Employers feel their workplaces are not ‘liberal enough’ for trans workers

A survey of 1,000 employers undertaken by Crossland Employment Solicitors found that over 43% would hesitate to recruit a trans person for a role.  The research also found that 77% of the employers were not fully aware of the protections afforded to trans workers by the Equality Act 2010. The result was that only 3% of the participants had sufficient procedures for trans people in their workplace.  Employers said that they did not feel their workplace was “liberal enough” for trans workers and just over a third admitted that were aware they were discriminating against trans persons by deliberately choosing not to hire them.

Whilst the Equality Act 2010 states that a person must not be discriminated against as a result of their gender reassignment, it has been criticized by some for not going far enough. Beverley Sunderland, managing director of equality charity Stonewall, stated “trans-identity is more complex than the current law recognises.” However, this issue does not appear to hold much significance in the general workplace, with only 9% of the employers questioned believing a change in the law was necessary.

Despite the protection afforded by the Equality Act, these findings provide evidence to support recent statistics from Stonewall, which suggested half of all transgender workers hide their gender identity at work.  In order to change this, it recommends that businesses take steps to promote diversity within the workplace and introduce clear policies highlighting their stance on inclusion.  It also highlights the need for HR representatives to be fully trained on all trans gender related topics and urges organisations to consider implementing targeted recruitment programmes that encourage trans persons to engage with the company.

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