This guide forms part of the CIPD’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) resources and will help people professionals, employers and people managers take a proactive and informed approach to supporting transgender and non-binary people at work. It should be used alongside our other EDI resources to help create an inclusive culture in the workplace.

Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for everybody and, with insights from people with lived experience, this guide will help employers understand the issues and challenges specific to transgender and non-binary people at work. It covers the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to progression, and builds on the importance of creating an inclusive culture more broadly.

The guide recognises that balancing the differing needs, beliefs and views within an organisation around transgender and non-binary EDI can sometimes cause conflict in organisations, particularly in relation to the use of facilities and toilets. It also references recent cases which makes clear that people with gender critical beliefs can express these views without necessarily being seen to discriminate against transgender and non-binary people.

Employers have a responsibility to protect the rights of all individuals, establish and communicate standards of professional behaviour and effectively manage incidents of conflict. The guide recommends that employers do this with compassion and empathy with a view to bringing about greater understanding between all employees.

Sexual orientation, gender reassignment and religion or belief (including gender critical beliefs) are protected characteristics under UK law.  This guide outlines the current law, and relevant case law and tribunals, and we will add subsequent updates on this page below. The guide will be regularly reviewed to reflect best practice and developments from case law. We encourage employers and HR practitioners to remain up to date to understand the changing landscape.

Key areas of the guide include:

  • UK employment law – the legal considerations and the protected characteristic of gender reassignment under the UK Equality Act.  
  • Policy – ensuring internal EDI policies support transgender and non-binary inclusion within the workplace. 
  • Workplace culture – creating safe and equal workplaces where everyone can thrive. 
  • Employee lifecycle – inclusivity throughout employee tenure including recruitment, onboarding and progression. 
  • Inclusive language – encouraging employers to think ‘additively’ when referring to typically gendered areas of policy. Adding people in rather than taking anyone out.  
  • Managing different views – recognising the right for people to hold and express different beliefs while drawing boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.  
  • Supporting a transition at work – how to support colleagues through their individual journey.  
  • Data management – ensuring privacy is paramount and that personal data is not shared unless there is explicit agreement or instruction. 

Transgender and non-binary EDI in the workplace

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Below is a list of the most recent and significant cases, according to most recent ruling. This will be updated as more case rulings are made and is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

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