Negotiating good trans equality policies with health employers

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2018 Health Care Service Group Conference
7 December 2017

Conference notes that despite lack of data collection by health care employers on the experiences of trans staff, we know that trans health workers experience disproportionate levels of harassment and discrimination. A 2017 TUC report showed that 48% of trans workers had experienced bullying and harassment, compared to a third of non-trans workers. Stonewall’s most recent report on LGBT equality in health services showed that 20% of patient-facing staff had heard colleagues make negative remarks about people who are trans.

Conference also notes a lack of knowledge and information about trans equality in many health service HR departments. In an August 2017 research paper on supporting trans employees in the workplace, ACAS noted that only 20% of Stonewall’s Top 100 employers have trans-specific HR policies and processes.

In many cases, draft trans equality policies brought to UNISON health branches for comment include mistakes in law, outdated language, ignore non-binary identities and are far from best practice.

Conference therefore welcome UNISON’s new trans equality guide and model policy, launched at LGBT conference last November, adding to our library of trans equality bargaining resources. Conference also welcomes early progress in health branches using the new model policy to negotiate agreements.

Conference therefore calls on the health care service group executive to:

1)Promote the UNISON trans equality guide and model policy, along with UNISON’s Trans workers rights factsheet, Guide for reps supporting trans members and guide to non-binary inclusion, which complement the model policy;

2)Urge branches to check any trans equality policies against the model policy and negotiate for necessary improvements

3)Urge branches where the employer has no trans equality policy to negotiate the adoption of UNISON’s model policy

4)Collate and publicise examples of where such agreement has been reached.