When you transition you receive legal protections from section 7 of the Equality Act 2010. This provides protection from discrimination for those planning to, undergoing or having undergone gender reassignment. It means that your employer can’t treat you differently from a non-trans person or sack you for wanting to or having started to transition. If this were to happen then you would have grounds to take your employer to an employment tribunal for discrimination.
It also provides protection from discrimination from your co-workers too, and places a responsibility on the company to ensure that they would stop any discrimination or harassment that you were subjected to by a co-worker.
If you were to be bullied or harassed or discriminated in the work place, by management or a co-worker; then the best thing to do is to keep a diary of it. Logging the date it happened, the approximate time it happened, who else witnessed it, and what was said or done. As this can then be used to substantiate your claims of discrimination or harassment in the work place; and if it came to a tribunal as evidence.
An example of harassment or discrimination in the work place would be if people were still referring to by your pre transition pronouns and old name. Now there may be the occasional slip up by someone on this front, but if it constantly happening then this could constitute discrimination and/or harassment and should be reported to management.
Rights around harassment
In the UK harassment is a criminal offence, covered by The Protection from Harassment Act 1997. It defines harassment as three or more unwelcomed interactions that cause distress to the victim. If you are being harassed by someone, be it in person or online, the first and most important thing to do is to keep a diary. You should list the date and time of the incident, where it happened and what was said. This can be then used when it is reported to the police.
The police can then use this in building a case against your harasser, and if found guilty in court can face a prison term of up to 6 months for it. Also it can be simultaneously addressed in the civil courts where they can issue a restraining order against your harasser imposing on them conditions not to contact you, and if they breach this they can face criminal prosecution.
Also what time off etc you’re entitled to when going to appointments and having surgery,
When it comes to having to take time off work for appointments at gender identity clinics or to recover after gender reassignment surgery; your employer should treat this as they would someone taking time off for any other medical treatment. They should not make you take a day’s holiday to attend the appointment, if so then there would be a case for discrimination under the Equality Act.
When it comes to gender reassignment surgery, the surgeon will issue you with a sick not that will cover the time you need to recover from the operation, usually about six weeks. But like recovering from any other major operation you could asked for a phased return to work which would be considered a reasonable adjustment, which would mean that over a period of time you would slowly increase the hours you work till you get back to your normal working hours.
It would be unlawful and discriminatory if your employer decided to terminate your employment because you had time off to recover from gender reassignment surgery.
Data protection for trans people is a complex situation. When it comes to places like the department of work and pensions a flag is put on your file and only specialist people can access your file and deal with you because it is classed as sensitive data.
For people with a GRC section 22 makes it illegal to divulge that someone is trans if someone does violate this section they are liable to a fine up to level 5 on conviction, which is up to £5,000. A GRC gives lots of legal protections when it comes to data protection.
Maybe something on name changes. What’s required, what you can and can’t do with a deed poll for example and your rights around changing your information with companies and banks and driving licenses and such.
Changing your name can be done by one of three ways; you can do it via deed poll which is one of the most common ways of doing it, by statutory declaration or by just common usage. Though when it comes to transitioning the first two options should be the ones you really consider using as you get a document that you can use as proof of name change.
Changing your name with organisations should be relatively simple and straight forwards if you have done it via a deed pool or a statutory declaration. For organisations like banks and credit card companies should be relatively simple, you should just provide them with a copy of your document and they should update their records accordingly to reflect your change in name.
It should also be a similar procedure when it comes to your GP, you can just go in to the surgery with a copy of your document and inform them that you have changed your name. They might ask you to fill out a brief form as well and take a copy of your document as proof, but then they will update your medical notes accordingly.
When it comes to your DWP records you can do this by going in to your local job centre with your name change documents. They will then update your records on their system, they will also normally put a marker on your file flagging up that there is sensitive information now connected to you. This can be a bit of a pain as it means that only certain members of staff can subsequently handle any enquiries you might have with them.
When it comes to changing your passport you will need to send one of the following with your passport application, Statutory Declaration or deed pool and supporting documents:
- report from a medical practitioner (such as your GP), or a chartered psychologist practicing in the field of gender dysphoria, stating that you have a need to live your life in a different gender and your Statutory Declaration
- agender recognition certificate
- a new birth or adoption certificate showing your acquired gender
- Sign your application form using your new name.
- You should send your passport application to:
The Office Manager
UK Identity & Passport Service
70-78 Petty France
London SW1H 9HD
You can download more advice about passports for transgender people using this link https://www.gov.uk/changing-passport-information/gender
When it comes to your driving license it is imperative that you do this as soon as possible, as failure to do so promptly is an offence under section 99 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. To do this you go to the post office and get a form to apply for a new driving licence. You should fill this in with your new name and send it off to them with a covering letter explaining the change and a copy of your statutory declaration or deed poll, you can also ask for them to update the embedded gender marker to be altered on your driving license too. As a gender code is embedded in the “driver number”, it’s item No. 5 on the front of the photo card. On a man’s driving license, the second digit must be ’0’ or ’1’, on a woman’s it will be a ’5’ or a ’6’. To avoid embarrassment, you should specifically request that the gender code is changed.
If you have any law related questions please leave them in the comments section below.