Non-Binary Equality Working Group: report and recommendations - March 2022

The Working Group on Non-Binary Equality was formed by the Scottish Government to consider ways to improve the lives of non-binary people. This report is the result of their work, including 35 detailed recommendations covering practical ways to make a lasting, meaningful difference.

Index of Recommendations


About Us

Our Recommendations

Future Work

Lived Experience Reflections: "Anndra"


About the Group

Who was involved?
Who are we talking about?
What did we talk about?
Who gets to decide?

1. Meaningfully include marginalised people in decision-making by making processes accessible, including through financially compensating individuals for their time and contributions, and by prioritising the participation of people who are marginalised in multiple ways

Lived Experience Reflections: "Bay"


Transition-related healthcare

2. Transform the way transition-related healthcare is delivered in Scotland, moving to a system based on informed consent, desegregating services so that they are not exclusively accessed via specialist clinics, and designing services collaboratively with trans and non-binary people

3. Develop national standards for gender identity services that are accountable and enforceable

4. Fund transition-related healthcare sustainably, in the long term, and beyond the existing Gender Identity Clinics

5. Ensure that trans and non-binary people have equal access to transition-related healthcare, regardless of gender identity, gender presentation, race, disability, neurodiversity, financial resources, postcode, or other characteristics

6. Require transition-related healthcare to meet referral-to-treatment standards

Mental health

7. Make person-centred, specialised gender identity counselling services available for trans and non-binary people, separate from the assessment pathway for transition-related healthcare

8. Fund mandatory training for mental health providers on trans and non-binary healthcare needs

9. Conduct robust Equality Impact Assessments for mental health policies and actions, ensuring that they address the specific needs of trans and non-binary people

Primary care

10. Review the use of a sex code in Community Health Index (CHI) numbers, and enable non-binary people to be recognised in medical records

11. Fund mandatory training for primary care providers on trans and non-binary healthcare needs

12. Desegregate treatment pathways so that interventions that are available via a GP referral for cisgender patients are similarly available via a GP referral for trans patients

Fertility preservation

13. Ensure that trans and non-binary people have equal access to fertility preservation treatments, including access to the information needed to make informed choices

14. Work with the UK Government to provide clarity to trans and non-binary people about their legal rights regarding fertility preservation, access to assisted reproduction services, and status when creating families, and work to prevent discrimination in realising these rights

15. Fund mandatory training for fertility preservation providers on trans and non-binary healthcare needs

Data and Law

Data collection in research

16. Reintroduce a non-binary response option in Scottish Government core surveys, and introduce a non-binary response option in the next Scottish Census

17. Develop a plan to use the data from the trans status question used in Scottish Government core surveys and the Scottish Census to produce evidence on non-binary people in Scotland that can better inform policymaking

18. Support specific research and evidence-gathering with non-binary people in the absence of high enough response rates from non-binary people in population-level surveys

Data collection by service providers

19. Produce clear guidance about name changes for trans and non-binary people, and for public bodies and service providers

20. Produce clear guidance for service providers on the gathering of sex/gender information

21. Review IT systems, particularly in healthcare settings, to identify and remove barriers to non-binary people accessing services

Sex and gender data guidance in Scotland

22. Include a non-binary response option in the recommended sex question in the next update to the Chief Statistician's Sex and Gender in Data Guidance

23. Review the Chief Statistician's Sex and Gender in Data Guidance regularly, and ensure better inclusion of trans and non-binary people in the review process

Legal recognition and gendered law

24. Commission expert research on non-binary legal recognition, with the view to introducing it in Scotland

25. Ensure that future legislation does not further entrench unnecessarily gendered terminology or assumptions across the law

26. Review the use of, and take action to remove, unnecessary gender markers from identity documents, including by working with the UK Government to take action where ID is administered on a UK-wide basis

Access to Services

Building design

27. Review building regulations to ensure that public spaces are useable and accessible for all, and provide funding to ensure that modern accessible buildings are available across Scotland

Crisis and support services

28. Introduce a homelessness prevention pathway specifically focused on LGBTI+ young people

29. Embed the needs of non-binary children, and all LGBTI+ children, into the delivery of a Bairns' Hoose in Scotland

30. Include non-binary people in Scottish Government strategies, policy frameworks, and resource allocation designed to eradicate gender-based violence

31. Improve data collection on sex/gender, sexual orientation and trans status within support and crisis services


32. Agree key policy principles, underpinned by equality and human rights considerations, on how to improve participation in sport and leisure for trans and non-binary people

33. Fund specific work to reduce barriers to trans and non-binary people's participation in sport


34. Work with the developers of SEEMiS to (a) ensure that there are options other than male or female for recording pupils, alongside a field for recording pronouns; (b) review automatic linking from SEEMiS; and (c) produce updated guidance for schools to reflect these changes

35. Evaluate the ongoing work of implementing LGBT Inclusive Education after one year, collaboratively with non-binary pupils, to investigate the specific impact of the work for them, and any changes needed to ensure that they equally benefit from the work in the future

Lived Experience Reflections: "Cameron"

Index of Recommendations



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