By Jasmine Andersson (Pink News, U.K.)
In spite of The Equality Act, it appears that a staggering number of workplaces think that they can discriminate against transgender employees.
After a poll 1000 different workplaces, 43 per cent of employers said that they are “unsure” if they would hire a transgender person in their workplace.
Out of the 1 in 3 employers admitting they are “less likely” to hire a transgender person, just 8 per cent said that they believe they should have the same rights to be employed as a cisgendered person, in a survey carried out by Crossland Employment Solicitors (UK).
Beverley Sutherland, Managing Director of Crossland Employment Solicitors – who carried out the survey – said: “What’s most worrying is the high percentage of employers that are biased against transgender workers from the recruitment stage and beyond. And not just in one sector, but a prejudiced attitude that is found throughout both shop floor and management in particular in the retail and tech sectors. Whether this reflects a lack of understanding or simply a fear of a potential discrimination claim, is not evident.
“What is clear is the need to change the law to protect not just those who are going through gender reassignment, but the wider transgender community such as non-binary workers. In 2016 The Women and Equalities Select Committee recommended amending the protected characteristic of gender reassignment in the Equalities Act 2010 to read ‘gender identity’ which was rejected by Government. But if we’re to encourage businesses to build a trans-inclusive workplace then we need the backing of the law together with greater support for employers to help understand the issues around transgender workers in the workplace. A business where everyone feels welcome and valued is by far a more productive one.”