I have heard my employer can dismiss me for being transgender – is this true?
An employer can fairly dismiss an employee for any number of reasons including redundancy, misconduct, ill-heath, or capability. However, dismissal purely because you are transgender is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.
Likewise, the Equality Act 2010 protects you from being treated less favourably, whether directly or indirectly, due to your gender reassignment. This means an employer cannot deny you access to promotion, or certain benefits or training opportunities simply because you are transgender.
In practice, it is not always that obvious so when considering claims, Employment Tribunals will look at how your employer has treated cisgender people in similar situations.
By Zee Hussain, partner and Head of the Employment Department at Colemans-ctts