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Transgender employees

Author: Shelagh Prosser


  • Employers should use appropriate terminology when referring to transgender issues. (See Terminology)
  • Employment is a significant area of concern for transgender people for several reasons, including discrimination and harassment, a lack of awareness about transgender issues and an absence of effective confidentiality procedures. (See Problems experienced by transgender employees)
  • Creating an inclusive working environment for transgender people has business benefits, including motivating transgender men and women to perform effectively. (See The importance of creating an inclusive workplace)
  • Senior management should demonstrate the organisation's support for transgender employees. (See Senior-level commitment)
  • Policies that are inclusive of transgender issues will demonstrate that the employer supports transgender men and women. (See Policies)
  • Employers could put together guidance for managers and employees on supporting an employee who is transitioning. (See Guidance)
  • Employers should respect the privacy of transgender employees. (See Confidentiality)
  • Employers should support an employee who is transitioning. The employee and his or her line manager could put together a plan, setting out how the employer will support him or her. (See Supporting an employee who is transitioning)
  • Including transgender issues in equality-awareness training should encourage employees to behave appropriately towards transgender men and women. (See Training on gender identity)
  • The recruitment process should encourage transgender men and women to apply to the organisation, and ensure that those involved in making recruitment decisions do not discriminate against them. (See Recruitment)
  • Employers should communicate to employees and third parties their zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment on the basis of transgender, and they should have a process in place to enable employees to make a complaint about bullying or harassment in confidence. (See Bullying and harassment)
  • A staff network for transgender employees can be a source of mutual support for its members, even if it is not limited to supporting only transgender employees. (See Staff networks)
  • Employers should monitor transgender equality, but take care to protect employees' confidentiality during any monitoring exercise. (See Monitoring)


This section of the XpertHR good practice manual explores the key steps that employers can take to ensure that transgender employees feel supported at work, which can: encourage employees to be themselves; improve the performance of transgender employees; encourage the retention of transgender men and women; minimise the potential for discrimination; and encourage transgender men and women to apply for vacancies.