Trans Inclusion Policy

  1. Statement of Principles

1.1 Cyngor ar Bopeth Gwynedd Citizens Advice (CAB Gwynedd) is a trans-inclusive organisation and service. Being trans-inclusive means that we support and respect the rights of trans and non-binary people, and we value and celebrate their communities. 

1.2 We recognise that this is a statement of intent: we don’t always get things right. But it is particularly important to be explicit about our trans-inclusive position because trans and non-binary communities often experience significant prejudice and harm. This affects our staff, volunteers and clients. 

1.3 Being trans-inclusive means that:

  • we’re committed to developing an inclusive and equitable culture for trans and non-binary people who work with us, volunteer for us and those who come to us for advice
  • we look for opportunities to advance trans equality through advocacy and how we support people – making sure we provide advice that meets the needs of our trans and non-binary clients, as well as offering a workplace where everyone belongs 
  • we do not unlawfully discriminate against trans and non-binary people in our service delivery or the workforce, as set out in our equality and diversity policy 
  • as an organisation, we recognise that trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary people are non-binary; we demonstrate this in the way we interact with colleagues and with clients
  • we respect everyone’s gender identity, how they express this, and people’s pronouns

1.4 We use a gender-specific approach when looking at the impact our decisions could have for colleagues or for clients. We analyse how our actions might affect men, women (including trans men and women) and non-binary people differently. We do this because we recognise that gender norms and roles, our bodies and reproductive and healthcare needs, and sexism can have a significant effect on a person’s experiences. 

1.5 We ask colleagues to assess the EDI impacts of projects, policies and programmes. This helps to make sure that our decisions do not have a negative impact on different groups of people, and to maximise positive impacts. As part of our guidance, we’ll be sharing resources to help colleagues take an intersectional and gendered approach to analysis.

1.6 We acknowledge that people’s personal opinions and experiences – on any number of issues – may differ from our organisational positions. However we do not accept trans-exclusionary language or behaviour at work. We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying, on any grounds, both because it is unlawful and it is against our values.

1.7 Our cultural ambition is to ensure an inclusive, purpose-driven workplace that listens, works together, is open and honest, accessible and helps everyone be the very best they can be. In practice, this means that we respect everyone’s right to hold personal opinions but also consider the impact of our words and actions on other people, regardless of what our intention may be. We each take responsibility for the language we use and the information we share, and we’re mindful of how this could be experienced by others.

1.8 We consider that supporting trans rights is consistent with understanding how gender-based inequality involves a range of factors like gender identity and expression, sexism, the way we are raised, our bodies and physical and reproductive characteristics. We believe that we can have a strong position on advancing gender equity by advocating for trans and non-binary people’s rights.

2. Purpose of this Policy

2.1 The purpose of this policy is:

  • To support an inclusive environment at CAB Gwynedd where the dignity and rights of trans staff and prospective staff are respected in all aspects of our organisation
  • To give the best possible support to staff who transition at CAB Gwynedd and ensure a positive experience of transition at work
  • To enable managers and colleagues to support staff effectively
  • To maximise the ability of our existing talent pool to contribute to CAB Gwynedd and its work, and to attract trans talent to the organisation
  •  To recognise and value diversity of gender identity and gender expression
  • To ensure our policies support trans colleagues and comply with the Equality Act 2010

2.2 This policy applies to everyone who works for CAB Gwynedd. The anticipated audiences for this policy are:

  • Managers (to enable them to support staff)
  • Trans staff (to enable them to see what they should expect and have confidence that the organisation will support them)
  • Colleagues of trans staff (to enable them to see how trans staff should be treated, and develop understanding)

2.3 This policy outlines our commitment to ensuring that transgender staff are treated with dignity and respect and are not disadvantaged in the workplace. It should be read in conjunction with our Equality & Diversity policy and our Dignity at work policy.

2.4 In this policy we have used the term ‘trans’ to mean anyone who feels that the sex they were assigned at birth, and the corresponding gender they were assumed to have, does not match or sit easily with their own sense of self. Our intention is to support and include everyone who has an experience of gender like, or similar to this.  We have chosen ‘trans’ because it is one of the broadest and most widely accepted words in current use.  However, we recognise it is not a term everyone uses and we recognise and respect everyone’s right to choose how they are described as individuals. 

2.5 These terms may include, but are not limited to: trans, non-binary, gender fluid, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, agender, man with a trans history, woman with a trans history, man or woman.  We particularly note that some people who transition will regard themselves as men or women and no longer consider themselves trans.

2.6 We also acknowledge those who are exploring their gender identity and may describe themselves as gender questioning.

2.7 Terminology in this area is developing rapidly and will seek to refresh and update terminology as part of the ongoing process of policy refresh and out of cycle reviews. 

3. Bullying and Harassment

Transphobic abuse, harassment or bullying is a serious disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under the appropriate procedure. The Dignity at Work Policy refers specifically to gender identity and states that harassment and bullying on those grounds will not be tolerated.

4. Facilities

4.1 CAB Gwynedd will support a transgender employee’s use of toilets and facilities in line with their gender identity. Where employees are transitioning, we will support the employee to use the facilities appropriate to them, as well as agreeing with them if, how and when this could be communicated with their colleagues. Any concerns raised by others will be dealt with promptly and sensitively and harassment of a transgender individual will not be tolerated.

4.2 CAB Gwynedd is committed to identifying gender neutral toilets in its offices and when selecting venues for its external events. 

5. Training on transgender issues

5.1 CAB Gwynedd will incorporate information on transgender issues into equality-awareness training for employees and into other training as appropriate.

5.2 Citizens Advice has committed to updating its various information systems and shared resources, to include useful guidance and information on transgender issues. We will highlight these locally as appropriate.

5.3 Consideration will be given to the need to provide training specifically on transgender issues and whether that training should be provided by an external organisation with the necessary expertise.

6. Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Citizens Advice has committed to encouraging the national EAP provider to be trans inclusive and to meet the following requirements: – 

  • Provide counsellors who are trained in trans equality and understand gender identity issues 
  • Use the correct terminology in any advertising that employees can get in touch about trans issues
  • Offer support to those who are transitioning
  • Offer general support and guidance to people under the trans umbrella.

A Trans and Non-binary Network Group has been established nationally by trans and non-binary staff and allies and this will be publicised in our local communications.  

7. Dress Code

CAB Gwynedd does not have a dress code that restricts employees’ clothing or appearance on the basis of gender. All employees have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression.

8. Use of titles and pronouns

8.1 Titles indicating gender will only be used where legally required or are mandatory fields in proprietary software. The general approach of Citizens Advice and CAB Gwynedd is to minimise the use of titles. They are not used in communications with staff or on web based forms.

8.2 Survey monitoring forms will provide the option for people to select or provide their gender identity, including non-binary or other genders.

8.3 Staff are encouraged to state their pronouns in their email signature.

9. Transitioning at work

9.1 As part of our commitment to transgender equality it is acknowledged that employees who transition during the course of their employment will need to have a range of measures and support in place.  Citizens Advice has produced guidance on supporting individuals transitioning plus a spreadsheet in the form of an action plan and we will follow this guidance.

9.2 Please note that the process of transition will be different for each individual and the needs and wishes of the individual who is transitioning will be central to the steps taken.  They will be involved in all of those steps.  The action plan is a template and can be adapted and amended to suit the particular circumstances of each individual.

Transitioning at work guidance and checklist

Purpose, ownership and review of this document

This policy is in addition to documents listed already and to be read alongside guidance to support managers, colleagues and employees. It is based on the national policy which has been written and is owned by the People Directorate with content owned by the EDI team within the People Directorate. It will be regularly reviewed in particular to pick up on any national changes to ensure it aligns and is embedded within our wider EDI policies.

This policy outlines our commitment to ensuring that transgender staff are treated with dignity and respect. It is based on the Policy adopted nationally by Citizens Advice in early 2022. Adopted in July 2022