What about gender queer individuals, or those who adopt a different gender temporarily (e.g. transvestites)?

The Equality Act 2010 does not specifically cover these groups but depending on the issues faced, the individual may be able to rely on rights elsewhere.

For example, if a woman is called derogatory names because her colleagues believe she is lesbian, even if she is not, then she may be able to claim protection under the Equality Act 2010 because sexuality is a protected characteristic.

Likewise, if someone is dismissed because their employer finds they are a transvestite, and it does not affect their work, then a dismissal could be unfair.

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By Zee Hussain, partner and Head of the Employment Department at Colemans-ctts

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