UK Employment Tribunal finds gender-fluid and non-binary employees are protected by equality law

The Employment Tribunal in the United Kingdom has ruled that gender-fluid and non-binary identities should be recognised alongside ‘gender reassignment’, which is already protected by section 7 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Tribunal heard from the claimant that they had worked for Jaguar Land Rover as an engineer for over 20 years, but only first disclosed their non-binary identity to their employer in 2017. The claimant began to suffer harassment and discrimination almost immediately by fellow colleagues and members of management. Moreover, their employer made no attempts to accommodate their needs, for example in relation to use of the toilet facilities on site. Before the Tribunal, they claimed harassment, direct discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal and victimisation on the grounds of gender reassignment.

On the last ground, Jaguar argued that the claimant did not have the required protected characteristic of gender reassignment because they described themselves as non-binary or gender-fluid.

However, the claimant was successful on all grounds. Regarding the victimisation ground, the Tribunal held that it was irrelevant that the claimant described themselves as non-binary as “gender is a spectrum” and they are clearly on a journey of transition. Moreover, it was not necessary for the claimant to be undergoing a medical intervention in order to be on such a journey of transition.

Taking all the claims together, the Tribunal awarded £180,000 to the claimant considering how badly they were treated and how insensitive Jaguar were to their claim. The Tribunal also condemned Jaguar for not having done more to educate its employees when providing diversity and inclusion training.

Click here to read the full decision.






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