In terms of equality in the workplace and within wider society, few minority groups face more challenges of inadvertent or deliberate discrimination than the transgender community.
Trans or transgender are inclusive terms for people whose identity differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. A transsexual person is someone who has proposed to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment.
From 6 April 2017 employers in the UK with more than 250 staff are required by law to publish the following four types of figures annually on their own website and on a government website:
- Gender pay gap (mean and median averages)
- Gender bonus gap (mean and median averages)
- Proportion of men and women receiving bonuses
- Proportion of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay structure
However, this legislation does not take into account transgender or non-binary employees as, according to the law, employers can only classify staff as male or female. This means that it’s up to the employers themselves to work out how they are going to categorise transgender or non-binary staff.
The process of gender reassignment is not necessarily a physical or medical process. A person does not need to have undergone surgery to be classed and protected as transgender. When an individual decides to live openly in their acquired gender they have made a social transition.
The Equality Act 2010 outlaw’s discrimination in employment on the grounds of gender reassignment, and The Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows transsexuals to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate to legally change their gender, and protect transgender people form discrimination.
With this in mind, it may become hard for employers to find a way to remain sensitive but effective when it comes to representing fair pay for people of the trans community within their workplace.
When it comes to employees who don’t identify with a specific gender (i.e. non-binary employees), ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) suggests that they should not be included in the gender pay gap report. However, this would result in these employees being excluded from any pay analysis reports. If transgender employees are not reported in the current legislation, then the actual extent of the gender pay gap issue will not be accurately reported.
A way forward would be for employers to make their own decisions when it comes to including transgender employees in their gender pay gap reports, which will help analyse where gaps in gender pay structures actually exist.