Irwin Mitchell Produces Guide For Businesses
Irwin Mitchell has recently surveyed UK business leaders and line managers working in retail and hospitality to find out if they feel confident when dealing with a grievance from a trans member of staff.
The statistics show that out of the 361 people in a leadership role and working in the sector who were surveyed, 13% wouldn’t be comfortable handling a complaint from a trans member of staff, or their surrounding team, about their treatment in the workplace.
Irwin Mitchell also wanted to find out the reason why people weren’t comfortable and asked them to explain their reasons. Some themes emerged: a lack of knowledge and training, not feeling equipped to deal with the situation, lack of real-life experience, never having managed trans staff before, difficulty around the subject, uncertainty over the law, not understanding the correct approach to take, anxiety about getting it wrong or saying the wrong thing and not having the correct knowledge or understanding the vocabulary to use.
Expert Opinion“It’s positive, although quite surprising based on the enquiries we have received, that so many business leaders in the retail and hospitality sectors are confident they could deal with a complaint about the treatment of trans employees in the workplace.
“It can be a polarising debate and I’m not surprised that those who aren’t confident about dealing with these types of issues, worry about causing offence. That’s where good diversity and inclusion training comes in. It should explain the language around this issue, for example what various terms mean and why they are important to trans people, challenge prejudices and encourage staff to accept and respect other people’s points of view, even if they are fundamentally different to their own.”
Charlotte Rees-John, partner and head of Irwin Mitchell’s Consumer services and goods sector
Irwin Mitchell have put together a guide to help managers understand the law and feel more comfortable tackling issues that might arise in their workplaces. It discusses the legal framework, gender reassignment certificates, the types of harassment trans people may encounter at work and how to deal with employees who have different but equally protected beliefs.
The guide is available here