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Atkins Dellow > Gender Identity Policies in Employment Law

19 June 2024 | HR & Employment

Gender Identity Policies in Employment Law

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For more information about gender identity policies and how best to implement them in your specific circumstances get in touch with our Employment Law team today on 0330 912 8338.

Introduction to Gender Identity Policy

As a matter of law employers must give their employees a written document which covers the key terms of the employment relationship. On top of this, it’s good practice for employers to have a staff handbook which includes the non-contractual policies and procedures. The staff handbook will sit alongside the employee’s terms and conditions of employment and the employer can use it to manage situations within the workplace and help avoid disputes.

Gender Identity Policy

Gender reassignment discrimination, harassment and victimisation is prohibited in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010. The legislation applies during all aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment, terms and conditions, promotions, transfers, dismissals, and training. It doesn’t just protect employees as it extends to contract workers, partners and office holders as well. Gender reassignment discrimination is permitted where it is an occupational requirement that the job is done by a person who is not trans, but these circumstances are very limited.

An individual is deemed to have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if they are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process for the purpose of reassigning their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. The protection also extends to those who undergo part of a process and those who start the gender reassignment process but then decide to stop.

A Gender Identity Policy should explain what is likely to amount to unacceptable conduct, set out how an employee can raise concerns if they feel that they’ve been harassed or discriminated against, and detail how the employer will deal with certain of the most common issues that are likely to be experienced in the workplace.

We’ve prepared a draft Gender Identity Policy to get you started. The principal aim of the policy is to provide a positive message to staff that the employer supports gender identity, takes a proactive stance against discrimination because of gender identity and supports those who transition at work. The policy sets out at a high level the employer’s approach to gender identity in the workplace and the support it provides to a transitioning member of staff.

In addition to the policy, you may wish to prepare a separate, more detailed guidance for line managers and HR to use. This guidance can deal with more sensitive issues such as the use of facilities, uniform or dress code, and absence management in greater detail than is provided in the policy. To achieve the best result, you should publicise the policy, promote positive inclusion and train line managers and HR on how to best support employees who are transitioning.

This article and the policy are provided for general information purposes only and you should take specialist advice in relation to specific circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that what we say is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy, and Atkins Dellow LLP does not accept any liability for error or omission.

Atkins Dellow help clients all over the UK with legal matters including implementing concrete sets of policies as part of Employee handbooks. Every employer should have one. For more information get in touch with our team today on 0330 912 8338.

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Please note this article is provided for general information purposes only to clients and friends of Atkins Dellow LLP. It is not intended to impart legal advice on any matter. Specialist advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information in this article is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy, and Atkins Dellow LLP does not accept any liability for error or omission.

© Atkins Dellow LLP 2024

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