In December, the Scottish Parliament passed the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill for implementation within Scotland, however the UK Government has since blocked it from becoming legislation by making an order prohibiting it from being given Royal Assent.
The UK Government believes that if it was to go ahead, then there would be implications on the Equality Act 2010.
If the Bill was to be passed, then the Scottish Government were proposing that legislation would be brought in that would:
- Remove the requirement for a psychiatric diagnosis of gender dysphoria to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC)
- Allow an individual with a Scottish birth certificate who is usually resident in Scotland to self-certify after living as their acquired gender for three months (currently two years)
- Extend the right to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate to 16 and 17 year olds after they have lived as their acquired gender for six months, within a three month reflection period.
Scottish Parliament is likely to challenge this intervention by the UK Government through judicial processes.
This is a very sensitive subject and requires a careful and supportive approach when managing in the workplace.
Employers must have clear and well communicated policies around equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure that there is no discrimination against trans employees. We would also recommend introducing a ‘Trans and Gender Equality Policy’, not only because it provides information and guidance to line managers supporting a trans employee, but it sends a strong message to the workforce that the workplace is diverse, inclusive and supportive of people’s rights and entitlement, regardless of how they identify themselves.
If your require further support or information on this sensitive subject, you can download our ‘Trans and Gender Equality Policy’ and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy from the HR Document Shop, which have been created to help you build an inclusive workplace environment.
Last year we hosted a webinar that looked at trans equality at work. Whilst there is guidance available via several national public bodies, it remains a topic that can leave employers not knowing how best to approach it in the workplace.
You can watch this webinar here.