Employment and Social Development Canada Settlement Agreement on Gender Information Collection

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Employment and Social Development Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has reached an important settlement agreement resolving a complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Commission about its practice of collecting sex and gender information for the Social Insurance Number (SIN) program and the Social Insurance Register.

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The terms of the settlement were approved by the Canadian Human Rights Commission on January 18, 2017.

In 2015 ESDC ceased requesting supporting documentation for anyone who requests a change to their gender designation in the Social Insurance Register. The department will amend its SIN client-facing documents and procedures to indicate that providing sex/gender information is optional, and allow at least three options (male/female/3rd option) for completion of any sex/gender question.

ESDC recognizes that personally-identifiable sex or gender data can only be collected if there are legitimate purposes, for example to inform gender based analysis and policy and program development, and will review the collection of sex/gender data in all its programming and benefits.