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Factsheet: Transgender workers' rights

1 October, 2015
This factsheet gives information about the rights of transgender people at work and good practice for employers and UNISON branches. It includes information on the law, support for members undergoing gender reassignment and checklists for negotiating for branches. In UNISON, transgender members organise together with lesbian, gay and bisexual members. There are many areas of common concern, but important areas of difference. There is a separate factsheet on Lesbian, gay and bisexual workers rights.

A transgender person is someone who has a deep conviction that their gender - whether they are a man or a women - does not conform to the sex they were assigned at birth.  Many transgender people wish to change their name and personal details and live as a member of the gender with which they identify.  The process is referred to as ‘gender reassignment’ or ‘transitioning’.

Transgender workers face discrimination, despite the fact it is unlawful.  Trans people have high levels of unemployment and self-employment.  For those who are employed, incomes are well below the average.  UK results of an extensive EU survey published in 2013 show that a third of trans respondents had been personally discriminated against at work in the past twelve months.  There were high levels of non-reporting with nearly 80% saying neither they nor anyone else reported the discrimination they had experienced.  This was because they had low expectations that a complaint would be taken seriously or dealt with.

Download a PDF of the full Factsheet


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