Supporting trans employees in the workplace

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Supporting trans employees in the workplace

 

Last week, the employment law team at Consilia Legal delivered an employment law update to the CIPD North Yorkshire. The topic which interested the attendees the greatest was the guidance in relation to supporting trans employees in the workplace.

 

The need for better inclusion of trans and intersex employees and jobseekers in the workplace has gradually become more prominent in recent years.

 

Acas published a 74 page research paper in August this year which reported on the UK employment landscape for trans people, approaches of ‘good practice’ employers and barriers, challenges and suggestions for change.

 

Here are the key points : -

 

UK employment landscape for trans people

 

Always treat employees who are intersex, non-binary or otherwise gender non-conforming as if they are covered by the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

 

Legislation is not currently fully trans or intersex-inclusive and therefore good practice should go above and beyond what is stated in law.

 

Approaches of ‘good practice’ employers

 

There is a need for employment policies which specifically consider the needs of trans employees and policies should be effectively circulated throughout an organisation.

 

Informing staff about an employee’s trans or intersex identity or past should only be done with that employee’s full consent and managed in the way that they feel most comfortable with.

 

Ensure careful management of personal, sensitive data.

 

Organisations should make the most of diversity and inclusion training and information, particularly general/line managers who manage a trans employee and also recruiters.

 

For new recruits keep detail such as a trans employee’s previous name confidential, take steps to ensure that any records which refer to their gender identity at birth are retained in a safe place and are only accessible by specified members of staff.

 

Barriers, challenges and suggestions for change

 

The biggest barrier that the research identified was lack of knowledge which generally leads to a lack of line manager confidence in dealing with issues and stigma – again, policies and training are key.

 

Practical barriers:-

 

-Providing individual toilet cubicles for all staff or allowing staff to use facilities that align best with their gender identity;

-Review dress code policies at work for any potential negative implications for trans staff; and

-Have clear protocols for data management to avoid disclosure without consent.

 

For more information, see the full research paper at :- http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/6/f/Supporting-trans-employees-in-the-workplace.pdf

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