The Scottish Government aims to build a fairer and more equal Scotland, where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive and reach their potential. In achieving this, it is vital that we remove the barriers standing in people’s way, none more so than those faced by people living in poverty. With the cost of living crisis continuing to put additional pressure on household budgets, it is crucial that we do everything that we can to focus our resources where they matter most, and help those most in need. This is why tackling poverty and protecting people from harm is one of three critical and interdependent missions for the Scottish Government, alongside our focus on the economy and strengthening public services.
The Poverty and Inequality Commission (the Commission) plays an important role in this by providing independent expert advice to Scottish Ministers on how to reduce poverty and inequality.
Scottish Ministers wish to appoint up to eight new members, known as Commisioners, to the Commission. This offers an exciting opportunity to anyone who is interested in becoming personally involved in driving change to help tackle inequalities and make a lasting difference to the lives of people and communities across Scotland.
About the Poverty and Inequality Commission
The Commission was established in 2019 as an independent advisory non-departmental public body.
The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 sets out the Poverty and Inequality Commission’s legal functions, which are to provide independent advice to Scottish Ministers on poverty and inequality and monitor progress and propose solutions to reduce poverty and inequality in Scotland.
Role of a Commissioner
Commissioners are appointed by Scottish Ministers, with appointments approved by the Scottish Parliament. They, along with the Chair, ensure that the Commission carries out its statutory functions as set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.
In doing so, Commissioners work together to develop advice for Scottish Ministers on the steps that could be taken to reduce poverty and inequality in Scotland and monitor the progress being made in this area.
This is achieved by Commissioners gathering and analysing evidence from a number of sources, including research and personal testimonies, to identify and understand the issues affecting people, the structural inequalities driving poverty, and the impact of policies and the funding in place. This evidence is used by Commissioners to identify options to explore and develop into deliverable solutions that can be adopted by the Commission and provided as advice to Ministers on steps that could be taken to address poverty and inequality.
Commissioners also work closely with the Commission’s Experts by Experience Panel in developing its advice and completing scrutiny against targets.
Working with the Chair, Commissioners also develop the Commission’s Strategic Plan, setting out its vision and priorities. They also contribute to governance documents such as the work plan and annual report and adhere to the Commission’s Code of Conduct.
On occasions Commissioners lead and oversee Working Groups on specific areas of interest to the Commission. They may also represent the views of the Commission by speaking at public events and meetings.
Further detail on the Commissioner’s role can be found in the Applicant Information Pack.
Skills and Experience Required
We are looking for applicants who have a wide knowledge and understanding of the issues relating to poverty and inequality in Scotland and can offer creative and workable advice based on evidence, including those with lived experience of poverty.
We also welcome applicants who have experience in the delivery of services or support to people most likely to experience poverty and inequality or who have knowledge of equality issues and how they apply to poverty and inequality.
Applicants must demonstrate evidence of all of the following –
Applicants must also demonstrate evidence of only one of the following -
We particularly welcome applications from people with lived experience of poverty or inequality, women, LGBT+ people, young people, disabled people and those from minority ethnic communities.
Applicants will wish to be aware that we are operating a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants. For further information, please see the applicant information pack.
Remuneration and time commitment
Remuneration is £225 for every day, of not less than 7.5 hours, for time devoted to the role.
While your time commitment may vary, it is likely that you will spend one day per month, that is 12 days per year, in the role. It is not expected that this commitment will exceed 17 days a year.
Reasonable expenses incurred will be reimbursed. The appointments are non-pensionable.
Length of Term
The appointments are initially for up to five years, with the possibility of reappointment subject to evidence of effective performance and satisfying the skills and knowledge required at the time of reappointment and beyond. Any appointment and subsequent reappointment will not extend beyond a maximum of eight years in total.
To apply for this role please visit the Scottish Government’s public appointments website.
Applications will be accepted from 21 November 2023 until 5 pm on 11 December 2023.
A separate public appointment round to recruit a new Chair is taking place alongside the recruitment of new Commissioners. Applicants can apply for both roles and simultaneous applications will be fully considered without prejudice. However, if successful, an applicant can only be appointed to one of the roles.
Information on the role of the Chair and advert can be found at Appointment of Chair to the Poverty and Inequality Commission.
Appointments to the Poverty and Inequality Commission are regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.