Stage 1 report on Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill: MBM response

MurrayBlackburnMackenzie response to publication of the Stage 1 report on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill:

“We welcome the Stage 1 report of the CTEEA Committee on the Census (Amendment) (Scotland) Act. We are pleased to note the Committee’s support for the inclusion of voluntary questions on transgender status and sexual orientation in the 2021 Census.

“We are also pleased that the Committee acknowledged the concerns of census data users and the potential impact on data quality of shifting to a non-binary ‘sex’ question. We expressed concern about the wording of the Bill as introduced and its conflation of the concepts of sex and gender identity. We are pleased to see that the Committee shares this concern and intends to address this at Stage 2 of the parliamentary process.

“Retaining a binary sex question that is consistent with the Equality Act 2010 is essential for enabling public authorities to fulfil their obligations under the public sector equality duty. It will also enable comparison with previous censuses, and align with the 2021 Census in England and Wales.”

Note: our work on the Census has been undertaken in an unpaid, voluntary capacity.