Burial and Cremation Bill summary

Maureen Watt MSP

As outlined in last month’s SAIFInsight, governance of burials and cremations in Scotland is being given an overhaul through the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Bill. So what does the bill actually do?

As part of its modernising aims, the bill brings in various recommendations from Lord Bonomy’s Infant Cremation Commission. These include the first legal definition for “ashes”, requirements for record keeping, changes to the application process, clearer guidance, and a requirement for burial authorities to keep their grounds safe.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “The new legislation will bring important and much-needed changes to burial and cremation processes – helping to ensure that they are easy to understand, reliable and fit-for-purpose.”

Just as notable though is what the bill allows for in the future. Provisions within the bill mean that it will now be within ministers’ power to create a licensing scheme for Scottish funeral directors.

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