Latest findings have revealed that shockingly, as many as 1 in 3 UK employers admitted that they are ‘less likely’ to hire somebody who identifies as transgender.
The report, published by Crossland Employment Solicitors, surveyed 1,000 employers and found that it is the retail sector that has the highest number (47%) of businesses unlikely to employ someone who identifies as transgender.
This is closely followed by IT (45%), leisure and hospitality (35%) and manufacturing (34%).
The financial services industry is most open to the idea of hiring transgender workers but with only a third (34%) agreeable to the idea, along with the legal sector (33%) and construction and engineering (25%).
Beverley Sunderland, Managing Director of Crossland Employment Solicitors, commented, “Our findings reinforce what bodies such as ACAS and the Women and Equalities Select Committee have been highlighting to the Government for years; trans-identity is more complex than the law currently recognises.
“What’s most worrying is the high percentage of employers that are biased against transgender workers from the recruitment stage and beyond. And not just in one sector, but a prejudiced attitude that is found throughout both shop floor and management in particular in the retail and tech sectors. Whether this reflects a lack of understanding or simply a fear of a potential discrimination claim, is not evident.
“What is clear is the need to change the law to protect not just those who are going through gender reassignment, but the wider transgender community such as non-binary workers.
“In 2016 The Women and Equalities Select Committee recommended amending the protected characteristic of gender reassignment in the Equalities Act 2010 to read ‘gender identity’ which was rejected by Government. But if we’re to encourage businesses to build a trans-inclusive workplace then we need the backing of the law together with greater support for employers to help understand the issues around transgender workers in the workplace. A business where everyone feels welcome and valued is by far a more productive one.”
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