Transitioning at work policy
Introduction to the organisation, aims of policy and our statement of commitment
Artsadmin acknowledges that transgender people are among the most discriminated against in society*. We aim to create and uphold a safe place of work for transgender people and are committed to supporting staff through transition. We do this through the policy and process outlined in this document but also, importantly, by fostering a work culture that is rooted in recognising people as individuals. We aim to lead with kindness and care, to lessen assumptions and provide support. We recognise that employees spend a large amount of time in the workplace and believe that being supported to be your authentic self at work enriches the organisation. We believe that trans and non-binary staff contribute a variety of experience to the organisation and that working with the trans community has a positive impact on Artsadmin. We take our responsibility as a progressive arts organisation seriously, recognising the power we hold and committing to ‘living our policies’ not just writing them.
Our staff and trustees commit to distributing, communicating and sharing this policy with our community (artists, freelancers, technicians etc) and with new staff and trustees via our induction processes. We will review this policy and staff and trustees will renew commitment to implementing it on an annual basis.
This policy is about supporting transgender people and those transitioning at work. This policy is for Artsadmin staff and trustees, but there are links, resources and principles in this policy that apply to our work with artists, freelancers and others we collaborate with.
What do we mean by safe and inclusive?
Safety, comfort, dignity, respect, privacy, confidentiality, freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, amenities, reasonable adjustment
*Source: Stonewall research
A breakdown of responsibilities of members of staff
We want to clearly define the different responsibilities of our staff and Board so everyone knows what is expected of them.
Our staff team
We are responsible for complying with this policy, and for suggesting updates and edits so that policy continues to be as relevant and supportive as possible.
We should report any instances of harassment, victimisation or discrimination to line managers, Directors or the Board.
All members of staff at Artsadmin have a responsibility to check in with (or call in/call out) colleagues who may have inadvertently shown discriminatory behaviour towards a trans person in the team (as with all discrimination).
We will support an employee’s transition in whatever way we can.
We will respect and maintain confidentiality at all times.
We will make sure that colleagues are informed about an employee’s transition in a manner that best suits an employee, only disclosing information to colleagues that they wish.
We are responsible for ensuring policy implementation and compliance in our area(s) or work and team.
We will act on any instances of harassment, victimisation or discrimination reported to us and seek support from Directors or the Board, where appropriate.
We can also support employees with a family member who is transitioning, as outlined in the care plan.
Staff working on HR and Finance
We will maintain confidentiality, including keeping paper documents and files secures that may contain sensitive information.
We will change names, titles and pronouns on email and other systems, if an employee requests this as part of their transition.
The Directors are accountable to the Trustees for ensuring organisation-wide compliance with this policy.
The Directors will ensure that Transitioning at Work policy and procedures are part of our induction for all new staff and that they are shared with existing staff each year.
The Directors will identify gaps in knowledge and training, as well as encouraging knowledge-sharing within the team, so that staff are trans aware.
The Trustees will ensure that the Directors are are accountable for organisation-wide compliance with policy.
The Trustees will review any updates to the policy and procedures.
The Trustees can suggest any updates and edits so that policy continues to be as relevant and supportive as possible.
Links to specific guidance
Contacts for further external information for employees and managers
Artsadmin has a guide to transitioning for line managers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for additions or edits. (sources: Xperthr, Wiltshire Council, Switchboard)
- a:gender: This is the support network for employees in government departments and agencies who have changed or need to change permanently their perceived gender, or who identify as intersex.
- The Beaumont Society: This is a national self-help body run by and for transgender people. Its website provides links to a range of information and advice resources.
- Consortium of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered voluntary and community organisations: This is a national specialist infrastructure and membership organisation focusing on the development and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, organisations and projects.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission: This provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and has a range of research reports relating to transgender issues.
- Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES): This seeks to improve the circumstances in which trans people live by changing the way society treats them. It provides advice to policy makers, acts as a consultancy service and provides training, promotes research and develops good practice guidelines and literature on gender identity.
- The Gender Trust:This provides advice, information and support on gender identity issues to individuals and employers.
- Government Equalities Office: This has responsibility across the Government for equality strategy and legislation.
- Press for Change: This is a political, lobbying and educational organisation, which campaigns to achieve equal rights for trans people. Its website is a useful source of information on the law and research into trans issues. Its TransEquality project provides professional legal support to trans people in key areas of the law, and advice to businesses and non-profit organisations.
- Stonewall – provide LGBT information and advice to individuals and organisations, they are also involved in political, lobbying.
- National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership
- London friend – social and support groups, counselling
- Gender Care – UK specialists in gender therapy
- Gendered Intelligence
- Mindline Trans
- NHS Gender Identity Development Service
- TransForum (Manchester-based)
- Trans London
- Trans Masculine Support and Advice
Overview of legislation and further resources
Artsadmin recognises trans people’s rights and wants to ensure its employees are protected according to two pieces of legislation: The Gender Recognition Act (2004), which is currently under review, and the Equality Act (2010). We also acknowledge that the law is insufficient in its terminology and framework: for example, while the term ‘transsexual’ is used in legislation, Artsadmin recognises that this term is outdated and not representative of the entire trans community.
The Equality Act (2010) protects people who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) of gender reassignment both at work and when using services. It outlaws discrimination related to the protected characteristic of Gender Reassignment and makes clear that it is not necessary for people to have any medical diagnosis or treatment to gain this protection; it is a personal process of moving away from the gender assigned at birth to the correct gender.
- If an employee identifies that they have gender dysphoria and the condition has a substantial and long-term adverse impact on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities, they may also be protected under the provisions in the Equality Act 2010 relating to the protected characteristic of disability.
- The Act offers a definition of Gender Reassignment:
- A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.
- A reference to a trans person is a reference to a person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.
- In relation to the protected characteristic of gender reassignment—
- a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a trans person;
- a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to trans persons.
The act makes clear that it is not necessary for people to have any medical diagnosis or treatment to gain this protection; it is a personal process of moving away from one’s birth gender to one’s self-identified gender. A person remains protected, even if they decide not to proceed further with transitioning.
People discriminated against because they are wrongly perceived to be trans, or who are discriminated against because of their association with trans people or issues, are also protected.
Specifically, the Act outlaws harassment: it does not matter whether or not a harasser intended their behaviour to be offensive, the effect is just as important. Harassment does not have to be targeted at a particular person who is known or thought to be trans. It is enough that transphobic language, imagery, ‘jokes’ or actions violate a person’s dignity or create a hostile environment. Significantly, the viewpoint of the person experiencing harassment must be taken into particular account, alongside other factors, when deciding if harassment has taken place. These are examples of what bullying and harassment looks like based on someone’s gender identity: persistently using incorrect pronouns, using someone’s deadname, or deliberately and persistently asking invasive questions.
The act also forbids sexual harassment: unwelcome sexual advances, touching, sexual assault, sexual jokes or materials of a sexual nature that violate a person’s dignity and create an intimidating or offensive environment.
Based on the Act’s principles and Artsadmin’s policies, all incidents of harassment and discrimination will be taken seriously. If you think you have been treated less favourably or exposed to harassment because of your gender identity, because of your perceived gender identity or because you are associated with a transgender person, please discuss this with your line manager, a Director or a member of staff as soon as possible.
What constitutes harassment?
(See also Artsadmin’s Bullying and Harassment at Work policy)
Harassment is defined as any unwanted behaviour which has the purpose or effect of violating a student’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, this could include name calling, persistently addressing a person by the incorrect pro-noun, ‘outing’ a person without their consent or excluding a person.
Reporting Harassment and Discrimination
Artsadmin is aware that in spite of advances, there are still some gaps in legal protection. These are particularly for transgender people who do not intend to transition (for example, cross-dressing people) and the provision of gender-specific services, including in pension and insurance calculations, to trans people who are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment. Employees are encouraged to report incidents of discrimination or harassment in accordance with Artsadmin’s Bullying and Harassment at Work policy.
Links to some relevant legislation
Equality Act 2010 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/7
Gender Recognition Act 2004 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/7/contents
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/65/enacted
Human Rights Act 1998 https://www.libertyhumanrights.org.uk/human-rights/human-rights-act
General Data Protection Regulation https://www.gov.uk/data-protection
Overview of entitlements and considerations
Artsadmin’s Staff Handbook outlines the entitlements for all staff. Staff benefits particularly relevant to this policy include Membership of HSF Health Cash Plan. HSF Benenden is a members’ organisation (not a medical insurer) open to current and former public sector and charity workers, which include access to counselling and a GP advice line. Artsadmin has enquired with HSF to understand how they support transgender people and they have said: “The policies we offer and run are exactly the same regardless of who you are. There is no discrimination of any kind and we look at any claims based on what fits within our terms and conditions. We offer a range of benefits for all, one of which is HSF assist, which provides unlimited access to a GP over the phone as well as 24/7 telephone counselling (a number of face to face counselling sessions are also included) and finally a legal advice line.”
We make the following considerations to support transgender people:
- The interview and recruitment process: interviewers use pronouns when introducing themselves; the interview email invitation must state that there are gender neutral toilets.
- There is no specific dress code at Artsadmin. Trans and gender non-conforming employees have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or expression. We respect the freedom of expression of all staff but also we are also aware that we dress according to the groups we are meeting or the context we might be working in – for example in prison or in school. In instances where a dress code is applied due to a specific event or meeting, we respect the right of trans and gender non-conforming employees to meet the dress code in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity or expression.
- Employees are expected to work in the office. However, we appreciate that there are occasions when working from home or another location is necessary or particularly useful, especially as we work in an open plan office environment. Working from home arrangements are subject to approval by a Line Manager and further details are outlined in the Staff Handbook.
- Travel safety: if you are required to work late nights for an event, we can cover reasonable taxi costs; Artsadmin operates a flexi-time arrangement beginning between 9.00am and 10.30am and finishing between 5.00pm and 6.30pm, so flexible working is possible if someone feel uncomfortable travelling at rush hour or peak times
- Data protection: We will store personal data securely, only giving access to the relevant people; we will keep records up to date.
- Time off for medical interventions: Employees will be granted time off for doctor, dentist or hospital appointments for themselves or their dependents provided that any time lost is made up unless otherwise agreed with the Chair of the Board of Trustees. However, wherever possible, every effort should be made to organise such appointments outside of normal working hours. Artsadmin may, at its discretion, grant leaves of absence to employees for personal or family needs.
Transition care plan
Artsadmin recognises that individuals’ gender identities form a diverse spectrum and differ from person to person and, as such, all colleagues will have differing needs and levels of required support when transitioning at work.
We understand that approaching a colleague about your intention to transition can be a significant and sometimes daunting step, and this process will be led with your needs at the forefront. If you decide to share your intention to transition, please let your line manager or a Director know so that they can agree a main point of contact with you who will help manage this period. We will then arrange a meeting with you to discuss the following, along with any other subjects you might wish to discuss, which will help us to form the basis of your Transition Care Plan:
- Time off for appointments: paid leave for transition-related appointments and treatment; reduced hours or duties, or other changes to usual working arrangements, for a temporary period following some treatments or for travel to appointments; flexible working to avoid busy commuting periods throughout transition if required.
- Change of name and pronouns: we will update all electronic records to coincide with the date on which the workplace transition begins and care will be taken to ensure that records do not link back to a former name; discussion of any records which cannot be updated (i.e. paper copies of references relating to the employee’s recruitment) and how we will secure these.
- How you’d like senior management, colleagues and others to be informed: whether you would prefer to do this, a manager or a work colleague to do this, or a mixture; information on how and when this will happen; what information you would like to be shared.
- Reviewing our facilities and practices at Toynbee Studios: all of our toilets are gender neutral; we encourage all employees to dress in a way which gives expression to their identity, but this may be an opportunity to discuss any concerns or arising questions about dressing for work.
The Transition Care Plan will be a working document to support you throughout your transition, recognising milestones throughout your transition where you may need more flexibility and support. We understand that there is no way to account for the complexities of a person’s transition in one meeting and, as such, will arrange follow-up meetings at agreed points to review this with you and make any necessary adjustments. This document is confidential and any arising actions will be taken in conversation with you.
This policy is accompanied by:
- A definitions document – kept separate from the policy to update as necessary
- A guide for managers and other staff supporting trans staff
- A frequently asked questions (FAQs) document – written from several different perspectives
We welcome comments. Please send them to email@example.com