Statement on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill

Published: 18 January 2023

A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“As Britain’s equality regulator, we have engaged in detail on the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill that was passed by the Scottish Parliament in December. We remain ready to continue to advise both the UK and Scottish parliaments on equality law and human rights, which fall within our remit.

“We have set out our analysis of the cross-border implications of the Bill for the operation of the Equality Act 2010 in briefings and letters to Scottish parliamentarians and the UK government.

“We will continue to provide independent expert advice on relevant equality and human rights issues, in line with our statutory duty.

“The Equality and Human Rights Commission continues to call for constructive engagement between the UK and Scottish governments on these complex issues, to protect the equality and human rights of everyone in Britain.”

Notes to Editors:

  • On 26 January 2022 the EHRC wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, setting out our position on reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004. As the bill was introduced we exchanged further correspondence with the Cabinet Secretary.
  • The EHRC supported the Equality, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee’s scrutiny of the proposed bill. We appeared before the committee to give evidence and wrote to the Convener.
  • On 20 September 2022 the EHRC wrote to the Scottish and UK governments to set out the implications of the proposed legislation for the operation of the Equality Act 2010. At this time we met with MSPs from various political parties, as well as the Cabinet Secretary, to brief them on our advice.
  • On 14 November 2022 the EHRC shared a written briefing with all MSPs, to assist them as they considered the detail of the Bill and amendments at Stage 2. We shared this briefing with all MSPs again at Stage 3.
  • On 22 December 2022 the EHRC wrote to the Minister for Women and Equalities to summarise the potential impact of the new legislation.