How to Support Trans Equality in the Workplace
Today’s blog post has been inspired by a very informative webinar I recently joined with HR Solutions, discussing the importance of equality in the workplace for Trans workers, and our own individual responsibilities as employers and employees. Following this, I…
News24th Aug 2022
Today’s blog post has been inspired by a very informative webinar I recently joined with HR Solutions, discussing the importance of equality in the workplace for Trans workers, and our own individual responsibilities as employers and employees. Following this, I wanted to share a light overview to get you thinking about what more we can do to support trans employees.
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
The importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace has never been more prevalent than it is in today’s world- and that’s exactly how it should be. These three words mean many things to many different people, but I think we are all in agreeance that both employees and employers play their part in ensuring that we create happy, inclusive workspaces that are kind to all.
Frequently at AAB People our clients ask us for support around Diversity and Inclusion projects, to protect and support their diverse workforces. Here is a little overview as to Employer responsibilities for Trans workers within your business.
Unfortunately, someone who is transgender is four times more likely to suffer with mental ill health as a direct impact (as reported by the World Health Organisation).
Where to Start?
So as an employer, what should you be thinking about? The first step is to look at your business- are you as inclusive as you think? Even if you do not currently have any employees who are Trans, that doesn’t mean you can’t be thinking ahead to ensure inclusivity.
If you haven’t already, you should look to have a Trans and Gender Equality Policy in place that provides guidance to your employees. Specifically, you could also think about providing training for line managers- building awareness in the form of policies, handbooks and team briefings to create good communication and break any stigma.
Employers can also think about introducing an Employee Assistant Programme – not just for their Trans workers themselves but for line managers to help them understand and support employees who are trans.
Ensure you and your employees are using the correct terminology and language. If you don’t know what terms are correct, the best thing to do is to acknowledge this and then swot up.
Create a Transition Plan
By creating a transition plan with any employees who recognise themselves as being trans, you can best support them and make any reasonable adjustments through direct discussions. You should note within this transition plan any Health and Safety adjustments and should always be mindful of confidentiality. You should only share information if you have the permission from the individual to do so.
A personalised transition plan should be subject to review and adaptation.
It is important to note that it is an employees’ personal choice if they choose to inform their employer that they are trans.
Employees who have transitioned must be allowed to use facilities appropriate for gender.They must not be required to use unisex disabled toilets unless they choose to do so. The use of facilities applies to all transgender employees regardless of if they have chosen to undergo a physical transition.
Protection for Employees and Your Business
In order to protect Trans Employees and Your Business, you also need to be mindful of the following considerations:
- Absence – Transitioning related absence should be treated in the same was as other sickness or medical related absence. Be Flexible. Occupational Health Reviews and other medical advice could be crucial to support employees
- Understand what records and systems need to be changed/updated and from when- ie 3rd parties HMRC, Pensions- make sure to note in personal transition plans
- Swiftly deal with any inappropriate conduct from other Employees in the workplace and handle any complaints in a full and thorough manner.
Understanding Gender Transition
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 does not require a person to have a Gender Recognition Certificate to be protected under the Equality Act. Employees who fall into the following categories are protected:
- An individual proposing to undergo a process or part of a process
- An individual who is currently undergoing a process or part of a process
- An individual who has undergone a process or part of a process
Hopefully, this blog has provided a little more insight as to what we can and should be doing for our Trans employers.
As a final word, I would like to note that although we all have many differences, we also have many things in common. It is these different views, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences that create a dynamic and vibrant workplace for all employees to thrive in.
To find out more, or if you would like any help as an employer with supporting Trans workers or generally Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, please reach out to us at email@example.com