What does the law say about inclusivity?
Under the Equality Act 2010 employers must protect the rights of individuals. The Equality Act legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace. For the trans community, both sexual orientation and gender reassignment are listed as protected characteristics.
This means you can’t discriminate against or disadvantage an employee or interviewee because of their sexual orientation.
Although there is a legal obligation to protect trans employees, some employers disregard this community. In the workplace and outside it, issues regarding gender identity are ignored.
In the UK employer’s attitudes to transgender inclusion is not particularly great. A study by YouGov announced last year that two-thirds of transgender employees felt it necessary to hide their trans status at work. It was also reported that at least a third had experienced discrimination in the workplace.
Another report conducted by the CIPD found that 55% of trans workers had experienced workplace conflict. With one in five saying they felt psychologically unsafe at work.
However, there is no legal obligation for businesses to have an inclusivity and diversity policy. This should be a priority for employers if they are wanting to create more inclusive, better working environments for trans people.
This would not only provide better inclusivity but will also help other employees understand what acceptable actions and behaviours will and will not be tolerated.