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 
  • 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 group has been established to support SCTS’s commitment to mainstream equality and to meet our statutory requirements as set out in the Equality Act (2010) and the specific duties as set out in the Public Sector Equality Duty. 

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, work practices and the services provided by SCTS. The EAG provides fresh insight about developments in equality, diversity and inclusion. The EAG as subject matter experts helps SCTS understand how these affect the SCTS both as an employer and as a service provider. 

The SCTS wants to access objective advice about mainstreaming equality from people who are committed to understanding its role and the challenges it faces in delivering its purpose and outcomes.  
The group is currently comprised of representatives from the following organisations: 

  • British Deaf Association 
  • Royal National Institute for Blind People 
  • Interfaith Scotland 
  • YouthLink Scotland 
  • Close the Gap 
  • Age Scotland 
  • Disability Equality Scotland 
  • Mindroom 
  • Open University
  • Equality Network

The group currently meets six times per year and is chaired by Tim Barraclough, Executive Director: Tribunals and Office of the Public Guardian.  

Disability Confident Employer Scheme 

The SCTS has been a valued level two Disability Confident employer for over a decade.  Through the Disability Confident scheme [], the government aims to encourage employers to recruit and retain more disabled people and also works 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. 

To achieve level 2 an organisation is required to offer and make reasonable adjustments in the workplace and in their application and assessment processes, as well as taking core actions to get the right people for the business such as internships, apprenticeships, student placements, etc.

The application takes account of the advertising methods the SCTS use and the inclusivity of our approaches like targeted advertising with disability specific media. 
In continuing our Disability Confident journey, the SCTS is ensuring disabled people and those with long term health conditions 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 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. 

General enquiries: 
Policy and Equality Impact Assessment: 
Any questions regarding Equal Opportunities: 

enei_tide_logo_gold 2019