Gender reassignment discrimination claims

It is unlawful for someone to be discriminated against because of gender reassignment.

If you are in the process of undergoing gender reassignment, or you’re considering it or have been through the process already, your rights in the workplace should be protected. If you feel they aren’t, we are here to help.

Call us free on 0808 164 0808 or request a call back, and we will call you.

What is gender reassignment discrimination under the Equality Act 2010?

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful for you to be discriminated against for one or more of the nine protected characteristics:

  • Age;
  • Disability;
  • Gender reassignment;
  • Marriage or civil partnership;
  • Pregnancy and maternity;
  • Race;
  • Religion or belief;
  • Sex;
  • Sexual orientation.

It’s illegal for any fellow employees, or your employer, to make discriminatory comments or display discriminatory behaviour towards you based on your gender reassignment. It’s also a criminal offence if your employer treats you less favourably for this reason, or if they fail to address other employees displaying the same discriminatory behaviour towards you.

Examples of gender reassignment discrimination

Gender reassignment discrimination can arise in many different scenarios within the workplace. We’ve listed some examples below:

  • Use of single-sex facilitiessome workplaces will have separate toilets for men and women, and may refuse a transgender person entry to the toilet for which they identify. Generally someone who is going through gender reassignment should be allowed to use the toilet or facilities for the gender with which they identify, and refusing to accept this would be classed as gender reassignment discrimination.
  • Absence from workif an employer treats a transgender person less favourably because they request time off work to receive treatment for gender reassignment, this could amount to gender reassignment discrimination.
  • Deliberate use of incorrect pronounsif someone is identifying as the opposite gender while they go through the process of reassignment, they may wish to be addressed by the pronouns that align with their new gender. An example of gender reassignment discrimination would be if other employees or the employer deliberately refused to acknowledge this, and made discriminatory remarks about it.

The four types of discriminatory behaviour

It’s important to consider the four discriminatory behaviours, as outlined under the Equality Act 2010:

  • Direct discrimination: if your employer treats you worse than they treat or would treat other employees because you are going through gender reassignment. For example, if you are passed over for a promotion because of your gender reassignment.
  • Indirect discrimination: an example of this would be if your workplace has a policy that puts you at a disadvantage because of your gender reassignment. For example, if you have to wear certain uniform to carry out your role and it differs between genders.
  • Victimisation: you might experience victimisation if, for example, you’ve made a complaint or raised a grievance in the workplace about fellow colleagues for their discriminatory behaviour towards you because of your gender reassignment.
  • Harassment: if some colleagues have made discriminatory comments about your gender reassignment, and these comments made you feel degraded, humiliated and upset, you may have experienced harassment.

Gender reassignment discrimination solicitors

If you have experienced gender reassignment discrimination in the workplace, then we recommend you act quickly. The law states that an employee only has three months, less one day, from the date of the discriminatory act to start a complaint at an employment tribunal. We recommend you contact our gender reassignment discrimination solicitors as soon as possible, to avoid losing out on valuable time given that the ACAS process (more below) is limited to six weeks.

The ACAS Process

Any employee who wishes to bring a claim for gender reassignment discrimination at work needs to submit details of their claim to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), so that they can establish whether the employer will agree to ‘early conciliation’. Depending on your circumstances, we may be able to help you with this.

Get in touch with us

If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, our gender reassignment discrimination solicitors may be able to help. You can call us free on 0808 164 0808 or request a call back, and one of our experts will call you.


You usually have three months less one day from the date of discriminatory act to initiate Early Conciliation with ACAS, meaning you should act fast. However, we recommend you speak to one of our employment lawyers in the first instance. If you feel you have a potential employment claim please act quickly and contact us today.