I’ve noticed that ACAS has recently published new guides for employers on how to address issues that arise in the workplace including one relating to intersex or trans employees. I can’t help but wonder if we are overcomplicating things.
My simplistic view is that employers should treat everyone fairly, regardless of any legally protected characteristics and any other characteristic for that matter. No employee should be victimised or discriminated against for their sex, race, age etc but neither should anyone suffer unfair treatment because they prefer blondes or enjoying train spotting either.
I am certainly not trivialising discrimination in the workplace but do we really need a 50 page guide to dealing with it in a narrow circumstance?
Employees should be appointed, managed, rewarded, trained and dismissed based on objective criteria. That’s it.
If an issue is raised by an employee, it should be explored, handled sensitively and reasonably. The employer should communicate with the employee to tell them what they are doing and provide an outcome.
Employers should not be afraid of using their common sense but there are sometimes processes to follow so if you don’t know what they are, ask HR to make sure that you do it properly.
Contact us if you need further guidance.