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A recent tribunal decision has shown that individuals holding gender-critical beliefs may be protected under the Equality Act 2010 (EQA). 


The individual was engaged as a consultant and posted a series of opinions on her personal social media account regarding amendments to the Gender Recognition Act. Her belief was that “biological sex is real, important, immutable, and not to be conflated with gender identity”.

Colleagues complained that her comments were offensive and following an investigation, her consultancy agreement was not renewed. The tribunal found her beliefs amounted to a genuine philosophical belief for the purposes of the EQA meaning that Act therefore protected her. The tribunal decided that she was discriminated against, as the reason for not renewing her consultancy was because she’d voiced her beliefs.

Practical takeaways 

Policies and training – freedom of expression must be balanced with respect for others. Through training and policies, the importance of respectful communication and behaving with dignity can be reminded, along with where to turn if individuals have concerns.

Colleague care – consider helplines and colleague champions to remind those with concerns of the routes to redress.

Manager support – ensure managers understand your policies and who is there to support them in managing any concerns raised within their team.

Our Intelligent Employment platform includes a gender identity policy to support you to champion a workplace environment where everyone feels included with the freedom to express themselves – find out more about accessing Intelligent Employment.

Gender Identity | 21 July – sign up for our latest webinar 

In celebration of Pride, we’ve joined forces with GIRES (the Gender Identity Research & Education Society) to bring you practical, real-world guidance on gender identity (click here for all the detail). Join our webinar on 21 July 2022 @ 10 am and register your place today!

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (12 July 2022), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

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