New Guidance for Employers on Transgender and Non-binary Workers

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Equality law as it relates to transgender and non-binary individuals is a dynamic area of law that is continuously changing. With new legislation and guidance being issued, it can be complex for employers to navigate. According to recent research carried out by CIPD, LGBTQ+ employees are more likely to experience workplace conflict and harassment than their heterosexual, cisgender colleagues, with 18% of transgender workers admitting that they feel psychologically unsafe in the workplace.  

What does the new guidance cover?   

The new CIPD guidance on ‘Transgender and non-binary EDI in the workplace issued last month aims to help professionals, employers and people managers understand transgender and non-binary people’s experiences in the workplace and provide information and advice to support transgender and non-binary people. The guidance explores several areas including; employment law, policy, workplace culture, employee lifecycle, managing different views and data management. The guidance also includes an appendix on key inclusive terminology for employers to be aware of.  

What the new guidance means for employers and why is it important? 

Whilst employers consider this area of law important, they are also aware that it can be detrimental to relationships if not handled correctly.  Therefore, the desire not to offend sometimes means employers make the decision to do nothing. This guidance can help employers gain the confidence to create an approach to support and protect transgender and non-binary workers and make their workplace more inclusive. Employers should read and familiarise themselves with the guidance to improve their understanding of transgender and non-binary people’s experiences in the workplace, and the challenges they face at work and understand what they can do to ensure they are taking the right action pre-emptively rather than reactively.  

What can employers do to make their workplace more inclusive?  

To create a more inclusive, equal and diverse workplace and to protect the rights of transgender and non-binary employees, employers can:  

  • Create new EDI policies or amend existing policies on a regular basis to ensure they are up to date and reflect organisational values and commitment to equality to build trust and confidence across your organisation.  
  • Ensure policies and procedures are mirrored ‘on the ground’ by carrying out EDI training. This can help ensure policies and procedures are put into practice and employees are educated to help tackle prejudice, reduce workplace conflict and create a safe space.
  • Demonstrate through your webpage and online social media sites that you are an inclusive and diverse workplace to attract talent and focus on training hiring managers to improve their awareness when recruiting. 
  • Create an environment where everyone feels safe and accepted. Consider creating gender-neutral facilities where possible and designing adaptations that benefit everyone. 
  • Avoid sharing details about a transgender or non-binary person’s gender identity or transition unless you have explicit agreement and instruction to do so by the person themselves. 
  • Make sure action is taken if an employee displays inappropriate behaviour towards transgender or non-binary people in the workplace. Creating an appropriate strategy for conflict prevention and resolution will ensure you are prepared to tackle conflict if/when it does arise, to not only protect the individual but also your legal responsibilities.   

Employment Law Expert Support   

If you need assistance in this area or if you are faced with equality, diversity and inclusion issues in your workplace, our team of experienced, independent and impartial employment lawyers and investigators can help. Please call us for an initial chat on 0808 196 3151 or learn more here. 

Would you like to know more about how you can be compliant? Find out from our employment team: