Trans is the umbrella term used to embrace a wide variety of people who experience gender incongruence, where their gender identity does not match the sex that was assigned to them at birth.

Gender identity is the personal sense of where we belong in our social lives as men or women (the ‘binary’ model of gender) or on the spectrum in between. This includes those who identify as being non-binary, gender fluid or non-gender.

Trans people are protected by the Equality Act 2010 under the protected characteristic of gender reassignment. Creating an atmosphere of respect and inclusivity in the workplace widens the pool from which expertise can be recruited and retained. People work better if they can be themselves so making trans people welcome makes good business sense and benefits everyone. Employers need to take pre-emptive steps to ensure trans employees are able to work to the best of their ability.


Collection of data on transgender people is subject to differences in methodology and terminology. A survey by the EHRC published in 2012 found that at least 1% of the general population met the criteria for protection under the gender reassignment characteristic of the Equality Act 2010[1].

However, there are many more people, under the wider transgender umbrella, who identify as non-binary, including a few who identify as non-gender. In 2014, research in the Netherlands[2] found that approximately 5% of the general population is transgender; comprising 1% identifying as binary trans, plus an additional 4% identifying as non-binary trans.

A proportion of these transgender individuals will change their gender expression and possibly seek medical treatment. Employers need to be aware that this will be reflected in their workforce and their service users.

[1] Fiona Glen and Karen Hurrell Technical Note: measuring gender identity(n=10,000) (2012)

[2] Kuyper, L., & Wijsen, C. (2014) cited by GIRES 2016


Want to learn more? Contact our Trans subject leads:

Debbie Rotchell

Strategic Consultant
Contact Debbie

Debbie has been involved with enei (formerly the Employers Forum on Age) since 2010. During this time she has led strategic projects, including the change of scope from Employers Forum on Age to enei, project managed member-led research and developed best practice diversity and inclusion approaches and documents.

Debbie has extensive HR experience in fast paced commercial environments demonstrating the value of good people management to business success.

Previously as Group HR Director at Craegmoor, Debbie realigned HR practices to drive down staff attrition, resulting in more efficient working and improvements to service. Prior to this, she worked in various HR roles at Marks & Spencer Plc.

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