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Public Sector: Gender

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL14336, tabled on 17 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the declaration in the Order of Consent following the judicial review proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women against the UK Statistics Authority, what plans they have to review how (1) government departments, and (2) public sector bodies, use the word “sex”.

Answered on

31 March 2021

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.

Answered by

Cabinet Office