As part of its Equality, Diversity and Non-Discrimination Strategy, Dublin Bus has launched one of the most comprehensive and advanced Workplace Gender Transition Policy and Guidelines in the country. In July 2015 the Gender Recognition Act was signed into law which means that persons over the age of 18 years can self-declare their true gender identity and apply for a new birth certificate, passport or driving licence that reflects this change.
Given that many must come out to their employers in order to live consistently with their gender identity full-time, employers inevitably become involved in an employee’s transition.
The Dublin Bus Workplace Gender Transition Policy and Guidelines, devised in consultation with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI), include recommendations for employees, managers and the Human Resources Department on how to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for employees transitioning. Dublin Bus has a dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Office and provides a free and confidential counselling service, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), for all employees. “It may be daunting for an employee to approach their manager in the workplace on this issue. These guidelines were created to help foster dialogue and understanding of trans issues. Just as there are gay, lesbian and bisexual employees in Dublin Bus, there are also employees who are trans,” said Vivienne Kavanagh, Employee Development and Equality Executive.
According to TENI, companies need to sit up and take notice of what is happening and Sara Phillips, Chair, TENI said “TENI is delighted to work in partnership with Dublin Bus to create one of the most progressive policies on transgender inclusion in the workplace. Dublin Bus is part of the fabric of our capital city and it is encouraging that they both, value their transgender employees and are working towards making Dublin a more trans friendly city.”
As one of the largest employers in the country with over 3,500 employees and the largest transport company in Ireland, Dublin Bus is considered to be one of the most progressive for inclusivity and supporting diversity among its workforce. Its work to date in this area has been put forward as a case study for best practice in relation to workplace diversity by the European Commission in Europe, and the IMI/CIPD in Ireland. Commenting on the launch, Ray Coyne, Dublin Bus CEO said “We are committed to managing a workplace that integrates, benefits from, and achieves equality for our diverse employees, as well as promoting an inclusive workplace that celebrates and supports diversity.”
Dublin Bus includes gender identity in its Equality, Diversity and Non-Discrimination Strategy to clarify that discrimination against trans individuals, whether employee or customer, is prohibited. “We will not tolerate our customers, contractors or people we do business with discriminating against our employees because of their gender identity. This is also in line with our Dignity and Respect Policy which relates to the bullying, harassment and sexual harassment at work of our employees,” added Mr. Coyne.