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Transsexual discrimination: Post-operative male-to-female transsexual is a woman for employment law purposes

This report relates to 1 case(s)

Key points

  • In A v Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire Police & anr [2003] IRLR 32, the Court of Appeal holds that, after the ECHR decision in Goodwin v UK 35 EHRR 447, post-operative transsexuals are legally members of their chosen gender in the employment context, except where there exist significant factors of public interest which outweigh the interests of the individual applicant in obtaining legal recognition of his or her gender re-assignment.
  • Therefore, if, when dealing with the application for employment of a post-operative male-to-female transsexual, the Chief Constable was bound to treat her as female, it was not then open to him to discriminate against her on the basis that she was transsexual, and he could not invoke the "genuine occupational qualification" defence under the SDA.