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Scottish news

In this section you can find press releases for news from the Commission in Scotland.

Press releases 2020

New Scotland Committee members announced

10 December 2020

Following a competitive recruitment process with a strong field of candidates, Scotland Commissioner Dr Lesley Sawers announced the appointment of six new committee members.

Scottish equality and human rights bodies welcome inquiry into implications of Covid-19 (134KB, Word)

27 April 2020

The bodies responsible for oversight of equality and human rights for adults, children and young people in Scotland, have today welcomed the decision by the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee to undertake an inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on equality and human rights.

Scottish equality and human rights bodies join together in call for inquiry into implications of Covid-19 (134KB, Word)

17 April 2020

The bodies responsible for oversight of equality and human rights in Scotland, have joined together to urge the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee to consider undertaking an inquiry into the equality and human rights implications of Coronavirus.

Watchdog welcomes equalities focus in emergency Coronavirus legislation (75KB, Word)

3 April 2020

We welcome a provision in the Coronavirus Act which means that the Scottish Government must have regard to opportunities to advance equality and non-discrimination when exercising powers in the Act.

Scottish Government heeds calls to protect children from unlawful restraint and seclusion in schools (27KB, Word)

16 December 2019

Scotland’s most vulnerable children at risk of being restrained and secluded will have greater protection following successful action by the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland (EHRC) and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland.

Watchdog warning to transport operators (73KB, Word)

26 September 2019

We have today warned transport operators that we will “vigorously defend” the rights of disabled and older passengers against companies who fail to offer accessible services. Find out more about the legal support project.

Equality study reveals lack of diversity among Scottish councillors

8 March 2019

Our study into the experiences of Scottish local elections candidates has revealed a clear lack of diversity among councillors.

Police Scotland agree to help stop discrimination against women who ask for flexible working

7 March 2019

Police Scotland signed an agreement with us committing to take all reasonable steps to prevent sex discrimination against female officers who request flexible working arrangements.

New guidance clarifies that a power of attorney can be used for voter registration

6 March 2019

We welcome the Electoral Commission's revised guidance on assisting disabled people, or people with temporary incapacity, to register to vote.

Employers in Scotland fear using positive action to close pay gaps

4 March 2019

More employers need to overcome their fear of using positive action to increase the number of female, disabled and ethnic minority apprentices in Britain and help address the barriers these groups face in wider employment. 

Inquiry into disability discrimination in the Scottish criminal justice system

1 March 2019

We launch a legal inquiry into whether people with mental health conditions, cognitive impairments and conditions including autism are experiencing discrimination in the criminal justice system. 

'No Travellers' rule no more

21 February 2019

We announce the removal of a racially discriminatory 'no Travellers' rule from a caravan park in Dumfries.

Equality Commission links with RBS to promote disability access

18 December 2018

We work with the Royal Bank of Scotland to promote access for disabled people to mobile banking vehicles.  

Equality Commission seeks to reverse ‘right to rent’ in Scotland and Wales

17 December 2018

We submit evidence to a case brought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, which aims to prevent the UK government from rolling out the right to rent scheme to Scotland and Wales. We believe it will increase discrimination against ethnic minorities. 

New proposals to incorporate human rights principles into Scots law

10 December 2018

John Wilkes, Equality and Human Rights Commission Head of Scotland, spoke on the launch of proposals by the First Minister's Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership.

Most marginalised Scots are the biggest losers in tax and spending plans

28 November 2018

The most marginalised Scots are the biggest losers in terms of household income as a result of combined tax, spending and local services cuts between 2010 and 2022.

Is Scotland Fairer? 2018 report launched

25 October 2018

Some of Scotland’s poorest and most disadvantaged communities risk falling even further behind, a new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission warns today.

Kilmarnock FC reach agreement over disability access at games

We announced the agreement of a settlement with Kilmarnock FC which ensures that disabled away fans will be able to sit where they want to rather than being forced to sit apart from the away supporters.

Western Isles Council agrees to provide accessible buses to get disabled pupils to school

5 October 2018

Western Isles Education Authority (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) has settled a case raised by the mother of a 10 year old disabled pupil, Jonathon Graham, who was left isolated because the school bus provided by the council wasn’t accessible to him.

Equality Commission reports on progress towards socio-economic equality

11 September 2018

Scotland’s statutory equality body, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has today published a report which examines how duties to promote socio-economic equality, introduced into Scottish legislation during the past four years, have fared. 

Scottish Trade Union Congress victimised ethnic minority worker

16 August 2018

An Employment Appeal Tribunal in Edinburgh has ruled the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) victimised an employee when selecting him for redundancy.

Scotland Equality Law e-bulletin: July 2018 (PDF)

Our July e-bulletin features two articles which examine two separate instances where we have been involved in recent successful court actions. The first looks at the case of a nine year old child who was excluded from school as a result of behaviour that was linked to his Asperger’s Syndrome.

The second article explores the difficulties experienced by successful claimants in enforcing awards made by the Employment Tribunal.

In addition to these, the e-bulletin provides information on a series of recent roundtables on Brexit, links to our newly published videos covering discrimination and the Equality Act, and a short piece on religion and belief in Europe.

Scotland Equality Law e-bulletin: May 2018 (PDF)

Our latest e-bulletin features an article by one of our solicitors, Frank Jarvis, on the UK Government’s welfare reforms and their effect on people with protected characteristics. It includes our recently published inquiry into housing for disabled people and information on signing up to our mailing list.

We also highlight a recent Employment Tribunal decision which, for the first time in Scotland, accepted the menopause as falling within the definition of disability for the purpose of hearing a discrimination claim under the Equality Act 2010.

Scotland hate crime legislation review response

31 May 2018

John Wilkes, Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland, issues a comment on the day of the launch of Lord Bracadale’s review of hate crime legislation in Scotland

Equality Commission calls for end to Scotland's hidden disability housing crisis

11 May 2018

Scotland’s disabled people are being failed by government policy and local government inaction which leaves thousands with no decent home to live in says an Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry into disabled people’s housing.

Joint statement welcoming intention to retain the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Scots law

21 March 2018

A joint statement from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Consortium Scotland, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and Together, Scotland’s Alliance for Children’s Rights.

New Scotland Committee members to fight against inequality in 2018

10 January 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland has announced the appointment of three new committee members. 

Commission reviews four years of public bodies performance on equality

8 December 2017

The Commission in Scotland published its latest report on public bodies' performance under the Scotland Specific Equality Duties.

Commission in Scotland announces City Deals strategy

3 October 2017

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a programme of work in Scotland to engage with Local Authorities and their partners across the country on City Region Deals.

Equality Commission calls for a shake-up of working culture to reduce pay gaps in Scotland

15 August 2017

All jobs should be advertised as available for flexible working, and greater effort placed on ending bias in recruitment, promotion and reward in a shake-up of culture and working practices to reduce pay gaps, the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland said today.

Scottish social security system must be respectful, says Equality Chief 

7 August 2017

Punishing people for a lack of jobs, or for discrimination in the labour market against disabled people or young carers, simply doesn’t work, the Scottish Equality Commissioner has said today.

Response to Scottish Parliament Committee report into prejudice based bullying

6 July 2017

John Wilkes, the Commission's Head of Scotland, responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee report into prejudice-based bullying and harassment of children and young people in schools.

Equality Commission welcomes Scottish Parliament's gender pay gap report

26 June 2017

John Wilkes, the Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland, welcomed the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament's inquiry into the gender pay gap. 

Scotland Equalities Commission concludes ‘heterosexual friendly’ bed and breakfast case

15 June 2017

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Scotland has reached a successful conclusion in its case against the owners of a bed and breakfast. The EHRC had received several complaints about the Cromasaig Bed and Breakfast website, which previously stated it is a 'heterosexual friendly bed and breakfast'.

Disabled Scots facing major barriers to achieving real equality

4 April 2017

Progress towards real equality for disabled people in Scotland over the past twenty years is at risk of stalling unless a concentrated effort is made to tackle issues in housing, hate crime, mental health, employment and education. 

Muirfield golf club vote 'right decision for women and Scotland'

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Following a second vote, the members of  Muirfield golf club have voted to allow female golfers to join the club.

Scots disabled people's human rights highlighted at UN (BBC News)

Monday 13 March 2017

A new report says both the UK and Scottish governments need to take urgent action to allow disabled people to access all their rights. The report has been submitted to the UN by the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

New Scotland Committee members to spearhead progressing equality in 2017

Wednesday 8 February 2017

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland has announced the appointment of four new committee members to progress equality in the country.

The new committee members are Professor Nicole Busby, Professor of Labour Law at the University of Strathclyde; David Crichton, Chair of NHS Health Scotland; Claire MacGillivray, Development Coordinator for Edinburgh Tenants Federation and Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International Programme Director – Scotland and Manager of Human Rights Consortium Scotland.

Appointment of Scottish Government’s Race Advisor

7 December 2016

Commenting on the appointment of Kaliani Lyle to the role of Scottish Government’s Race Advisor, EHRC Scotland Director Alastair Pringle said:

"We are all delighted that Kaliani Lyle has been appointed as race advisor to the Scottish Government. She will bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the role. Kaliani's time as EHRC Scotland Commissioner, as well as her previous work as CEO of the Scottish Refugee Council and Citizens Advice Scotland gives her an excellent mix of the practical and policy perspectives needed to fill this important role. As we deal with the implications of national and international debate on issues of race and immigration, there has never been a more important time for this work."

Commission welcomes Scottish government's action plan for a fairer Scotland

5 October 2016

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland today welcomed the Scottish Government’s action plan for a fairer Scotland and committed to working with the government in ensuring this leads to real change for the people of Scotland.

Equality Commission welcomes improvement in social attitudes in Scotland

30 September 2016

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Scotland today welcomed the findings of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey which showed that overall, discriminatory attitudes held by Scottish people are changing for the better. However, the Commission also expressed concern about the ongoing levels of deep and sustained prejudice focused on some Scots, including those with mental health conditions, the transgender community and Gypsy/Travellers

Scotland’s equality body calls for coordinated leadership to tackle hate crime

23 September 2016

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Scotland has welcomed  the report from the  ‘Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion’ published today, which calls for a multi-agency approach to stamp out hate crime in Scotland.

Scotland’s Ethnic Minorities face overcrowding, poverty and unemployment, says equality and human rights body

18 August 2016

A new report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on race equality, has found that in Scotland, if you are born into an ethnic minority household today, you are nearly four times more likely to be in a household that is overcrowded and up to twice as likely to be living in poverty and experiencing unemployment.

EHRC Scotland raises identity based bullying in Scottish schools with UN

4 August 2016

The Director of EHRC Scotland, Alastair Pringle, is leading the UK delegation of national human rights institutions giving evidence to the UN in Geneva on Thursday (to the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination). As part of his evidence, he will call for the Scottish Government to implement reporting of identity based bullying in all Scottish schools.

EHRC seeks assurance from NHS Scotland over equal access to health care

22 June 2016

EHRC Scotland will be contacting Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board to seek assurances that their legal requirements are being met for all disabled patients. This follows a ruling from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman that a patient at Crosshouse Hospital in Ayrshire was not provided with the reasonable adjustments she was entitled to under the Equality Act 2010.

Commission welcomes rise in LGBT hate crime reports

10 Jun 2016

Commenting today on the Scottish Government’s release of new hate crime reporting figures for 2014 to 2015...

Home Secretary challenged for cutting benefits to Scottish Asylum Seekers

02 June 2016

The EHRC in Scotland has intervened in a case challenging the Home Office in the Court of Session this week.

Commission welcomes court ruling in domestic violence case

28 May 2016

Spouses of refugees should be given the same rights and protection under the Domestic Violence Concession (DVC) when they leave an abusive marriage as spouses of British citizens and settled persons, the Court of Session ruled today.

Equality Commission welcomes age discrimination ruling

20 May 2016

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has welcomed the positive judgement released today on HUNTER v STUDENT AWARDS AGENCY FOR SCOTLAND, THE SCOTTISH MINISTERS, and others.

Commission comments on Muirfield golf club excluding female members

19 May 2016

The Commission has commented on the exclusion of women from Muirfield golf club.

Commission welcomes appointment of new Chair and Scotland Commissioner

26 April 2016

The Secretary of State and Minister for Women and Equalities’ have appointed David Isaac as the new Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Dr Lesley Sawyers as the new Scotland Commissioner.

Three out of four Scottish working mothers say they’ve experienced pregnancy and maternity discrimination

22 March 2016

New research published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission today suggests that around three quarters of pregnant women and new mothers in Scotland, the equivalent of over 30, 000 women,  experience negative or potentially  discriminatory treatment  at work each year.

EHRC Scotland welcomes action on pregnancy and maternity discrimination

25 February 2016

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) welcomes today’s announcement by the Scottish Government of a number of commitments which will help to tackle the problem of discrimination faced by pregnant women and new mothers every year.

Report examines equality within Scotland’s sport sector

27 January 2016

sportscotland and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have published a report into equality in Scottish sport. The report looks at who currently participates in sport, the barriers to participation, and suggests potential solutions.

Scotland’s Equality and Human Rights Report Card: “Good progress, work still to do.”

21 January 2016

Scotland’s biggest ever study into equality and human rights - published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)  - has revealed mixed results that show improvement for some, but many others are at risk of being left behind.

Press releases from before 2015 are available through the National Archives snapshots of our website or if you are unable to find what you need contact us on 

Last updated: 19 May 2021