New DEI guidance for employers from CIPD
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has recently written a guide to “Transgender, Non-binary employees in the workplace” and they explain that the “purpose of this guide is to provide advice to help people professionals, employers and managers improve their understanding of issues and support them in delivering transgender and non-binary equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace”. This article intends to highlight some of the key elements of that guide, into a simplified, easy to read format.
Creating an all-inclusive policy
As a reasonable employer your responsibility is to ensure that the working environment that you create is one that is safe for all employees. The UK Equality Act (2010) is in place to ensure that all employees in England, Scotland and Wales who have one or more of the protected characteristics, have the right to be protected from discrimination, harassment, and victimisation at work. This applies equally to all nine protected characteristics (age, disability, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation).
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)
The CIPD’s report advises that there are three core guiding principles that can help you build the trust and confidence needed to embed EDI fully across your organisation:
- Dignity and respect
“Honouring and caring about transgender and non-binary people’s sense of self, their identity, and their wellbeing. It is also about interacting with transgender and non-binary people in a respectful and inclusive manner.”
- Humanising and empowering
“Placing individuals at the heart of decision-making on their personal journey at work, enabling them to feel empowered by policies and practices, and adapting processes to best address their specific needs.”
- Proactive and dynamic
“Learning, adapting, and being solutions-focussed on your approach to inclusion. Engaging with transgender and non-binary inclusion at work is another opportunity to continually learn and grow as a responsible employee.”
“It’s about inclusion being part of the DNA of the organisation. It’s about your values, and what you stand for as an organisation … This is about looking holistically at the organisation.”
Many organisations are likely to have employees or customers who are transgender and/or non-binary who experience harassment and discrimination.
CIPD research has shown that LGBT+ employees are more likely to experience workplace conflict and harassment than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. Forty percent of LGB+ workers and 55% of transgender workers have experienced such conflict, compared with 29% of heterosexual, cisgender employees. In addition, a higher proportion of LGB+ workers (16%) feel psychologically unsafe in the workplace compared with heterosexual workers (10%), while for transgender workers, this figure is even higher at 18%. Research has also shown that actions taken to achieve EDI for one protected characteristic group, as part of a wider EDI strategy, is beneficial for all staff.
What should the policy include:
The policy should cover the following areas to ensure that all are covered against discrimination of any kind and that highlights a successful approach to transgender and non-binary inclusion at work, this involves:
• ensuring this work is part of broader EDI efforts which in turn needs to be integral to the wider organisational business plan.
• taking the time to reflect, consult and discuss within and beyond your organisation.
• focussing on the possible solutions and benefits, rather than focussing on problems around transgender and non-binary EDI, and preferably before problems arise. Take a flexible and open-minded approach appropriate for your organisation.
• enabling everyone from senior leaders to frontline staff and third parties to actively participate in EDI work.
• thinking carefully through the whole employee lifecycle, from recruitment through to progression, to exit (why a person is leaving).
• developing a clear set of organisational values, training approaches, and policies.
• keeping all this alive in daily workplace practice.
What other practical steps should be considered?
Prioritise privacy, including lockable gender-neutral bathrooms or changing facilities. Collaborate with building managers and owners to ensure facilities are not just a quick fix or short-term solution. Ensure that you are not encroaching on any employees who may have a disability, by double using these facilities already in place. Ensure that all employees are knowledge and trained about transgender and non-binary employees and the correct approach to have so that in can be treated fairly and inclusively.
“Don’t make assumptions on appearance, or voice, or dress … You shouldn’t be asking, I think you’re the trans applicant, tell us about that … But if somebody comes out as trans or non-binary in interviews, be ready with a really good answer. For example, they may ask ‘I’m a trans person, what’s it like working in this organisation?’… Don’t look at the ceiling or the floor, and stammer, and go, I don’t really know. Because this is about you being tested by the applicant, because they want to work in a safe space.”
This summary is intended for all business owners and employers, who intend to implement EDI policies into their own companies. Moorepay’s Policy Team can assist you with the development of these policies. Please contact the policy team at email@example.com or by telephone on 0845 073 0240 for assistance.