‘Deadname’ cost employer £25k

To ‘deadname’ someone means to call a transgender person by their birth name when they have changed their name as part of their gender transition. A transgender council employee has won £25,000 in a sex discrimination tribunal after her employer took two years to change her name on its systems.

The employee told the council that she planned to transition eight months before she started the process. Two years later, the change of name and details of the claimant on her pension records, door pass and name on the staff directory after she transitioned was finally made. 

Following an internal dispute, unrelated to her transitioning process, the Claimant was sent emails in  a derogatory tone, using inappropriate language in which she was told not to have direct contact with Councillors. 

She made subsequent complaints of unfair treatment and a ‘witch hunt’ against her following her transition. These were not investigated and instead she was told to apologise for having raised the matter. The tribunal heard this had a significant impact on her mental health, leading her to take sick leave for six months before making a tribunal claim.

The case highlights that dealing with gender reassignment and transgender issues in the workplace can be a complex and sensitive issue for employers. It is vitally important that equality and anti-bullying and harassment policies are reviewed on a regular basis and kept up to date; and that training is provided to ALL employees in these policies – so that they are used and referred to consistently.

The employee in this case was awarded £25,423 in compensation including £21,000 for injury to feelings. 

If you would like more information or have any concerns about the subject, contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk and we can discuss.

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