Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 10. Some of the information on this page may be out of date.
There are a number of people of both sexes in the United Kingdom whose gender identity (their sense of being a man or a woman) does not match their appearance and / or anatomy. Around 1,500 people every year seek medical help about this.
People who, with medical advice and support, decide to permanently adopt the opposite gender to the one assigned at birth are known as ‘transsexual people’.
There are also a significant number of people who adopt an opposite gender role without formal medical involvement. These are known as ‘transgender’ people.
The term ‘transgender’ is also used (along with ‘trans’) as an umbrella term referring to everyone whose gender presentation doesn’t entirely tally with the role originally expected according to the sex identified at birth. Read more detail on how the terms are described.
The Sex Discrimination Act (as amended) makes it unlawful to treat a person less favourably because they are planning to undergo, undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment. Read more details on what the law says.
This section is designed to help employers ensure that they do not inadvertently discriminate against trans people when recruiting for staff, and that they act appropriately when an existing employee needs to transition in the workplace.
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