration and migration from elsewhere in the UK together with changes in birth and death rates.
  • The cost-of-living crisis is widening inequality and disproportionately affecting those who are most vulnerable in society.

All of the above has informed a shift in how we think about inequality and how we look to achieve inclusion in how we operate.

Our Recipients

The recipients of our funds are disabled people.

Independent Living Fund

Transition Fund

Our funding helps our recipients to access the same opportunities as others and achieve their personal independent living outcomes. We continuously review our strategies, plans, policies and practice to provide the best service we can.

Here you can find out more about our work from some of our recipients:

Independent Living Fund Case Studies

Transition Fund Case Studies

We regularly engage with our recipients. Here are some of the highlights of what we do:

  1. As part of ILF Scotland’s ethos and aim to work in co-production with our recipients, we have established a Scotland Advisory Group.

The purpose of this group is to support the improvement and development of ILF Scotland, for recipients living in Scotland, by advising on all matters relating to the operation of the fund, including:

  • experiences of using the existing fund
  • experiences of communicating and interacting with ILF Scotland
  • insight and advice into potential policy developments relating to the existing fund
  • content and accessibility of ILF Scotland publications
  • any other relevant matters

The Advisory Group reports to the ILF Scotland SMT, who in turn report learning and outcomes from the group to the Board and the Scottish Government, as required.

The minutes from the Scotland Advisory Group meetings are available on our website.

We also operate a Northern Ireland Stakeholder Group which operates on the same basis. The minutes of the Northern Ireland Stakeholder Group meetings are also available on our website.

  • As part of the re-opening of the Independent Living Fund, we held a series of co-production in person and online engagement events across Scotland to seek the views of disabled people, their carers and representatives and other key stakeholders.

Our Staff

We are a close team and we regularly listen to what staff have to say both informally and using regular survey tools.

On our website there are two case studies from members of our staff to hear from them directly.

Equality Assessment

We carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EQIAs) when we develop our external policies and publish these on our website. We continue to work to extend EQIAs across all our service delivery areas, as well as internal polices, plans and projects too.

For example, when developing our retirement policy, we ensured that an EQIA was conducted using our impact assessment tool, linking directly with our screening assessment plan. We were therefore able to consider the potential impact of this policy whilst screening for relevance and proportionality.

We believe in the many advantages of conducting EQIAs, in addition to adhering with our statutory duty to do so, including:

  • enshrining the rights of disabled people to being treated with dignity and respect and being able to exercise choice and control in living their lives
  • systematically conducting Equality Impact Assessments early in the planning process ensures that we identify any barriers that we need to avoid or mitigate as part of our decision making
  • going through the EQIA process makes sure that we think about how the consequences of our plans and decisions might affect people with protected characteristics, other than disability, ensuring that different groups are included
  • ensuring that we gather relevant information to demonstrate that our decisions are based on evidence, which is important in the event of challenge

We have raised awareness and provided training across the organisation of our impact assessment tool and screening assessment plan, taking staff through relevant worked examples of EQIAs on live work-related topics. We will repeat this training in 2024 to 2025 along with further examples to embed this area further in future, which will enable us to apply good equality practice across the organisation.

Our Equality Impact Assessments can be accessed on our website.

Our Partners

Key partners in our approach to equality include the Scottish Government and the Non-Departmental Public Body Human Resources network and forum where core Scottish Government and other Public Bodies share best practice on equality and diversity policy and practice.

In addition, we have developed ongoing positive working relationships with ARC Scotland, Who Cares? Scotland, a range of Person-Centred Planners and other partners via our continued engagement at events and meetings. This ensures that we keep equality at the heart of any decisions we make regarding the services we provide to young disabled people through our Transition Fund. We also signpost disabled people to other sources of support, such as Scottish Welfare Fund, other charities, benefits agencies / advisory organisations as appropriate.

We value the important input of our Advisory and Stakeholder group members in Scotland and Northern Ireland for the input and feedback they provide on equality when we work with them to develop the Charter for Involvement and through co-production on our strategies and policies. The Charter fits with human rights legislation, specifically the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Disabled Persons. Implementing the Charter actions, co-produced by the Advisory and Stakeholder Groups, helps ensure that we listen to our disabled recipients and their representatives so that they remain at the heart of our decision making.

We continue to embrace ways to work in partnership to improve our services and approach.

Report on Progress on Equality Outcomes for 2022 to 2024

We set ourselves ambitious equality outcomes and these will be considered in the next section of this report.

Some of our Key Equality Achievements:

  • The Equality Committee, chaired by our CEO, is attended by a good representation of members of staff from across the organisation, with additional support and guidance from one of our Board members. The work of this committee is instrumental in driving our performance in achieving our equality outcomes.
  • Integrated suggestions and ideas from the Minority Ethnic Recruitment Toolkit to improve the diversity of our workforce. For instance, we have worked on our website to make this a more welcoming experience and have advertised on the radio to enhance the reach of our advertising.
  • In addition, we raised awareness with our staff and recipients of the ‘Now Hear Me’ campaign, aimed at helping people to understand the needs of individuals who may have difficulties as a result of impaired or no speech and who use Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC).
  • In December 2022, we were named as one of the Top 10 Family Friendly Employers in the UK (for the fourth time).
  • In June 2023, we achieved our sixth year as a Top 30 Employer with Working Families.
  • Winning the ‘Aligning Local Services Category’ and a finalist for the ‘Excellence in Governance and Risk Management’ category of the Public Finance Awards 2023.

Progress in Relation to Objectives set for 2022 to 2024

Our Equality Objectives were integrated into our business plan as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound (SMART).

Objective: Equality Impact Assessment is consistently applied across the organisation

We made progress in further embedding the use of Equality Impact Assessments in our business practices. EQIAs are used in all policy changes across both the Independent Living Fund and the Transition Fund as standard practice and we have completed EQIAs for the re-opened policy changes as required. We have expanded EQIA completion across other areas of the business, but we still have more work to do to ensure consistency of practice across all of the organisation. We have developed an EQIA prompt in our project planning tool to assist with EQIA awareness.

We will focus on developing further training and awareness for all ILF Scotland staff during 2024 to 2026.

Objective: The Transition Fund has an appropriate reach across all eligible disabled young people in Scotland.

We carried out targeted work in key geographical areas of recognised deprivation and underrepresentation, working with corporate partners within these areas, which helped to increase an uptake in applications from groups that have been traditionally more difficult to engage with. This work also included the deaf community and care-experienced people as outlined in our Corporate Parenting Plan.

The Transition Fund has grown by 40% in 2022 to 2023 compared with numbers of applications received in 2021 to 2022 and by 26% in 2023 to 2024 compared to 2022 to 2023. The drop in numbers is due to no repeat applications being allowed in the last quarter of 2023 to 2024. The new policy now limits applications to one per person.

than repeat applications. While this does reduce accessibility for repeat applications, it is intended to increase the reach of the Transition Fund across a larger number of individual applicants.

Given the continued increasing demand for the Transition Fund, we will focus our engagement work this year on targeting those areas in the community that are most difficult to reach, reaching out to partners already operating and engaging with young people who might benefit most from the fund.

Objective: ILF Scotland’s activities are informed by a proactive approach to mainstreaming equality, based on a programme of continuous improvement and co-, production, internally and externally.

One example of our approach has been establishing the Co-Production Working Group to prepare for the re-opening of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), announced by the First Minister in September 2023 as part of Scotland’s Programme for Government. This group includes disabled people, carers, disabled people's organisations (DPOs) and representatives of ILF Scotland, the Scottish Government and health and social care statutory partners. Regular meetings of this group, combined with external engagement events, ensured that we proactively took on board the views of disabled people and their representatives in developing the policy framework for the re-opened ILF for Ministerial approval. We will continue to work with this group to engage further with disabled people to make additional improvements to accessing ILF during 2024 and 2025.

Our Equality and Diversity Committee has informed our annual staff survey and our recruitment and succession plans, with work continuing to ensure our programmes of learning and development offers equal opportunity.

Objective: Our services are targeted and appropriately tailored to our customers with one or more protected characteristics, taking account of those from a disadvantaged socio-economic background.

For the Transition Fund, we targeted via local media, paid social media and other forms of marketing, those geographical local authority areas that were under-represented in terms of applications to the fund. This ensured that disabled young people in those areas were given an equal opportunity to apply.

To maximise income, our assessors provide basic welfare benefit checks and refer to specialist welfare benefit and debt advice support where required. They also act in an advocacy role at times and often refer to independent advocacy services and to a range of other disability support organisations.

We have improved our ongoing service delivery in response to feedback from the COVID-19 recipient feedback survey. We developed an action plan following the analysis of the recipient feedback survey responses and implemented this in full.

Objective: We provide comprehensive monitoring and reporting on protected characteristics in line with good practice guidance.

We have not pursued this objective as we are awaiting the revised guidance from the Scottish Government. We will address this at an appropriate time in the future.

Objective: Our Communications Strategy appropriately reaches those people with protected characteristics and commits to ensuring improved access across our services and information.

This has been completed.

Our Communications and Engagement Strategy commits to reaching people with protected characteristics, ensuring improved information and access to our services. For the Transition Fund specifically, we have used local media, paid social media and other forms of targeted marketing to reach geographical areas with the lowest uptake and areas of deprivation.

In addition, some members of the Ambassadors Group have helped us at targeted events and engagement sessions to help those with protected characteristics apply to the Transition Fund.

For new applications we have a communications and engagement strategy that works with people from ethnic minority groups to ensure representative applications.

The Transition Fund (TF) actively targets those disabled young people from the most deprived backgrounds by targeting engagement towards schools and groups within the areas of the highest deprivation. While not yet a protected characteristic, we also target young people whose experience of the care system has had a lasting, disabling effect on their ability to be able to make their way in the adult world. We do this by actively engaging with those organisations that work with these young people such as fostering and adoption agencies, local authority Throughcare and Aftercare Teams and support organisations such as Who Cares? Scotland.

In addition, during Care Experienced Week 2023, we worked with a TF recipient who is care experienced to showcase and promote how the TF can support care experienced young people. This recipient wrote a blog called ‘Who Cares? Scotland’s youngest trustee Eireann on Care Experienced Week 2023 and shared her story on social media.

Objective: We work with, learn from and benchmark with similar public authorities to help us to promote equality in a wider context.

We made initial contact in 2023 to 2024 with Equality Leads across the Scottish Government and other Public Sector organisations. We would have liked to have made greater progress but were constrained by the volume of business priorities elsewhere within ILF Scotland. We will continue to build these relationships through our involvement with organisations as capacity allows.

Objective: Our workforce is diverse and representative of the communities we serve.

We continued to drive forward our ability to attract diverse talent to ILF Scotland through our approach to recruitment from ensuring our equality objectives were part of our procurement, search, engagement and appointment processes. Whilst a candidate market, it is noted that the volume and diversity of interest in our vacancies demonstrated our success in achieving this with the candidates appointed enhancing our already diverse workforce.

Moving forward, we will remain focussed on this where there are opportunities to grow. In addition, we will continue to look inwards in terms of our ways of working, striving to do better, ensuring we are person and life centred, flexible in our approach to how people work and focussed on health and wellbeing objectives for our staff. As well, we will continue to empower and improve staff resilience through training and support as they continue to support disabled people across Scotland and Northern Ireland to live independently.

Objective: To introduce an Employee Passport Scheme

This has been completed.

To support colleagues with challenging personal circumstances, or with a disability, impairment or long-term health condition, we introduced a voluntary Employee Passport Scheme, which facilitates discussion with their line managers around necessary adjustments to work / workspaces.

Almost all of us will have circumstances, health conditions or commitments that impact our work at some point in our career. The introduction of a voluntary employee passport provides a framework for individuals to have a discussion with their line manager about their personal circumstances with a view to agreeing adjustments to support the employee to be their best in the workplace and beyond.

We also offered a well-being hour and in our 2023 employee engagement survey, 77.6% staff members stated that they welcome and use this. Following on from the 2022 to 2024 report, we have improved our non-contracted wellbeing hour offering by implementing a contracted 35-hour working week (FTE was previously 37 hours) from 1 April 2024. This offering to all colleagues is an overall reduction (pro-rated) of two hours with no reduction in salary. Our staff well-being continues to be front and centre of our decision making across the organisation. We plan to gauge staff feedback through our next Staff Survey in 2024.

We committed to continue to develop ILF Scotland as an inclusive and supportive workplace where everyone can contribute to the best of their abilities ensuring our workforce is as diverse and representative of the communities we serve.

Summary

We achieved many positive outcomes over the period of the last plan. In the latter part of the year, however, through necessity, we were required to prioritise the work needed to achieve the re-opening of ILF Scotland in April 2024, which was announced as part of the Programme for Government in September 2023. Therefore, progress across all our intended outcomes has perhaps been a little less than we anticipated. We have identified a more manageable number of outcomes for this current 2024 to 2026 plan to allow us to continue the development of the fund. Our Equality and Diversity Committee will hold regular meetings throughout 2024 to 2026.

We plan to undertake further work to our forms and systems to provide better equality data on protected characteristics across both funds to improve our monitoring and reporting practices in line with good practice.

ILF Scotland remains committed to embedding equality outcomes and will pursue further expansion and improvement on our approach to working in partnership with others to promote equality in Scotland.

Board Diversity Duty

The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 sets an objective for public boards that they have 50% of non-executive members who are women.

ILF Scotland has worked proactively with the Scottish Government for a number of years to improve the diversity and gender balance of the ILF Scotland Board.

We have achieved greater than 50% female representation on our non-executive Board since 2015 and have sustained this position through to 2024, with 75% of board members being female.

We measure the representativeness of our Board on an ongoing basis.

We conducted an equality monitoring exercise with our Board and workforce in 2021, which has informed our future recruitment planning to ensure an even more diverse and equitable Board. Ethnicity is currently under-represented on our Board.

We plan to address this through future recruitment campaigns by working closely with the Scottish Government Public Appointments Team. ILF Scotland currently follows The Equalities and Human Rights Commission six-step good practice guide.

Employee Information

In 2022 there were 3 men and 4 women.

In 2023 there were 3 men and 4 women.

In 2024 there were 2 men and 6 women.

  2022  2023  2024
Men332
Women446
A pie chart showing 78% in blue which corresponds to female employees. And 22% in orange which corresponds to male employees.

Staff (Male / Female)

Female Employees: 78%

Male Employees: 22%

A pie chart. The biggest piece is blue at 56% for female, part time employees. The next biggest piece is orange, 18% for male full-time employees. Then we have 22% in grey for female part-time employees. Finally there's 4% in yellow for male, part-time employees.

Full and Part Time Male / Female

Female Full Time: 56%

Male Full Time: 18%

Female Part Time: 22%

Male Part Time: 4%

Part time working pattern remains predominate toward women.

During 2023, 100% of staff worked within our hybrid working offering, with employee choice and control over whether they are working in the office or at home.

We used data capture and analysis to measure the representativeness of our workforce profile and use this information to identify improvement measures such as targeted recruitment.

The accuracy of our equality profile data is important as it can assist our Board and SMT to plan the workforce of the future and provides for the potential justification of allowable positive action to make improvements, leading to a workforce that reflects the population and geographical locations we work in.

Our workforce monitoring data indicates that we still have room for improvement in increasing the representation of disabled people and people from ethnic minority populations in our workforce. Our organisational demography by the end of Q4 2023 to 2024 was (78) and Directors (8).

Women are well represented in the general workforce and at managerial level: 78%:22% female: male. Women are underrepresented at Director / Senior Management Team Level.

We plan to address this through leadership / management development, succession planning and future recruitment to senior posts during 2024.

We have a good representation of disabled people with 20.2% self-identifying as disabled. As a comparison, in September 2023 the Scottish Government reported 8.7% of staff were disabled.

We have some representation of employees from ethnic minority groups employees from ethnic minority groups - 2.2%, a decrease from our previous representation of 4.10%. In September 2023, for comparison, the Scottish Government reported a figure of 2.9%.

The information we have on sexual orientation and gender reassignment is that 1.1% of staff identify as LGBTQI+. In September 2023, the Scottish Government reported a figure of 6.0%.

Data on the current workforce within ILF Scotland is robust in terms of age and sex. Data on the protected characteristics of ethnicity, disability, religion and belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment continues to be limited due to the numbers of staff leaving questions unanswered during staff surveys or stating they would prefer not to answer.

Work continues to increase awareness throughout our workforce of the benefits of disclosing protected characteristic data as well as reassuring staff that this information is confidential.

As a positive measure in recruitment, we specifically encourage applicants with protected characteristics to apply for job vacancies. We are not alone in trying to meet the challenge of a representative workforce and this will continue to be a key focus of activity.

The findings from our 2023 employee engagement surveys indicate (88% response rate):

  • 100% of our staff can and do continue to work flexibly and remotely.
  • Life / Balance Opportunities: 96.6% stated that they were in control of this ‘most of the time’.
  • 77.6% of staff members welcome and use the Well-Being Hour.
  • 100% of our staff who responded stated that ILF Scotland is a good employer.

Our Accreditations:

Accreditation logos: Happy to Talk Flexible Working, Disability Confident Employer, Bereavement Charter for Scotland, Carer Positive Employer in Scotland - Engaged, Endometriosis Friendly Employer, Working Families Best Practice Awards Winner 2023, We are a Living Wage Employer, 2023 Top 30 Employer for Working Families, Public Finance Awards 2023 Winner, Cyber Essentials Plus, Digital Participation Signatory and Menopause Workplace Pledge Badge.

Equality Outcomes 2024 to 2026

These are the draft new Outcomes for 2024 to 2026. ILF Scotland staff and Advisory, Stakeholder and Young Ambassadors group members have been consulted on these. They have gone to the ILF Scotland Equality Committee and SMT for sign off and then to the Remuneration Committee for information and the Board for final approval. They will be integrated as SMART objectives into our business plan.

Outcome 1: Integrated Equality Impact Assessments

Integrated Impact Assessments are consistently applied across the organisation with a commitment to have our staff members appropriately trained and our board members fully aware of this.

Action: Further embed the use of Equality Impact Screening and Assessment practices across all business functions by providing additional awareness and practice training to Managers by the end of 2024 to 2025.

Outcome 2: Promote Neuro Inclusion

To start the neuro inclusion journey within ILF Scotland focused on developing a neuro inclusive culture with the aim of creating even greater comfort and belonging for our diverse staff group.

Action: Raise awareness of neurodiversity and provide staff training to cover this area specifically as part of our equality and diversity training. Provide more detailed training to front line staff working in the Transition Fund so that they can provide and informed customer service to young people who are neurodivergent.

Outcome 3: Corporate Parenting

Through our Corporate Parenting Plan, we will further develop our communications strategy to target young disabled people aged between 16 and 25 who are care experienced and ensure they are aware of the Transition Fund and the now re-opened Independent Living Fund. We will also ensure ILF Scotland staff and Board members are aware of the principles of Corporate Parenting through training courses and induction programmes.

Outcome 4: ILF Re-Opening

Following an announcement by the First Minister in September 2023, the Independent Living Fund - closed to new applications since 2010 - will re-open to new applicants. This will enable up to 1,000 additional disabled people with the most complex needs to access the support they need to live independent lives.

A Co-Production Working Group was established in October 2023, consisting of disabled people, carers, disabled people's organisations (DPOs) and representatives of ILF Scotland, the Scottish Government and health and social care statutory partners. In addition, a range of engagement events were held to seek views and discuss key areas around the re-opening process.

These equality outcomes will guide our progress and direction, which will be monitored by our Equality Committee. We will develop action plans and monitor and review these annually to ensure we remain on track and will update progress annually as well as updating plans with any relevant information due to unplanned and / or unforeseen national and international events.

Conclusion

We have always set equality outcomes with the intention that we truly embed equality, diversity and inclusion into our strategic and annual delivery plans and our daily activities. While we have not been able to achieve everything we set out to do, we recognise that we have still progressed and we remain committed to continue our equality journey.

Our Equality outcomes are co-produced through the work we do to engage with and listen to our recipients and our staff, then formally set by and approved by our Board. Board members provide the necessary scrutiny to ensure that we meet our duties and consider potential equality impacts as part of our corporate decision-making.

Our SMT shares responsibility for promoting and embedding equality in our plans, projects and operational processes.

Each employee also has an individual responsibility for considering equality issues in all areas of the work we do and in working with others to continually enhance our processes.

We will continue to instigate and implement innovative ways to understand the needs of our recipients, listening and working hard, to learn and improve what we do.

We will use the employee equality metrics in this report together with developing best practice, to support and inform our recruitment and employment practices, to improve our workforce equality and diversity and to promote the organisation as an employer of choice.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body, we ultimately aspire to continue to work in partnership with the Scottish Government and other Public Bodies, to be an inclusive employer and to continue to enhance the access to our services and the support provided to disabled people in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Appendix I: Equal Pay Gap Information

We report our pay gaps using a single measure, by comparing the average full-time equivalent earnings in 2023 to 2024 by gender. For example, the full-time gender pay gap compares the mean and median hourly pay, excluding overtime, of men and women. It is important to note that a pay gap does not necessarily mean a difference in pay for comparable jobs or work of equal value.

Gender Pay Gap by Grade

Administration

Grade A3
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: n/a
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0%

Grade A4
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: n/a
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0%

Specialist Professional and Technical

Grade B1
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: 95.71%
Median Pay Gap: 4.67%
Mean Pay Gap: 4.27%

Grade B2
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: 99.92%
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0.09%

Grade B3
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: 95.49%
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 3.77%

Senior Management Team (SMT)

Grade C1
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: 100%
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0%

Grade C2
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: 100%
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0%

Grade C3
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: n/a
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0%

CEO

Grade SCS 1
Female pay as a percentage of male pay: n/a
Median Pay Gap: 0%
Mean Pay Gap: 0%

All comparable jobs or work of equal value are paid on the same scale. The pay gap in 2023 to 2024 is entirely due to spinal placement on the grade and will even out as employees reach the top of their scale.

This is set out in table form below.

Gender Pay Gap by Grade

 Job TypeGradeFemale pay as a percentage of male payMedian Pay GapMean Pay Gap
AdministrationA3n/a0%0%
AdministrationA4n/a0%0%
Specialist Professional and TechnicalB195.71%4.67%4.27%
Specialist Professional and TechnicalB299.92%0%0.09%
Specialist Professional and TechnicalB395.49%0%3.77%
SMTC1100%0%0%
SMTC2100%0%0%
SMTC3n/a0%0%
CEOSCS 1n/a0%0%

All comparable jobs or work of equal value are paid on the same scale. The pay gap in 2023 to 2024 is entirely due to spinal placement on the grade and will even out as employees reach the top of their scale.

Where men and women are undertaking work of equal value, they are paid a similar hourly rate and consequently the gender pay gap is low.

Appendix II: Equal Pay Statement

This Equal Pay Statement outlines ILF Scotland’s support for the principle of equal opportunities in employment.

ILF Scotland is committed to the principles of equality of opportunity in employment and believes that staff should receive equal pay for the same or broadly similar work, or work rated as equivalent and for work of equal value. This will be regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity or race, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, political beliefs, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

To achieve this, we will operate pay and progression systems that are transparent, based on objective criteria and free from unlawful bias.

chevron-down Skip to content