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Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016

Part 5 – Funeral Directors

252.Part 5 deals with provisions relating to funeral directors.

Section 94 – Funeral directors’ businesses: licensing

253.Section 94(1) gives the Scottish Ministers the power to create a licensing scheme covering the operation of funeral directors’ businesses. Subsection (2) provides that a person may not carry on a business as a funeral director unless they hold a licence issued under the scheme in relation to the business. Subsection (3) provides that a person who carries on more than one business as a funeral director must hold a separate licence for each business.

Section 95 – Licensing scheme: regulations

254.Section 95(1) allows the Scottish Ministers to make regulations in respect of how a licensing scheme referred to in section 94(1) will operate. Subsection (2) sets out what the regulations may contain. This includes: the licence conditions which may apply under regulations; who will administer the scheme; the application procedure; the circumstances under which an application may be refused or granted; for what period the licence may be granted; provisions for suspension or revocation of licences; and any conditions that may be applied, such as the fees that may be payable and provision about appeals against certain decisions of the licensing authority.

Section 96 – Licence for funeral director’s business: offences

255.Subsection (1) provides that a person who knowingly carries on a business as a funeral director without a licence commits an offence. Subsection (2) sets out the circumstances in which a person will be considered not to hold a licence. These are that no licence has been issued and that a licence has been issued but has expired without being renewed, or has been suspended or revoked. Subsection (3) provides that a person will also commit an offence if they knowingly or recklessly provide materially false or misleading information in, or in connection with, an application for a licence. By virtue of subsection (4), a person who is convicted of committing an offence under this section will be liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

Section 97 – Funeral director: code of practice

256.Subsection (1) provides that a funeral director must comply with any new or revised codes of practice issued by Scottish Ministers in relation to the carrying out of a funeral director’s functions.

257.Under subsection (2), the Scottish Ministers will be required to consult with funeral directors and any other relevant parties before issuing a funeral director’s code or revising an existing code.

258.Subsection (3) requires the Scottish Ministers to lay a draft of the funeral director’s code before the Scottish Parliament, after taking account of any representations made by virtue of subsection (2). A funeral director’s code may not be issued until it has been approved by a resolution of the Scottish Parliament. Subsection (5) requires the Scottish Ministers to publish such a code in such manner as they consider appropriate, and subsection (6) requires the Scottish Ministers to keep any code of practice under review. Subsection (7) provides that references to a funeral director’s code also include references to a revised code.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government 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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