Gender reassignment discrimination results in a £47k payout

A transgender Primark employee told by her employer she had a “man’s voice” and “smelled like a men’s toilet” was subjected to gender reassignment discrimination, a tribunal has ruled.

In a judgment from December 2017, published on 7 February 2018, the judge allowed the claim for harassment, finding that Primark had conducted “very severe” injury to her feelings and that she was “bullied out of a job”.

Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. The tribunal found that Primark did not properly deal with the discrimination or harassment the woman was subjected to on several occasions.

One of her supervisors called her “Alexander/Alexandra” in front of customers and another colleague. The tribunal recommended that Primark adopt a written policy regarding how to deal with transgender staff or those who wish to undergo gender reassignment, and amend materials it uses for employees’ equality training to include references to transgender discrimination.

The Judge said that she had been constructively dismissed and that her treatment violated her dignity and created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive” environment in which she was subjected to gender reassignment discrimination.

The respondents subjected the claimant to direct gender reassignment discrimination by failing to properly investigate the matter and deal with it appropriately. She was awarded £47,433.03, including a 25% uplift from Acas, past and future loss of earnings and loss of pension of £19,872.86, injury to feelings of £25,000, interest on past loss of earnings of £472.50 and interest on injury to feelings of £2,087.67.

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