The Fairer Scotland Duty

Archived news: published on Wednesday 16 May 2018 by Fife Council


Fairer Scotland Duty

The Fairer Scotland Duty came into force in Scotland in April 2018. It places a legal responsibility on particular public bodies in Scotland to consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions.


To fulfil their obligations under the Duty, public bodies must be able to meet what is called key requirements: 

  • Actively consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome in any major strategic decisions they make; and
  • Publish a written assessment showing how they have done this


The Duty defines ‘socio-economic disadvantage’ as living on low income compared to others in Scotland, with little or no accumulated wealth, leading to greater material deprivation, restricting the ability to access basic goods and services. Socio-economic disadvantage can be experienced in both places and communities of interest, leading to further negative outcomes such as social exclusion.  Examples of socio-economic disadvantage include low wealth; material deprivation; area deprivation (experienced by communities of place and communities of interest).  


The Duty only applies to high-level decisions taken by the public sector.  These include: 

  • Preparation of the local development plan
  • Development of new strategic frameworks
  • Development of significant new policies or proposals
  • Preparation of an annual budget
  • Preparing locality plans


Interim guidance has been produced by the Scottish Government and the Duty will be subject to a three year implementation phase.  For more information on the Duty, see the publications section below. 




Equalities Unit
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 12 42 Contact Equalities Unit online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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