Employment Tribunal affirms that the Equality Act (2010) protects non-binary and gender fluid people from discrimination

In a ruling on Monday 14th September Patrice Hughes, a Birmingham employment judge, found in favour of an engineer, R Taylor, who was “subjected to insults and abusive jokes at work” and had their access to toilet facilities restricted. Under the 2010 Equality Act people are entitled to protection from discriminatory treatment in the workplace based on nine protected characteristics including sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

 

The company involved, Jaguar Land Rover, claimed that the protections did not apply in this case as “gender reassignment only applies to people who transition between the binary genders of male and female." However, the tribunal ruled that it is clear that “gender is a spectrum” (something that the Beaumont Society has been arguing for decades) and that it is “beyond any doubt” that the protections ensured by the 2010 Act apply to people with diverse gender identity or expression.

 

The judge ruled that Jaguar Land Rover’s argument is “totally without merit” and that the employee faced a “continuing course of harassment” because of their gender identity and awarded damages because of the way that Ms Taylor has been treated, and because of the insensitive stance taken by Jaguar Land Rover in defending the proceedings.

 

This is a landmark case which clarifies the law for us all, and we are very grateful to all those involved in making it possible.

Comments

  1. Eleanor Roberts

    This is a landmark judgement that many of us have been awaiting for a very long time. Well done to Ms Taylor for seeing it through. Other gender-fluid people (including some of our own members) have been advised by solicitors in the past that if they took it to tribunal, it would become a test case. I’m so glad this cruel legal fixation on a strict gender binary is beginning to crumble at last.

  2. Charlie Dorothy Smith

    It’s strange that Jaguar Land Rover couldn’t see the possible damage to their reputation as a car maker that this case could have caused. Wealthy LGBT people must be among JLR’s core customers. Mind you, JLR harrassing a trans person probably encouraged JK Rowling to get down to her local dealership!