Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: business and regulatory impact assessment

The business and regulatory impact assessment (BRIA) for the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

2. Consultation

Within Government

2.1. The Scottish Government's Family Law & Gender Recognition teams have worked with:

  • the Equality Unit;
  • Communities Analytical services;
  • National Records of Scotland;
  • The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (regarding any impacts in relation to public service pensions);
  • The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
  • The Scottish Legal Aid Board

Public Consultation

2.2. A draft BRIA formed part of a public consultation on the draft Bill. The Scottish Government carried out a consultation from 9 November 2017 to 1 March 2018 ("the 2017 consultation") on proposals for reforming the GRA[2]. Chapter 7 of the independent analysis of responses[3] recorded comments made by consultees on the draft Impact Assessments included with this previous consultation.

The Scottish Government took account of relevant comments when preparing a further draft BRIA which accompanied a second consultation from 17 December 2019 to 17 March 2020.[4]

2.3. There were a number of policy changes between the 2017 and the 2019 consultations. In particular:

  • The Scottish Government decided not to extend legal gender recognition to those under 16. The Scottish Government does consider that those uncertain of their gender identity should be supported.
  • The Scottish Government decided not to extend legal gender recognition at this stage to non-binary people. The Scottish Government considers that legal recognition of non-binary people would raise a number of issues in relation to areas such as registration, data, rights and responsibilities, changes to legislation, service delivery and costs, and set up a separate working group on non-binary people.


2.4 For the purposes of the draft BRIA conducted in relation to the 2017 consultation,[5] the Scottish Government conducted interviews with representatives from a variety of organisations. More detail is in the 2017 draft BRIA.

2.5. While policy changes have occurred since the 2017 consultation, further interviews with business have not been required: the Bill continues to be based on the earlier proposal to adopt a statutory declaration-based system. In addition, what is changing through the provisions of the Bill is the way in which legal gender recognition is obtained: the rights and responsibilities associated with the possession of a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) are not changing.



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