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Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018

Section 2 – Key definitions

5.Section 2 defines the Act’s key terms:

  • “appointing person” means, in relation to the function of appointing a non-executive member of a public board, a person who has that function. For example, the Scottish Ministers;

  • “excluded position” in relation to a public authority, means a position mentioned in the second column of the table in schedule 1 which corresponds with the public authority mentioned in the first column. Where a position is an “excluded position”, it is not a “non-executive member” position as defined in the Act. As a result, “excluded positions” are discounted for the purposes of calculating the percentage of non-executive members who are women under section 1 and no action is required under the Act in relation to “excluded positions”. Non-executive members who are appointed by virtue of having been nominated or by virtue of holding an elected position have been excluded;

  • “non-executive member”, in relation to a public authority, means a position on its public board that is:

    • o not an excluded position;

    • o not held by an employee of the authority, i.e. an executive member;

  • “public authority” means an authority listed, or within the description listed, in the first column of the table in schedule 1;

  • “public board” means:

    • o if the public authority is a company, the directors;

    • o if the public authority has a statutory board or other equivalent statutory management body, that board or body;

    • o in relation to any other public authority, the membership of the authority;

  • “woman” includes a person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment (within the meaning of section 7 of the Equality Act 2010) if, and only if, the person is living as a woman and is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of becoming female. This means that it is not necessary for a trans woman to have a Gender Recognition Certificate to be included as a woman for the purposes of the Act, provided they –

    • o have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment,

    • o are living as a woman, and

    • o are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of becoming female.

  • A trans man without a Gender Recognition Certificate would not be included as a woman for the purposes of the Act if they -

    • o are not living as a woman, or

    • o are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of becoming male.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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