Transgender and gender reassignment in the workplace:
Some information, guidance, and feedback on the
Guide to feedback
This transgender and gender reassignment guidance is for section/team or organisational
feedback. The guidance below refers only to your section/team or organisation. If you’ve
distributed the questionnaire across different sections/teams then you can also analyse
them section/team by section/team to see if there are any ‘hot spots’ in your organisation
that need urgent attention.
The most important thing about this questionnaire is that you and your colleagues have
seen it and completed it; the main aim is to raise awareness of the concerns surrounding
gender reassignment in the workplace and to encourage people to think about it.
It is important is that you look closely at what the scores from the responses mean, then
read the guidance closely. This will help you to reflect on how what you and your
colleagues do at work might be affected by a person who is undergoing gender
reassignment. Finally it is important that the results are shared with your colleagues, if
appropriate. How we deal with someone’s gender reassignment at work is not just an
individual issue; it is also something that is affected by groups and how we work with other
The information and guidance here is for you to look at, think about, and talk about. We
hope that you find it helpful and that it encourages you and your colleagues to find out
more about the subject and help make your workplace welcoming for everyone, whether
are undergoing gender reassignment now, or have done in the past, or not.
From the scoring sheet look at your score and read the guidance in the section you are
pointed to. This might be different for different sections/teams if you’ve chosen to use a
If the section/team or organisation scored:
11 and above then read the guidance in the STOP section
6-10 then read the guidance in the PROCEED WITH CARE section
0-5 then read the guidance in the GO section.
Your score means that your section/team or organisation is not properly prepared to
address issues relating to gender reassignment in the workplace. Importantly it suggests
that there is a lack of awareness relating to treating people fairly regardless of whether
they are undergoing or have had gender reassignment, which may result in discrimination
because a person is intending to have, is having or has had a sex change.
Organisations that discriminate against people because they intend to undergo, are
undergoing or have undergone f gender reassignment leave themselves open to a potential
legal challenge under the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 and
the Gender Recognition Act 2004.
The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations state clearly that no one
should suffer discrimination at work, or in vocational training, as a result of their gender
reassignment. Trans people are protected from direct and indirect discrimination and from
harassment which results from them confirming their gender identity through gender
Furthermore the 2004 Gender Recognition Act gives a trans person enhanced privacy rights
which mean that great care must be taken by all not to disclose that a person may be
transgender and /or have a gender recognition certificate, as this could now result in the
person making the disclosure being convicted of a criminal offence.
Organisations that recognise the importance of being non-discriminatory ensure that they
have the necessary policies, training and awareness amongst top management and all
It may be that your organisation and staff are unaware of these regulations and the rights
of those who have undergone gender reassignment. Further information can be found on
the Acas website and the Equal Opportunities Commission website. Your organisation can
also do a really practical thing and contact Acas about further training.
Overall your organisation needs to address this situation
The scores only give an impression of your organisation, but it appears that it’s not a very
good one in terms of being a happy and productive context in which everyone’s dignity is
respected. If you ignore the issues that you and your colleagues have started to think
about now, then it’ll not be good for you, your colleagues, or your organisation.
PROCEED WITH CARE
From this score it appears that there are things going on in your section/team or
organisation which help people recognise that gender recognition is an important issue that
should be thought about; but at the same time there might be some discrimination going
on, either deliberately or by accident. Yours is the most challenging kind of organisation to
deal with; if you’re in the STOP category above then there are lots of practical things you
can do quickly to make a difference; if you’re in the GO category below then you only
really have to keep doing what you’re doing already. In this PROCEED WITH CARE
category, though, there are some things that need to be stopped and some things that can
to be started.
So where can you start?
The first thing to do is to try and find out in more detail from your colleagues what they
think about trans people and gender reassignment. You could do this informally if you
have good relationships with them and think they would welcome the conversation.
You could also do it more formally by suggesting to someone (a line manager, someone in
personnel or human resources, a company director, a union representative) or yourself if in
charge, that more training and/or information for people about the importance of people’s
rights to decide their own gender, their right to respect and privacy needs putting into
practice,. This should include the legal position of trans people, especially the provisions of
the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.
The second practical thing you could do is to look at the guidance produced by Acas and
contact us about further training. www.acas.org.uk/training
The third thing you can do is encourage people to find out more about transgender issues.
If people are well informed they are less likely to react negatively when working with
someone who is undergoing, or has undergone, gender reassignment. Communication in
the organisation, alongside a well publicised equal opportunities policy relating to peoples
trans status is important.
It is recommended that through these mechanisms the workplace is informed that
discrimination towards people who are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment
is not acceptable.
You, your section/team and your organisation have a very good approach to transgender
and gender reassignment issues. It is a complex area, difficult to manage sensitively and
can be a source of conflict between co-workers. If you have formal policies in place (like a
trans-equality policy statement) then you’ve made a really good start; if you have good
supportive equal opportunities policies and these are well known and are backed up by
regular training that is a good and positive sign.
Details of the rights of individuals to change their legal gender by means of a gender
recognition certificate can be found on the Acas website www.acas.org.uk Areas such as
privacy, confidentiality and support are also particularly important and further advice on
this can be found on the Press for Change website www.pfc.org.uk or the Equal
Opportunities Commission website