Trans inclusion at work policy
What we mean by trans
Throughout this policy, we use the term ‘trans’ as an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. We recognise that trans people may describe themselves using a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to): agender, bi-gender, crossdresser, gender-fluid, genderless, gender-queer (GQ), gender-variant, neutrois, non-binary (NB), nongender, third gender, transgender, trans feminine, trans man, trans masculine, transsexual and trans woman. This definition is adapted from the Stonewall and Mermaids websites.
A definitions document accompanies this policy with more detail.
What do we mean by trans inclusion, aims of policy and our statement of commitment
Artsadmin acknowledges that trans people are among the most discriminated against in society*. By trans inclusion at work, we mean that we aim to create and uphold a place of work that is as safe as possible for trans people and we are committed to supporting trans staff. 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 one’s 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 trans 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.
This policy was first written by staff in 2019 in collaboration with trans people. We are grateful to June Lam and June Bellebono from We Exist who reviewed the policy in 2022 and informed this latest update.
*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.
- 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.
- Will only make updates and edits in collaboration with a consultant who identifies as trans or has lived experience and is working in the field of inclusion and equity.
- Should report any instances of harassment, victimisation or discrimination to line managers, Directors or the Board.
- 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) or to share this information with their line manager or Directors. People should consider ways to call in/out colleagues in a way that does not adversely affect the trans person – for example, via a direct message or email, or through a private conversation with that colleague.
- Acknowledge that we may need to give additional workplace support to a trans employee, if they request it.
- Aim to offer a safe working environment for conversations around support to occur, as needed.
- Can have a collaborative dialogue around what support might be needed in the workplace.
- Will respect and maintain confidentiality at all times, in line with a trans employee’s request. 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.
- Are responsible for ensuring policy implementation and compliance in our area(s) or work and team.
- Will act on any instances of harassment, victimisation or discrimination reported to us and seek support from Directors or the Board, where appropriate.
- Can also support employees with a family member who is transitioning, either through a transition care plan and other workplace support, if requested.
Staff working on HR and Finance
- Maintain confidentiality, including keeping paper documents and files secure that may contain sensitive information.
- Change names, titles and pronouns on email and other systems, if an employee requests this as part of their transition.
- Are accountable to the Trustees for ensuring organisation-wide compliance with this policy.
- Will ensure that this policy and procedures are part of our induction for all new staff and are shared with existing staff each year.
- Will identify gaps in knowledge and training, as well as encouraging knowledge-sharing within the team, so that staff are trans aware.
- Commit to trans inclusion training being part of our regular cycle of all staff training.
- Will ensure that the Directors are accountable for organisation-wide compliance with policy.
- Will review and agree any updates to the policy and procedures (which have been made in consultation with a trans person, as above).
- Can suggest any updates and edits so that policy continues to be as relevant and supportive as possible.
A list of specific guidance, support networks, groups and sources of advice
We sourced these from: Xperthr, Wiltshire Council, Switchboard, We Exist. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions for additions or edits.
These are listed in alphabetical order:
- 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.
- Black Trans Foundation: a non-profit organisation working for the social advancement of Black trans people in the UK.
- 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.
- ELOP: a holistic lesbian and gay centre that offers a range of social, emotional and support services to LGBT communities
- Equality and Human Rights Commission: This provides guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and has a range of research reports relating to transgender issues.
- Galop: works directly with thousands of LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence every year.
- 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: brings together 35 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) organisations from across England, Wales and Scotland. It aims to increase the reporting of Homophobic, Biphobic and Transphobic Hate Crimes and incidents and improve the support available to those targeted.
- London friend – social and support groups, counselling
- Gender Care – UK specialists in gender therapy
- Gendered Intelligence: a charity that works to increase understandings of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans people.
- Mindline Trans: an emotional and mental health support helpline for anyone identifying as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid… Also supports family members, friends, colleagues and carers.
- NHS Gender Identity Development Service
- Spectra: delivers supportive, knowledgeable, non-judgemental peer-based services to under-served communities.
- TransForum (Manchester-based): a Trans discussion group and mutual peer support forum for all Transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people and those in any way questioning their gender, together with their partners, family, friends and allies.
- Trans Masculine Support and Advice: a UK based support group for all those who identify as Trans Masculine, Non-Binary (AFAB) people.
- TransPlus: integrated NHS Gender, Sexual Health and HIV service commissioned by NHS England
- We Exist: a trans led organisation that wants to provide more spaces for trans people to platform their work, their ideas and discuss issues affecting the community.
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.
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. a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a trans person;
b. 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 someone thinks they’ve have been treated less favourably or exposed to harassment because of their gender identity, because of their perceived gender identity or because they are associated with a trans person, they can discuss this with their 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 person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, this could include name calling, persistently addressing a person by the incorrect pronoun, ‘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 trans people who do not intend to socially or medically 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 trans 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 trans people and colleagues:
- During any recruitment process, this policy is linked to our job opportunities page and mentioned in job packs. Interviewers use pronouns when introducing themselves and we invite interviewees to share their pronouns, if they want to. The email invitation to in-person interviews must state that there are gender neutral toilets.
- Confidentiality will be respected if legal documents don’t match the gender identity of the applicant;
- Our bespoke, decolonised equal opportunities form has been reviewed by people from the LGBTQIA+ community. All data is collected anonymously.
- 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 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.
- Artsadmin is introducing a hybrid working policy. 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 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 feels uncomfortable travelling at rush hour or peak times
- Data protection: We will store personal data securely, only giving access to the relevant people and 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. A transition care plan or any other workplace support for a trans employee is offered but is optional.
We understand that approaching a colleague about transition can be a significant and sometimes daunting step, and this process will be led with their needs at the forefront. If someone decides to disclose this information, they can let their line manager or a Director know so that they could agree a main point of contact who will offer workplace support. If the employee would like a Transition Care Plan, a meeting can be arranged to discuss the following, along with any other subjects they might wish to discuss, which will help us to form the basis of a 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;
- Discussions around hybrid or flexible working 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.
- If and how they’d like senior management, colleagues and others to be informed: whether they 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 they 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 an optional working document to support a trans person in our workplace. We understand that there is no way to account for the complexities of a person’s transition in one meeting and, as such, if they want, we can arrange follow-up meetings at agreed points to review this with them and make any necessary adjustments. This document is confidential and any arising actions will be taken in conversation with them.
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 and feedback on this policy. Please send them to email@example.com