Written By: Grace Lewis 23/2/16
All people deserve to be free from discrimination at work, says equalities minister
As countries around the world make progress on LGBT rights, the UK has stepped up to the plate to promote its recruitment guidelines for transgender employees.
The joint guide from membership organisation Inclusive Employers and the Government Equalities Office (GEO) aims to provide practical guidance for employers to recruit, retain, and make the most of their transgender talent.
By launching this guide, the government has set an important benchmark for supporting equal rights at work. And the imperative for this shift in thinking is clear, with research from the National Center for Transgender Equality in America suggesting 90 per cent of trans people experience harassment, mistreatment or discrimination within the workplace.
In addition to this, almost half (48 per cent) of transgender people under the age of 26 admit that they have attempted suicide, according to research from Pace, an LGBT mental health charity.
Up to 150 employees, managers, HR professionals and senior leaders are set to attend the official launch of the guide at an event at the House of Commons today (Tuesday 23rd February), to mark LGBT history month across the UK.
Speaking ahead of the event, Claire Williams, director of Inclusive Employers, said: “The most important message for employers is that truly inclusive cultures are likely to be trans friendly anyway.
“If you have staff who have transitioned or plan to transition, there are a few simple steps that you should take to make work a productive and happy place for trans colleagues and a transition at work as successful as possible.”
The GEO first published its guide in November 2015, but today’s event aims to thank the report’s contributors, which includes Anglia Ruskin University, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Police and Sainsbury’s.
Caroline Dinenage, minister for women, equalities and family justice, said the government was “committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless or background, race or gender, is given the same opportunity to succeed”.
“Many transgender people still face discrimination in the workplace, as well as in their day-to-day lives,” she said. “The guidance for employers and service providers we published recently is an important step towards helping improve knowledge and understanding. It will ensure all members of our society can live their lives free from discrimination, enabling them to fulfil their potential.”
As part of the report, employers will get access to expert guidelines in accordance with the law; the business case for creating an inclusive workplace culture and employing trans people, and advice for tackling discrimination at the recruitment stage.
“The guide is a practical source of information and guidance covering best practice examples that employers can use, whether they are a micro-business or a multi-national corporation. The guidance is based on the expertise and experience of contributors, who have experienced differing levels of workplace transgender inclusion,” the report stated.