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Government Departments: Gender Recognition

Question for Women and Equalities

UIN HL3761, tabled on 8 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 1 November (HL3551), why giving civil servants in departments and arms-length bodies the opportunity to declare their sex could result in employees being questioned about their gender, as reported in the Guidance on Gender Pay Gap by the Government Equalities Office; and what consequences their approach has for gender pay gap reporting.

Answered on

16 November 2021

The Civil Service uses employees' gender identification from information they have already provided for HR/payroll purposes. This can be updated by individuals, giving them the option to make proactive declarations regarding their gender.

The gender pay gap reporting guidance for employers does not distinguish between sex and gender, as most employers do not hold this level of information about their workforce and requiring them to do so would undoubtedly increase the burden on business associated with gender pay gap reporting. Asking employees to provide information which makes this differentiation could result in them being questioned about their gender, and require them to provide personal information without a clear purpose. It is for this reason that we stress the importance of sensitivity when employers are collecting information.

The overall effect of not differentiating between sex and gender in gender pay gap reporting is likely to be small, and will not have a significant impact on data accuracy.

Answered by

Women and Equalities