Cyber-attack & data theft: Our response & service status

Equality and Human Rights

SEPA’s statutory purpose is to protect and improve the environment in ways that creates economic and social success. Our Equality and Human Rights approach helps us think about the different needs that people have and the best way to meet their needs. It encourages us to provide our services in ways that meet our customers’ needs. It makes it easier for people to work with us to find innovative ways for Scotland to achieve the goals of our regulatory strategy - One Planet Prosperity. We have to involve, consult and communicate with those who use or deliver our services.

We have set out our equal pay statement (including occupational segregation) and our Equality mainstreaming and outcome progress report 2021, which shows the high value we place on diversity in our workforce and our two equality outcomes setting out what we want to achieve for our people and our services.

This work is supported by equality impact assessments on all our relevant policies and projects, these assessments are available on this website.

Public sector equality duty: Scottish specific duties

On Christmas Eve, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) was subject to a serious and complex cyber-attack which has significantly impacted our contact centre, internal systems, processes and communications.

Due to the cyber-attack, SEPA has lost access to staff data and previous work on equality and human rights in the organisation. It is not possible for us to provide information on our workforce, applicants or equality work at this time.

SEPA have further been unable to publish information to fulfil the following obligations of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012 by the 30 April 2021 deadline:

  • Duty to report progress on mainstreaming the equality duty
  • Duty to publish equality outcomes and report progress
  • Duty to gather and use employee information
  • Duty to publish gender pay gap information
  • Duty to publish statements on equal pay

Furthermore, we have been unable to fulfil the following obligation of the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2016 by the 30 April 2021 deadline:

  • Regulation 6A - use of member information (relating to gender balance of the SEPA board).

These have previously been published through our Equality Mainstreaming and Outcomes Progress Report.

SEPA takes these regulations and obligations seriously and, after discussions with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, agreed that we will publish the information relating to each of these regulations separately on our website as soon as is possible.

In relation to our duty to gather and use employee information, please see our People Data report.

The work carried out to increase the diversity of the board between 2019 and 2021 is available here: Board Diversity and Seccession Planning.

Help and assistance

If you have any questions about equality in SEPA or require any of these publications in an alternative format, please contact us