Gender reassignment discrimination in the workplace, what protection is there under the law?

Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. It protects people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone the process for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. The act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of gender reassignment, be that by treating them less favourably, or subjecting an employee to harassment or victimisation.

If an employee discriminates against another employee or harasses them, then an employer will be liable for the actions, unless it can show it has taken reasonable steps to prevent the conduct from taking place (such as by providing training to employees). The offending employee may also be directly liable and can be joined in any proceedings.

If a person is successful in bringing a gender reassignment discrimination claim, then they usually get an award of compensation from the employment tribunal (including a sum for any injury to feelings) and in addition to this (or instead), the tribunal may make an order that an appropriate recommendation is made to the employer.


If you have any questions about the topics raised in the above article, please contact our Employment experts James Johnson or Alexandra Bullmore.

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