Supporting 'trans' individuals in the workplace
Flexible HR service
‘Trans’ is an umbrella term which includes transgender. Transgender individuals have an identity or expression different from the one they were assigned at birth or expected to exhibit.
Transgender individuals often wish to alter their bodies to make them more congruent with their gender identity. Individuals that wish to make this transition are covered within The Equality Act 2010 and The Gender Recognition Act 2004.
Considerations for the workplace:
The protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ not only protects individuals that are transitioning but who are proposing to and have undergone a process of transition for the purpose of reassigning their sex.
Employers cannot treat individuals differently if they are absent from work due to their gender reassignment than if they were absent for perhaps an injury, illness or some other reason.
There is no requirement for transgender and transsexual people to tell their employer about their gender reassignment status and questions about a possible transgender status should not be asked unless there are exceptions, e.g. occupational requirement.
It is unlawful to refuse to work with someone with the protected characteristic of gender reassignment even if the refusal is on the grounds of religious belief.
The Gender Recognition Act allows transsexuals to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate which they can then use to obtain a new birth certificate. For employers they may wish to see sight of the new birth certificate for administrative purposes. It is unlawful to request to see the gender recognition certificate.
Other considerations in the workplace could include support within the transition process, a transgender policy, communication, a change in their role temporarily or permanently or how to manage absence.
With the latest Government statistics stating that there are approximately 200,000 – 5000,000 ‘trans’ people in the UK, many trans people face discrimination and harassment not only socially but within the workplace.
With a respect for peoples individuality and life choices, trans people in the workplace offer a diverse talent pool that should be valued for their skillset and consideration of their viewpoint. This leads to an enriched and diverse workplace and organisation.
At present the Governments Equalities Office are in open consultation to review the Gender Recognition Act with regards to making the gender recognition process less bureaucratic and intrusive. This consultation closes in October 2018.
If you would like any support in the workplace with ‘trans’ individuals please call Amanda or email her.
Ethical HR Solutions Ltd