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Protected Characteristic-Gender Reassignment

Gender Reassignment

Gender reassignment is a “Protected Characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010 and has protection from any type of direct or indirect discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

Persons who belong to the gender reassignment group are referred to as Transgender. This is a term which is used to describe the gender identity, expression or behaviour of people which would not be associated with that of their assigned sex at birth. This term may be shortened to Trans. 

The definition of sex is that of a biological one.  It is being male or female in the reproductive sense whilst gender refers to a person sense of identy as masculine or feminine and may result in it not correlating with their sex.

The term Transsexual is used to describe people who experience great discomfort with the gender of their body (not linked to sexual orientation) and the types of expression and behaviour associated with the assigned gender of their birth.  This may cause an individual to undertake a transition (partially or fully) to the gender other than that assigned at birth.  This may  include personal, social and sometimes medical transition to live in the gender identity of their personal conviction.

Hate crime is particularly prevelant against the Trans Community  Hate crime is defined as “any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person. This may be because of their race, transgender status, disability, religion or sexual orientation.” A hate incident is ”any incident that may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate.”

There are a number of Hate Crime reporting centre’s in Merseyside.

Merseyside Police

Knowsley Council

National information and guidance about hate crime is available at :


Stop Hate UK

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 provides individuals with the legal right to change gender by obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate which will lead to a new birth certificate.  The conditions that the individual must meet are:

  • ·        Have been diagnosed as having gender dysphoria.
  • ·        Have had whatever treatment which is appropriate for them to alter their              sexual characteristics.
  • ·        Have lived in their acquired gender for role for two years
  • ·        Intend to do so permanently for the remainder of their life.

A Gender Recognition Certificate does not have to be sought by an individual to be protected by the Equality Act 2010.  The Act provides protection for transsexual people who are proposing, have started or completed the process to change their gender. The Act no longer requires a person to be under medical supervision to be protected.

Mersey Care NHS Trust is committed towards Equality, Diversity and Human Rights of all the protected characteristic groups, as a a service provider and an employer and a supportive trust policy is currently in the process of finalisation

Useful links

acas promoting employment relations and HR Excellence

National Centre for Transgender Equality

Transgender Human Rights Advice - What the Law Says (Equality and Human Rights Commission)

To View e-bulletins from the Home Office on Transgender Issues Click Here (Home Office)  

Government Policy and Legislation (Home Office) 

Return to Equality and Human Rights page