The National Education Union wants to support trans education professionals in the workplace and to help make your transition at work as smooth as possible. We also want to raise awareness of the issues that trans education professionals face in the workplace; we therefore encourage school leaders and other educational professionals to familiarise themselves with the issues outlined below.
Transitioning at work - know your rights
Protection from discrimination and harassment
All trans education professionals have specific protection from discrimination at work on grounds of gender reassignment under the Equality Act 2010. The protection covers direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. You are protected before, during or after your transition, whether or not you are under medical supervision.
Although referred to in the Equality Act 2010, the terms ‘gender reassignment’ and ‘transsexual’ are now considered by many to be outdated and misleading. Medical intervention is not necessary for you to be protected by the act.
You are also protected whether you are a permanent, fixed term, full-time, part-time, supply or agency worker. Your colleagues, managers and governors are prohibited from discriminating against you. If you are an agency worker working on a day to day or longer term contract, your agency and the hirers for whom you are working are prohibited from discriminating against you.
Treating you less favourably at work than another colleague in similar circumstances on grounds that you propose to undergo, are undergoing, or have undergone any part of the process of gender reassignment would be discriminatory. There is no need for you to show that you propose to or have undergone surgery or hormone treatment.
Schools, colleges, local authorities and multi-academy trusts have a statutory duty to be proactive in eliminating discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity for staff and pupils. They must assess the impact of their policies and procedures on the people affected by them and take steps to remove any barriers that come to light where it is proportionate to do so. Contact your workplace rep, local secretary, or local equality officer if you want to get involved in reviewing the equality impact of policies and procedures in your workplace.