Society has seen a shift whereby it has become more acceptable for people to live as their authentic selves.There are approximately£200, 000-500, 000 trans people in the UK today. As an employer, if you happen to have a transgender employee, chances are you’ll find it difficult to understand what they are experiencing.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial is to approach the issues with compassion and an open mind. Furthermore, you have a legal as well as moral obligation to do so. The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against or treat someone unfairly because of gender reassignment.
Adaptions at work for trans-employees must be put in place to ensure that your office is a functional, productive and equal place. For example, having gender-neutral toilets or allowing employees to use whichever bathroom that feels most natural to them is a simple yet effective method of creating a comfortable work environment.
Removing a gender definitive dress code will also allow for employees to more comfortably identify themselves as they wish.
Do not make their transition a spectacle
It is important to refer to your employees in the gender pronouns they wish to attach themselves too. This unsurprisingly is not a difficult task, the simple conversion from he to her or even they?could be the difference between a trans-employee being happy and comfortable in your office, to leaving the business altogether.
Consult with them and talk things through
Refrain from the temptation to make an announcement at the next team meeting regarding an employee’s gender reassignment. It is important to be aware of “outing” someone and this can be classified as discrimination in a court of law.
You should only refer to a person as transgender if you have the permission to do so by them. Always consult the person first and ensure you have absolute clarity on how they want to announce their transition to the workforce.
Whether this takes place via a private meeting or a telephone call is up to you just ensure lines of communication are open between yourself and the person, and that their rights are adhered to.
Get the correct policies in place
Almost a third of non-binary people and one in five trans-people don’t feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.
Create a dress code that does not restrict employees in this way. Remember what employees wear and how they choose to dress shouldn’t really affect their productivity.
Laura is the Junior Reporter at Real Business and Business Advice. She's the first point of call for any PR, business owner or industry insider looking to tell a story of entrepreneurial inspiration, retell some key advice, or a ground-breaking news story. She is the core ambassador for the brand(s) and can be found attending high profile events and meeting disruptive business owners across London and beyond.