A gender-fluid (non-binary) worker has won an employment tribunal against Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) winning £180,000.
The employee successfully argued that she suffered harassment and direct discrimination because of gender reassignment and sexual orientation. JLR have since apologised to the employee for her experience and they state that they are striving to improve moving forward.
Part of the argument of the case was whether being gender fluid/non-binary was a protected characteristic within section 7 of the 2010 Equality Act. The protected characteristics covered in the act are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The ruling has been hailed as a milestone win for equality by campaigners, with the tribunal making it clear that “gender is a spectrum” and that it is “beyond any doubt” that the Equality Act protections apply to people with diverse gender identity or expression, and not solely transgender men and women.
Non-binary: a gender identity which falls outside of the gender binary, meaning an individual does not identify as strictly female or male.
A non-binary person can identify as both or neither male and female, or sometimes one or the other. There are several other terms used to describe gender identities outside of the male and female binary such as genderqueer, gender nonconforming, agender, and bigender. Though these terms have slightly different meanings, they refer to an experience of gender outside of the binary.
What can employers do to ensure that employers are taking the steps towards being more inclusive of trans and non-binary employees?
- One area you can look at is offering gender-neutral pronouns like Mx on titles and email signatures.
- You can also ensure that your policies explicitly reference protection for non-binary people in relation to bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace and promote a zero tolerance approach to tackling any discriminatory behaviour.
- Including employees in the process can help smooth the way
- Making proactive changes to policies and introducing specific training to ensure working practices are inclusive
- Updating information on company dress codes
- Making sure facilities are not gendered
Please speak to a DLP Advisor if you wish to discuss the above in more detail.