On Saturday 29 April, I was delighted to attend the launch of the TUC Trans Network, following a congress motion at the TUC LGBT+ conference on supporting trans and non-binary workers. The event was well attended, with leading figures from trade unions, charities and businesses coming together to discuss, plan and organise around the issues faced by trans and non-binary people.
While increasing anti-trans rhetoric in the media would have you believe that the average person in the UK does not support trans and non-binary people, nothing could actually be further from the truth. A recent report by More In Common found that public attitudes towards trans people are more compassionate and common sense than these media debates might suggest.
Why is this important?
Despite public attitudes being generally in favour of trans and non-binary people, they are under attack and live in fear of discrimination at work, meaning that they are much less likely to be out in their workplaces.
Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain Work Report found that one in four trans people (26 per cent) aren’t open with anyone at work about being trans. This number increases to about two in five non-binary people (37 per cent) who aren’t out at work.
The report also found that two in five (41 per cent) of trans people, and three in ten non-binary people (31 per cent), have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the past 12 months.
Trans and non-binary people are disproportionately targeted with hate crime, with 4,355 incidents of transgender hate crime reported to the police in in the year ending March 2022, which is a 56% increase from the previous year. (There is also wide agreement that police figures will be an underestimate because most people do not report incidents to the police.)
Further research by the TUC found that over half of trans people are bullied at work, simply for being trans.
The TUC has also written to Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch with regards to the recent advice which the Government requested from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) on amending the current definition of sex in the Equality Act. The letter from the EHRC suggests that the Government could redefine the protected characteristic of ‘sex’ to ‘biological sex’. However, there is no evidence that this change is needed. The existing act already has clear provisions for meeting the needs of multiple groups, as set out in the EHRC’s own guidance. Amending the current definition could “significantly set back our hard-won equality gains. It would mean that trans women would not be entitled to make equal pay claims, use appropriate toilets in the workplace, or make sex discrimination claims. This would remove the ability of trans people to gain legal recognition of their gender identity”.
As a part of the TUC’s trans network, we stand together with our sister unions and fight so that trans people can be their true, authentic selves at work, without fear of harassment and discrimination.
Community has always been committed to fighting for LGBT+ rights – we are your allies and we will not stop until workplaces and society are a safe space for everyone.
If you would like to be part of the discussion and be involved with the equality network at Community, contact email@example.com and help us make positive changes to our workplaces. Let’s make them safer for everyone.
- Being a good trans ally.
- Coming out at work guidance.
- LGBT+ at work guidance.
- Gender pronouns guidance.
- Time off work for trans healthcare.