The European Parliament adopted a report urging the Commission and Member States to outlaw discrimination against transgender people in employment and work towards full integration of trans people at the work floor.
The demands were made in a report, which was published late last week, evaluated the implementation of the Directive on equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation.
In the report, the Parliament demands the Commission to ensure that any future recast of the Directive specifically includes the ground of gender identity.
Currently, Member States are obliged to include trans people who are undergoing, or have undergone gender reassignment, under the denominator of ‘sex’, in line with jurisprudence from the EU Court of Justice. However, many states fail to do so and the Parliament urges the Commission to hold these Member States accountable.
Furthermore, the report calls on Member States to use the European Social Fund to address discrimination in employment against trans people.
Lastly, the Parliament asks the Commission to conduct a study on how (the absence of) legal gender recognition procedures affects trans people’s position on the labour market.
Ian Duncan MEP for the Scottish Conservative Party and Vice President of the EU Intergroup on LGBTI told KaleidoScot:”Discrimination against transgender people in the workplace is unacceptable. This was a non-binding vote in the Parliament, and change will not come through such votes alone. The challenge to change the culture is far greater.
“As Vice President of the Parliament’s LGBTI intergroup I have been pushing for action to address the issues faced by transgender individuals, most recently writing to the Polish Government.”
Catherine Bearder MEP, for the British Liberal Democrats and Member of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “Half of all transgender people in the EU say they have experienced discrimination when searching for a job and over one-third have experienced discrimination at work.”
“This situation cannot continue. We must clearly enshrine rights for transgender people into EU anti-discrimination law, and ensure this is properly implemented by national governments in all 28 EU countries.”
Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup, added: “The adoption of this report is a great success and sends a very clear sign to the Commission and Member States: Discrimination against transgender people in employment is severe and needs to be addressed seriously.”
“I am also glad to see that many of my colleagues in the European People’s Party (EPP) voted in favour of transgender people’s human rights and for a truly inclusive labour market.”
Although opposition to the report, including trans content, came from EPP and European Conservatives and Reformists group (a coalition headed by the UK Conservative Party), many EPP and ECR MEPs voted in favour of the trans specific content.