Scottish Languages Bill: business and regulatory impact assessment

Business and regulatory impact assessment for the Scottish Languages Bill. This is legislation which seeks to advance the status of, and provision for, the Gaelic and Scots languages.

Purpose and Intended Effect


The Scottish Government made a number of manifesto commitments related to the Gaelic and Scots languages. These were gathered under four headings which were considered to be the key commitments:

  • Establishing a new strategic approach to Gaelic medium education (GME)
  • Exploring the creation of official Gàidhealtachd areas
  • Reviewing the structures and functions of Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG)
  • Taking action on the Scots language

The proposed legislative vehicle for these commitments is a Scottish Languages Bill. In addition to making provision for these commitments the Bill would also further enshrine the principle that Scotland is a multilingual country.

A public consultation was held on these commitments between August and December 2022. The consultation responses and analysis were published in June 2023.

The most recent Programme for Government 2023/24 includes the commitment to:

"introduce the Scottish Languages Bill to Parliament providing legal recognition for Gaelic and Scots, strengthening requirements for provision of Gaelic Medium Education, introducing measures to provide further protection for Gaelic within communities and introducing provisions to strengthen support for Scots".

The provisions within the draft Scottish Languages Bill ensure that there is a structure in place across the Scottish Government and wider public sector to meet the needs of Gaelic and Scots communities and ensure the future of the languages in a modern, growing and diverse Scotland.

For Gaelic, the Scottish Languages Bill deals with three distinct areas of the language's development: Gaelic in education; Gaelic's development on the community level; Gaelic development within Scottish public authorities and the roles of Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Scottish Ministers in overseeing this. For Scots, the Bill proposes legislative measures on behalf of the language for the first time, and these relate to its role within education and support by public authorities.



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