Shocking study reveals widespread inequality

Workplace inequality

A report by a human rights body will show the extent of the gender pay gap and other inequalities which exist throughout Scottish society

23rd October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Inequality is still rife within Scotland, with little improvements made in recent years.

A report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which is set to be published later this week, will show the wide gaps that exist in Scottish society.

It will reveal that women are less likely to have a job than men, and that those who do work earn less, with gender pay gaps described as shocking.

Disabled people are twice as likely to be out of work in Scotland, and are also seeing the gap between their pay and the rest of the workforce widen.

Young people are more likely to be unemployed or work in insecure positions, whilst ethnic minority groups are twice as likely to be jobless or living in poverty.

Lesley Sawers, Scotland commissioner for EHRC, said: “Despite efforts made by the Scottish Government and many others the same problems which have been highlighted in previous reviews are still apparent.

"The stark reality of inequality in Scotland today is that too often people are unable to realise their full potential, are excluded from positions of influence, and experience prejudice and discrimination in daily life."

The report says the UK government should take much of the blame for the poverty which "blights the lives" of too many Scots. "Unfairness is hardwired into the UK government tax and spend policies, with some groups – black women, Bangladeshis and disabled people – suffering disproportionately," it says.

It calls for greater flexibility to be given to workers, in a bid to close the gender pay gap and help disabled people into work.

Researchers highlighted an underrepresentation of women in senior positions in workplaces, with discrimination having a direct impact on poverty levels.

The report also call for efforts to be made to tackle workplace harassment, and for authorities to publish plans on how they are tackling discrimination.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Equality is at the heart of our vision for a fairer Scotland and despite equalities legislation being largely reserved, we continue to take decisive action on this issue.

"Our Programme for Government makes clear our determination to improve the position of women in the workplace. We have established a Gender Pay Gap Working Group that includes stakeholders such as the STUC. 

"The working group will help to inform the development of the Scottish Government’s Gender Pay Gap Action Plan which is due for publication by the end of 2018.”

The spokesman added the government is taking steps to ensure ethnic minority people are represented in the workplace, and that it had committed halving the disability employment gap.