Gender reassignment

Gender reassignment only applies to people who live permanently as the opposite gender to their birth gender so transvestites are not within its scope.

Examples of gender reassignment discrimination include: refusing to allow a female transsexual to use the women’s toilets (unless treating a transsexual differently is a reasonable way of reaching a legitimate objective – ‘because other people are uncomfortable’ is not a legitimate objective), or treating a transsexual less favourably because they need to take time off work for gender reassignment than if they were off work because they were ill or injured.

Gender dysphoria, also known as gender identity disorder, is protected under the disability provisions of the Equality Act. The Equality Act does not change the requirements of the Gender Recognition Act but transsexuals should not be asked to produce gender recognition certificates: according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Statutory Code of Practice, their new birth certificate is considered sufficient proof of identity for employers.

The Equality Act considers gender reassignment to be a personal process and so brings people who choose to live as their chosen gender rather than their birth gender into scope. This means there is no need for medical supervision to gain protection under the Act.