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Trans people

The Equality Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against someone because of gender identity, including medical gender reassignment. What the Act means, in effect, is that you are not legally required to disclose your gender identity to an employer unless there is a 'genuine occupational requirement' (GOR) related to the job. Such GORs might, for example, cover a prison officer carrying out body searches or an employee who is required to live in accommodation that is not suitable for people of a particular sex and cannot reasonably be adjusted by the employer.

Nevertheless, some employers are better prepared than others to recruit trans people fairly and support them in the organisation. Sometimes, even those employers with robust policies in place for their LGB employees lack equivalent policies for their trans staff. It's hard to know, from the outside looking in, just how tolerant and inclusive a workplace might be, but there are some steps you can take in order to seek reassurance - see tips for finding LGBT-friendly employers.

Disclosing trans status during the application process

There is no 'one size fits all' advice here. Your specific situation will determine what you want to disclose, if, when, how, etc. Whatever you decide, you should make sure that you know your legal rights. There is some excellent advice for trans people on the TARGETjobs website, as well as a list of further resources.

You may have a gender recognition certificate (GRC), in which case it is a criminal offence for someone, including your employer, to tell anyone that you were born a different gender to the one in which you now live.

Trans people often find themselves having to educate those around them about what it means to be trans, how to include trans people, avoid unconscious discrimination, and so on. One possible motive for disclosing your trans status in an application is that it gives you an opportunity to explain what, if any, steps you would like the employer to take when you're invited to interview.

There are many ways in which you might consider using your experiences as a trans person in applications or at interview as evidence of your strengths and personal attributes. Things like: emotional resilience, self-leadership, adaptability, confidence and maturity, empathy, awareness of people's differences all of which are highly sought-after by employers.