Will I lose my job if I come out as transgender?

You should not lose your job because you have come out or plan to transition in the workplace. If you come out and are fired shortly after, this could be considered unlawful dismissal and may be an act of discrimination.

Guidance by The Government Equalities Office recommends that employers have an inclusive environment that welcomes transgender people. If someone decides to transition in the workplace they should be supported by an action plan that addresses dates and timescales, records and systems, pronouns and name changes, making colleagues aware of the situation, facilities, and several other concerns. This is to support the individual and retain them as an employee.

 If you feel you have been discriminated against for being trans, speak to a legal advisor confidentially on 08088085678, email ree@childrenslawcentre.org or online at REE Live Chat.

Do I have to tell an employer that I am transgender when I am applying for a job?

When applying for a job, you can put any name on an application or CV, regardless of whether it is your legal name or not. You do not have to disclose that you are transgender, but you may inform your employer later on if you feel comfortable doing so or if you feel your needs are not being met. If you have upcoming treatments or surgeries, you do not have to disclose them as you should be entitled to medical leave.

Can I take time off work for medical reasons or appointments?

Government guidance states that “there may be absences for medical reasons and other appointments associated with the transition process which should be recorded, but not used in relation to any absence management process i.e. they should be regarded as a short-term reasonable adjustment.”

Can I use the bathroom I feel most comfortable using at work?

Whilst it is not a legal requirement, employers are encouraged to support your choice in using the toilet facilities appropriate to your preferred gender in the workplace.

Gender Diversity Policy Guide for Employers:

“a trans person should be free to select the facilities appropriate to the gender in which they present. For example, when a trans person starts to live in their acquired gender role on a full-time basis they should be afforded the right to use the facilities appropriate to the acquired gender role. Employers should avoid discriminating against anyone with the protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’. Where employers already offer gender-neutral toilets and changing facilities, the risk of creating a barrier for transgender people is alleviated.”

Can I wear the uniform I attribute to my gender?

There is no law on this but guidance states it is good practice to allow enough flexibility in the dress code to accommodate the process of transition from one gender appearance to another. Where necessary, a new uniform should be fitted and ready well in advance of the change of gender role.

Flexibility must be extended to those who have a neutral gender expression in terms of dress and would not be comfortable in a strictly feminine or masculine mode of dress.