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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-11055: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 4 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is monitoring the ethnicity of individuals participating in its Social Security Experience Panels and, if so, whether this data will be published.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 18 September 2017

Scottish Government researchers are now analysing the ‘About Your Benefits and You’ research. This research includes a survey and a series of focus groups across Scotland. The About Your Benefits and You survey asked for some demographic information from panel members (including age, gender, disability and caring status). This will be added to information gathered as part of the ‘Have Your Say’ panel registration process which collected information on additional support needs. This will start to build a picture of who our panel members are.

We will ask the panel members their religion, ethnicity and LGBT status at a later stage in the panel research. This is because we designed and tested the survey with panel members, and they asked that we do not collect this information at this early stage.

Scottish Government researchers are committed to equality monitoring as part of the Experience Panels. However, it is vital that we build trust with panel members, collecting demographic information sensitively and ensuring that panel members are involved in how and when demographic data is collected.