Transgender Employees – Advice for Employers
- 27th February 2019
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Trans or transgender are inclusive terms for people whose identity differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Although the number of transgender people in the population is considered to be relatively small, the costs to employers of dealing with transgender issues incorrectly can be very significant.
Equality Act 2010 protection
“Gender reassignment” is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.
As soon as an employee approaches their employer to inform them that they intend to take steps to reassign their gender, they are protected under the Equality Act.
A recent case of de Souza v Primark (2018) involved one of the highest reported awards for gender reassignment discrimination.
Retail assistant Alexandra de Souza E Souza left her position at Primark after being harassed for being transgender. The Tribunal found that she was constructively dismissed by her employer who had failed to deal with the harassment she complained of. Alexandra was awarded £47,433.03 in compensation.
Karl Thomas, Partner and Head of Employment & Disputes at Loosemores commented:
“Transgender issues in the workplace may not be an everyday matter for most employers, but it’s an evolving issue which employers need to keep up to date on. Negative publicity from the poor handling of a “trans” matter could undermine a company’s reputation. The case of de Souza v Primark (2018) also shows how financially costly it can be for an employer.”
It may be the case that you need to update your existing policies & procedure guidance to employees on how to deal with transgender issues.
For a fixed price monthly fee, Loosemores HR gives you access to specialist employment law solicitors and experienced HR consultants. Get the advice you need, when you need it, with the benefit of knowing exactly what the cost will be in advance.
Contact Karl for a no-obligation quotation or discussion:
Phone: 029 2022 4433