The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because you are transsexual – that is, your gender identity differs from the gender assigned to you at birth. In the Equality Act it is known as gender reassignment. All transsexual people share the common characteristic of gender reassignment.
Employers, managers and colleagues should be aware that no two gender reassignment situations or two ‘trans’ identities are likely to be exactly the same. If an employee feels they have been discriminated against, they will be able to bring a claim to an Employment tribunal.
We have put together a three part blog that highlight where you need to be more vigilant when it comes to gender reassignment discrimination in the workplace.
Job advert/job description – These documents can be difficult to write at the best of times; try to ensure they are clear on exactly what is needed for the post.
Advertising – You should consider more than one type of media or advertising platform to avoid ending up with too narrow an audience.
Personal information – Make sure any information you request is relevant to the recruitment process.
Interview – When you meet an applicant, do not assume someone’s gender by their appearance.
References – When contacting a previous employer for a reference always ensure you have the employees consent and be careful to use the correct name and title.
Equality monitoring form – You do not have to track how many job applications you receive from different groups of people, or the characteristics of the people working for you. However, if you do collect personal information (e.g. ethnicity, gender, faith, sexuality) about job applicants or an employee, you must protect their data. You must not discriminate against a candidate based on their personal information.
Pay, terms and conditions of employment
It is important to ensure there are no terms and conditions or contractual benefits that disadvantage or exclude someone based on their gender or gender reassignment.
In promotion opportunities, discrimination can be:
- Turning down applications from anyone because they are proposing to reassign their gender
- Discourage an employee from applying because they have or are reassigning their gender
- Not promoting an employee who is the best person for the job based on gender reassignment.
As an employer you have a duty to assess someone’s promotion based on their ability and performance. It is advisable to have a well-structured process for promotions and link these to performance reviews where possible to eliminate the risk of discrimination.
An employer should ensure training opportunities are equally accessible for employees who propose to go through, are going through or have gone through gender reassignment. You should also ensure that you do not withhold training due to those reasons as it could be discriminatory.
It is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee because of their gender reassignment, perceived gender reassignment or association with someone else’s gender reassignment.
An employee must not be at a disadvantage or discriminated against in a redundancy process because of their gender reassignment, perceived gender reassignment or association with someone else’s gender reassignment.
When going through redundancy consultations any employees absent because of gender reassignment should still be consulted with.
These processes are always best supported by HR and it may be advisable to outsource your projects including redundancy where possible. HR Revolution can carry out any project to ensure the process is performed unbiasedly.
Look out for Part 2 of the blog tomorrow.
If you need further information or guidance, give HR Revolution a call +44 203 538 5311 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.
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