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Creating an inclusive, safe and supportive workplace

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We want to be an organisation that values compassionate management and supports people to bring their authentic self, every day, to a fair, inclusive, safe and supportive workplace.

Being a fully inclusive employer means valuing the contribution of our entire diverse and talented workforce, including the contribution that trans members of staff bring to PHE.

We use the word trans in our staff policy documents as an umbrella term to reflect the diverse community of transgender and gender non-binary individuals.

The trans community is diverse and individuals vary in how they identify their gender. Some identify explicitly as trans men and women; others with non-binary gender identities; and some with the binary of male or female.

In using this umbrella approach we aim to be as inclusive as possible of this diversity of individual gender expression and we expect all of our 5,500 staff across our 64 sites to treat everyone’s gender identity with dignity and respect, going beyond the minimum legal requirements.

Sadly, again and again, national and local surveys show that trans individuals experience high levels of discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace.

The national survey of transgender discrimination in the USA found that:

  • There was double the rate of unemployment for trans people than the general population, and for BAME trans people this was four times the national unemployment rate
  • 90% of those surveyed experienced harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job or took active steps to avoid it
  • 47% said they had experienced an adverse job outcome such as being fired, not hired or denied a promotion because of being trans

This US research echoes the findings of the Scottish Trans Mental Health survey which found that:

  • 52% of participants had experienced problems with work due to being trans
  • 19% reported direct experiences of harassment or discrimination
  • 7% had left their job, with no other job to go to, because of harassment or discrimination

To better support trans inclusion in the workplace in PHE we have developed a trans inclusion policy with the support of our LGBT Staff Network (PHERA), staff side representation and drawing on best practice resources from a range of organisations including Stonewall and GIRES.

Our policy sets out our expectation that all trans staff are treated with dignity and respect and provides guidelines to support staff who are transitioning while at work.

Alongside the new policy we will be launching an education and awareness drive for staff on trans awareness and we have already started this through our internal communication channels.

We know that as an organisation we still have a way to go to becoming truly inclusive of trans people and this is a core part of our work to becoming a truly compassionate workplace.

I am proud that we are making these significant first steps and I am grateful to the individuals within PHE who have committed their time and energy to making this happen.

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