The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against, or to harass a person because they are intending to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone gender reassignment.
Gender reassignment is considered a social rather than medical process. As such, the Act protects anyone who is intending to undergo, is undergoing, or has undergone gender reassignment, whether or not they have had or intend to have any medical gender reassignment treatment.
What matters is that you intend to live, or are already living permanently in your preferred gender.
Under the Equality Act, it is clearly stated that it is unlawful for an employer to refuse a person time off work, to attend appointments e.g. electrolysis, hospital, surgery etc. if the appointment concerns their gender reassignment treatments and/or surgery.
The Gender Recognition Act 2004
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows trans people who are able to satisfy the Act’s evidence requirements to apply to the gender recognition panel in order to seek full legal recognition of their acquired gender.
The panel, which consists of lawyers and doctors, requires applicants to demonstrate that they:
- have, or have had, gender dysphoria
- have lived in the acquired gender for at least two years, ending with the date on which the application is made
- intend to continue to live in the acquired gender for the rest of their life
- can provide medical reports containing specified information
If an applicant is successful, they will be issued with a full or interim gender recognition certificate (GRC). Thereafter, the Sex Discrimination Act applies to this person in the same way as it would to anyone else.
For Trans Staff and Students
If you identify (or think you might identify) as transgender, and would like more information, the following resources may be useful:
This website provides resources for trans people, including factsheets on hormone therapy, housing, finding a trans-friendly GP, and sexual health matters.
Press for Change is a campaign group, which focuses on the rights and treatment of trans people. Their website provides legal advice on trans issues, and guidelines for reporting hate crimes.
The Equality Challenge Unit
The ECU’s guide for trans staff and students in the Higher Education sector covers issues including terminology, bullying and harassment, and the gender reassignment process.
For Line Managers
The ECU’s guide for trans staff and students is also an excellent resource for line managers and those supporting trans people through the gender reassignment process. It covers topics including preparing and planning for a staff member’s or student’s transition, managing the reactions of co-workers, and monitoring trans staff and students.
This factsheet gives an overview of the acceptable terminology used to talk about trans people, the legal requirements of the institution, and the importance of confidentiality.
If you would like to join the LGBT Staff Forum,please email the Equality and Diversity Coordinator, Lydia Lancaster firstname.lastname@example.org. The forum is inclusive and is open to all staff, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.