If you are suffering from gender reassignment discrimination at work, you don’t have to accept it. It is against the law.
You can talk to a specialist Employment Law Solicitor to understand more about your rights and how you can make a claim against your employer for discrimination. We’ll discuss your options for funding your claim against your employer with you.
Our expert Employment Solicitors can help you to be clear about what the law says, whether you are facing gender reassignment discrimination at work and help you take the next steps to make a claim.
For free initial legal advice get in touch with our Employment Law Solicitors.
Gender Reassignment Discrimination at Work Explained
The Equality Act 2010 identified a number of Protected Characteristics and offered legal protection to them from discrimination. This includes discrimination in the workplace.
The Act protects anyone who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone the process (or part of the process) of changing gender from man to woman or woman to man. The Act refers to someone who is making this change as ‘transsexual’. Whilst we do understand that the terms Trans and Transgender are often used, these terms have no legal meaning in the context of the Equality Act 2010.
The wording in the Act is broad and it tries to include anyone who is making changes to their gender at any stage so that they receive full legal protection.
If you are considering gender reassignment, you will know that everyone’s journey through this process is different. You may decide to make medical changes with medical supervision or not, but either way, you have protection under the law.
You are also allowed to take any time away from work for anything relating to your gender reassignment. This includes counselling, advice or anything else such as surgery. If your employer is not allowing you to take this time off or is treating you unfavourably as a result, you could make a claim for discrimination at work.
If you identify as non-binary, you could still be protected under these laws, but you should speak to a specialist Employment Law Solicitor to get legal advice.
The different types of discrimination that you may face if you are transition are:
- Direct Discrimination – This is where someone discriminates against you at work because of your change in gender
- Indirect Discrimination – You may be indirectly discriminated against because of a particular policy at work which puts you at a disadvantage
- Harassment – You could be suffering from harassment from others whilst at work because of your gender transition
- Victimisation – You may be victimised because of making a successful claim for gender reassignment discrimination or supported someone who made a claim.
You could suffer from one or all of the above types of discrimination and gender reassignment discrimination issues can happen during the recruitment process, during your employment or in connection with your termination of employment.
What Can I Do?
If you are facing discrimination in your workplace because of gender reassignment you should firstly know that it’s against the law. How you move forward from here is really up to you.
You should firstly have a look for any policies and procedures that your employer has relating to discrimination in the workplace. This should inform you of your next steps, if not, call our Employment Solicitors.
You may decide to raise the issue informally with your manager in the first instance. Their response may be adequate and you might feel that you don’t have to take it any further.
If you want to make it more formal, you could just raise a grievance with your employer.
Once this process is completed, if you feel that the issues have not been fully resolved, you can bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal.
Important Points for Gender Reassignment Claims
You should be aware of a few important points if you decide that you want to bring a discrimination claim against your employer.
- Time Limits – There are very strict time limits in place for employment law claims. You only have three months from the date of the act of discrimination or the last in a series of acts to bring a claim. This can also include up to three months after your employment ended. You need to act quickly to make sure you can continue to hold your employer accountable and make a claim at an Employment Tribunal
- Early Conciliation – It’s a requirement to complete Early Conciliation with ACAS before you make a claim at an Employment Tribunal. This is a process designed to try to resolve your claim without going to Tribunal. The time limit is paused whilst the Early Conciliation process happens. If it fails, you continue on with your claim
- No Length of Service Requirement – In some employment law claims, you need to have worked for your employer for at least two years. But with gender reassignment claims, there is no minimum length of service needed to make a claim
- Time Off to Attend Appointments – You are allowed to take time off from work to attend appointments relating to your gender reassignment and you should not be treated less favourable as a result of this time off
- An Award at Tribunal – If the Employment Tribunal rules in your favour, any award you get can include loss of earnings and damages for injury to feelings
- Who to Claim Against – You can make a claim against your employer and the person or people who have been harassing you.
Employment discrimination claims are a complex area of law. Having an experienced Employment Law Solicitor on your side will help you challenge the injustice you’ve suffered at work and shine a light on these issues.
We do understand how difficult bringing this type of claim is and how you have to put on show in Court something very private, which should have no bearing on your day to day work life, but we can help to reduce the stress and give you the comfort of knowing that you are represented by experts.
Call our Employment Solicitors for a free initial discussion about where you stand.
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