Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic and the term refers to someone who is transgendered. It includes anyone who has proposed, started or completed a process to change his or her sex. The Equality Act extends pre-existing protections for transsexual people by, for example, prohibiting indirect discrimination and removing the need for a transsexual person to be under medical supervision to benefit from legal protection. In employment, the Act also requires organisations to treat absences from work because someone proposes to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment in the same way or better as absences due to illness or injury.
There is limited data on the number of transgendered people working or studying in the University. It is believed that there are likely to be more transgendered people in higher education than in the population at large.
- A colleague who was born female decides to spend the rest of his life living as a man. He tells his departmental administrator, who makes appropriate arrangements. He then starts life at work and home as a man. After discussion with his doctor and a Gender Identity Clinic, he begins hormone treatment and several years later he has gender reassignment surgery. In this case he would be protected by the gender reassignment provisions of the Equality Act. His departmental administrator should seek guidance from the School's Human Resources Business Manager who will be able to provide support in managing the transition process.
- A student who was born physically male decides to spend the rest of her life as a woman. She starts and continues to live as a woman. As she successfully ‘passes’ as a woman, the student decides that she does not want to seek medical advice nor undergo any medical procedure/treatment. She would similarly be protected by the gender reassignment provisions of the Equality Act.
Support is provided to Transgender staff members of the University, College or associated institution through the LGBT Staff Network.
Support for Transgender Students is provided by the CUSU LBGT Campaign.
The University has produced Guidance on Gender Reassignment for Staff which provides information on good practice to support staff and institutions in implementing the University's Equal Opportunity Policy in relation to gender reassignment.
The University has produced Thinking Globally, which provides information for LGB&T staff and students working and studying at home and abroad.
Additional information and guidance is available from the Equality and Diversity Section.
The ECU has produced revised guidance on Trans Staff and Students in Higher Education.
The University has produced a glossary to explain terms related to gender reassignment.
Find out about Trans rights in Europe
Gender Reassignment Equality
This is a process of transitioning from one gender to another.
This defines the protected characteristic of gender reassignment for the purposes of the Act as where a person has proposed, started or completed a process to change his or her sex. A transsexual person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
It explains that a reference to people who have or share the common characteristic of gender reassignment is a reference to all transsexual people. A woman making the transition to being a man and a man making the transition to being a woman both share the characteristic of gender reassignment, as does a person who has only just started out on the process of changing his or her sex and a person who has completed the process.
•A person who was born physically male decides to spend the rest of his life living as a woman. He declares his intention to his manager at work, who makes appropriate arrangements, and she then starts life at work and home as a woman. After discussion with her doctor and a Gender Identity Clinic, she starts hormone treatment and after several years she goes through gender reassignment surgery. She would have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment for the purposes of the Act
•A person who was born physically female decides to spend the rest of her life as a man. He starts and continues to live as a man. He decides not to seek medical advice as he successfully ‘passes’ as a man without the need for any medical intervention. He would have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment for the purposes of the Act.
To tell us what you think about Gender Reassignment Equality in Northumberland please contact us.
Gender Reassignment Equality – useful links
The Beaumont Society – Aims to expel myths about transgendered people and offers a support group and network. The society promotes the better understanding of the conditions of transgender, transvestism and gender dysphoria.
ACAS – Promoting employment relations.
EHRC – A review of access to NHS gender reassignment services (England only).