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Equality and Diversity

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is committed to mainstreaming equality and diversity and is developing a culture where equality and diversity are firmly established in the way we do our business.

Equality Statement

This statement was developed by the SCS and will be reviewed by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).

We will contribute to promoting equality in Scottish society by:

  • mainstreaming equality and diversity i
  • promoting equality of opportunity
  • providing responsive and accessible services for all court users which recognise their diverse needs
  • ensuring that our workforce reflects the diversity of Scotland's population and is supported by excellent employment practices
  • challenging and eliminating discrimination, victimisation and harassment against court users and our workforce.
  • fostering good relations across all protected characteristics
  • delivering meaningful equality outcomes for court users, for our workforce and for promoting equality.

Equalities Advisory Group (EAG)

The SCTS established its Equality Advisory Group (EAG) in 2011. The aim of establishing the group was to access objective advice about mainstreaming equality from people who are committed to understanding the role of the SCTS and the challenges it faces in delivering our purpose and outcomes. The main purpose of the EAG is to act as a ‘critical friend’ to the organisation by giving advice on new and existing policies, procedures and providing fresh insight about developments in the equality sector. The group is currently comprised of representatives from the following organisations:

  • Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO) Scotland
  • Trust Housing Association Ltd
  • Stonewall Scotland
  • Engender Scotland
  • National Autistic Society Scotland
  • British Deaf Association
  • Scottish Trans Alliance
  • Royal National Institute for Blind People

The group currently meets three to four times per year and is chaired by Mr Colin Lee, Chief Executive of CEMVO Scotland.

Stonewall Diversity Champion

The SCTS is a member of Stonewall Scotland’s Diversity Champions Programme, Britain's leading benchmarking exercise for LGBT equality.  This is part of our commitment to equality and diversity within the workplace. This allows us to compare our work on LGBT equality against Stonewall’s best practice and against other organisations in all sectors.  Assessing our progress and learning from successful approaches in other organisations are important in making sure that we provide a high level of service and support to both court users and staff, respecting their different and unique characteristics. We have made this a clear equality commitment within our 2017-20 Corporate Plan and Stonewall Scotland’s Diversity Champions programme supports us in meeting this.

Disability Confident Employer Scheme

The SCTS has been a valued Disability Symbol 'two ticks' employer for over a decade and is currently in the process of migrating to the new Disability Confident scheme , which aims to encourage employers to recruit and retain more disabled people. Through this scheme, the government is working with employers to:

  • challenge attitudes towards disability;
  • increase understanding of disability;
  • remove barriers;
  • ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.

Keep Safe Initiative

The Initiative aims to ensure that people feel safe when participating in community life. Many people can feel scared, frightened or vulnerable when out in the community and this can in many cases lead to social isolation.

Keep Safe aims to offer a network of safe places to encourage people to participate in daily community life free from the fear of harassment and abuse.

Keep Safe places can offer reassurance and assistance to any individual should they become confused, disorientated, distressed or a victim of crime.

A phone app which maps out all Keep Safe places across Scotland and helps people to plan routes, highlighting Keep Safe places along the route, has just been developed.

The app also enables people to report hate crimes directly to the Police if they have been a victim or have witnessed an incident.

The initiative has been rolled out since November 2016 and at the moment 34 SCTS premises around Scotland have been signed up as “Keep Safe” places.

Carers’ Positive

The SCTS is committed to helping staff balance demands of work and home life. It is important that all levels of management play their part in creating an environment in which staff can meet their responsibilities at work while being supported in managing their caring responsibilities.

Our definition of a carer is someone who looks after a partner, child, relative or friend who cannot manage without help because they are physically or mentally ill, frail or disabled. The carer may or may not live with the person they are caring for.

Staff members who are carers can apply to be on the SCTS Carer register. Access to the register offers the following benefits:

Respite Care Scheme;

  • interest free loans up to a maximum of £5000 for the purchase of specialised equipment;
  • where possible, purchase discounts for specialised equipment if the purchase can be made by the SCTS;
  • access to a mobile phone package to support contact with the individual being cared for;
  • additional relocation support to meet the cost of home adaptations, where appropriate;
  • the production of a separate report by the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in cases where a compulsory transfer option is being considered.

In addition to these benefits, the SCTS also hosts a biennial carers’ conference which is an opportunity for SCTS carers to get together and discuss experiences and issues. The 2015 SCTS carers’ conference ‘Developing our Community’, organised by our carers contact team, took place on 13th November at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld. Invitations were issued to all staff members who were on the SCTS Carer Register.

In March 2016 SCTS was recognised as a Carer Positive Exemplary employer. The Carer Positive award was launched by the Scottish Government in June 2014. It has three levels: Engaged, Established and Exemplary. The SCTS is only the third employer in Scotland to achieve the level 3 Exemplary Award.  The Carer Positive award is operated by Carers Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. The award recognises employers in Scotland who have a working environment where carers are valued and supported. Carer Positive Exemplary employers:

  • demonstrate creative and innovative approaches to supporting and involving carers;
  • engage in wider awareness raising activities;
  • encourage carers to lead on the development of new approaches to support carers;
  • positively encourage carers in the recruitment process to access employment in the organisation.

In 2015 and 2017 the SCTS won the “Carers Scotland Best for Carers and Eldercare” award which recognises progressive organisations that are excelling in the field of family friendly ways of working. This was organised by Family Friendly Working Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Contacts

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Disability
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