Round 1 is now CLOSED to applications.  Round 2 will open on 2nd July 2018.

Workplace Equality Fund 2018/19

Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) manages the Workplace Equality Fund (WEF) on behalf of the Scottish Government. 
The Workplace Equality Fund opens for applications on 8th February 2018.

Fund Aim

The aim of the £500,000 one-year Fund is to support private businesses in reducing employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers in the workplace. Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available. In exceptional circumstances, applications of up to £100,000 will be considered.  To be eligible applicants should be a private business or a third sector organisation whose project proposes to work with private business.

The funding will support employers in reducing employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers particularly across the arts, culture, leisure, tourism, finance, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and fishing, transport and communication and STEM sectors. 

Fund Outcomes

  • Employment opportunities and progression in the workplace are improved for participant groups and consideration is given to how this can be embedded into the workplace to ensure lasting change
  • Knowledge, skills, policies and practices are improved in order to address employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers/challenges within the workplace 
  • A more inclusive working environment is created through employees and employers working in partnership 

Policy Information

These policy documents should provide useful background information for applicants.

It would be particularly useful to read through the Fair Work Framework, as this will provide some context to the fund.  Please refer to the policy documents relating to the participant group or groups you propose working with.   

Programme for Government
Fair Work Framework
Race Equality Framework
Disability Delivery Action Plan
Fairer Scotland Action Plan
Scotland’s Labour Market Strategy 
Older People and Employment
Gender Equality
Addressing Race Inequality: The Way Forward

Funding Criteria & Eligibility

For more information on key criteria and eligibility, who can apply, what the funding levels are and what the funding can be used for, please refer to our Promotional Flyer. 

The fund is open to applications from: 

  • Any private business currently operating in Scotland
  • Any third sector organisation whose Board of Trustees or Management Committee are predominantly volunteers, and whose project proposes to work with private business. It is preferable that third sector organisations have concrete plans in place to work with specific businesses prior to application.

Successful organisations must not start their project before receipt of funding award. 1 May 2018 (funding round 1), or 1 Oct 2018 (funding round 2), and complete their projects by 31 March 2019.

There are four participant groups that this fund is targeting.  Applications must focus on one or more of these groups.

  • Minority ethnic people
  • Women
  • Disabled people
  • Older workers (those aged over 50 yrs)
Eligible items for funding include:
  • Staffing costs relating to the delivery of the project
  • Training costs
  • Travel expenses
  • Capital costs up to 25% of the total. All other avenues must have been explored e.g. DWP access to work. Applicant will be expected to evidence the difference the capital expenditure has made to target group(s) in reporting
  • Overheads up to 15% of total budget
Please note that the following items are NOT eligible for support:
  • Trustees’ expenses
  • Capital projects (for example, purchase of buildings, vehicles, building works and refurbishment or ICT infrastructure)
  • Attendance at non-outcome related conferences (either UK or international)
  • Projects that do not benefit one or more of the participant groups listed above
  • The advancement of religion or politics (including requests to support the core activities of religious or political groups)
  • Trips abroad
  • The repayment of loans or payments of debts

Funding Rounds & Timescales

8th February 2018 funding round 1 opens for applications
29th March 2018 round 1 closes to applications at 12 noon
2nd July 2018 funding round 2 opens for applications 
30th August 2018 round 2 closes to applications at 12 noon

Funded projects will be delivered between May 2018 and March 2019, by which time all activities should be concluded and all grant money spent. 

How to apply

Applicants should follow the link to the online application form

It is advisable to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your internet browser when completing your online application.  During testing, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge were much slower when downloading and uploading essential documents.  

Further Information & Enquiries

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions  here.  If you have further queries about the Fund or wish to discuss your project eligibility with one of our staff, please contact VAF on 01383 620780 or