Gender identity is one’s strongly felt inner and unique experience of gender, regardless of whether that experience matches the sex given to one at birth, as defined by the UK law. The Equality Act 2010 (England, Scotland and Wales) safeguards against discrimination in the workplace due to gender transition. Hence, gender identity and expression are protected characteristics under The Equality Act 2010. Individuals who are employed by an agency or on a contractual basis for a certain period are all included in this policy. Discrimination against transgender or gender non-conforming employees is unlawful.
What is gender transition?
Employers should be aware of 2 main types of gender transition.
1. Social transition of a person entails socially matching their gender with their internal self-perception (e.g. name and pronoun changes, use of the restroom, participation in team sports or other extracurricular activities identifying with a certain gender).
2. Physical transition is the term used to describe the process of going through medical procedures to achieve a more harmonious balance between a person’s self-expression and physical appearance (e.g., by hormone treatments or surgical interventions).
• What questions are potential employers allowed to ask during the interview?
Employers have the right to inquire about a worker’s work history, background, as well as personal references, may be requested as well a variety of additional neutral inquiries.
The interviewer should refrain from asking queries intended to elicit personal information about the employee, enquiring about their marital status and their sense of gender identity , or living conditions. There’s no need for employers to even bring up the subject of gender transition and enquire about the employee’s intentions of having a surgery.
How are dress regulations and grooming standards enforced by employers?
A dress code must be enforced in a non-discriminatory way by an employer that demands it. Gender-neutral clothing is required for all employees, unless an employer can show a business justification for restricting this.
No employee, regardless of gender identity or expression, should be subjected to a dress code or grooming expectations that vary from those of the rest of the workforce.
• What are the responsibilities of employers in terms of restrooms, locker rooms, and showers?
Restroom and locker room facilities should be accessible to all workers. For example, an employee should be able to use the toilet or locker room of their choice, regardless of how they were born. A single-stall restroom for men and women should be readily available for any employee who wants more privacy, regardless of the underlying cause for their request. Single-stall restrooms for men and women should always be an option. No one in a gender-neutral workplace should be compelled to use one, whether by policy or as a result of harassment.
All single-user restrooms must be labeled as all-gender restrooms, unless an exception applies under the UK law.
Creating a workplace free of discrimination and harassment should be the fundamental goal of any company. Your employees will learn how to follow anti-discrimination rules and treat their coworkers with respect as a result of gender inclusion training.