Melton Borough Council

Protected Characteristics

Gender Reassignment and the law

Under the Equality Act 2010, transsexual people share the “protected characteristic” of gender reassignment. This includes those transsexual people who are not under medical supervision.

“Transgender” is often used as a general term to cover people who identify as both transsexual and transgender. A transsexual person is someone who proposes to, starts or who has completed a process to change his or her gender.

For example:

  • a person who was born physically male decides to spend the rest of his life as a woman. He declares his intention to his line manager, who makes appropriate arrangements, and then she starts life at work and home as a woman. After discussion with her doctor and a gender identity clinic, she starts hormone treatment and after several years she goes through gender reassignment surgery. She would have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment;
  • a person who was born physically female decides to spend the rest of her life as a man. He starts and continues to live as a man. He decides not to seek medical advice as he successfully “passes” as a man without the need for any medical intervention. He would have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

Protection for gender reassignment covers:

  • direct discrimination
  • indirect discrimination
  • harassment
  • victimisation

Those transgender people who do not intend to live permanently in the gender opposite to their birth sex are not transsexual and therefore not protected by the Act.

Gender Recognition Act

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 gives transsexual people the opportunity to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). The Gender Recognition Panel (GRP) will issue a full certificate to someone who can prove:

  • They are at least 18.
  • They have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
  • They have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years.
  • They intend to live in their acquired gender until death.
  • They are not married or in a civil partnership.

A person who gets a GRC will also get a new birth certificate which will appear as if they had been their acquired gender since birth. Having a GRC means that the person’s gender will become, for all purposes, their acquired gender.

Transgender information, useful contacts and links:

ACAS aim to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations.

Chameleon Group is a Leicester based social group for the trans community and their families.

Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), gives tailored advice on discrimination issues to individuals across Britain. It explains legal rights and remedies, options for informal resolution and refers people who cannot or do not wish to go down this road to conciliation or mediation services.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: the EHRC champions equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.

GIRES provides information for trans people, their families and the professionals who care for them.

Leicester Butterflies aims to improve the lives of the trans community of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Leicester LGBT Centre is a voluntary organisation set up to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Press for Change is a political lobbying and educational organisation which campaigns to achieve equal rights and liberties for all transgender people in the UK, through legislation and social change.

The Gender Trust provides a listening ear, a caring support and an information centre for anyone with any question or problem concerning their gender identity, or whose loved one is struggling with gender identity issues. The trust is also recognised as an authoritative centre for professional people who encounter gender identity related issues in their course of work.