Gardaí introduce new policy in support of trans personnel

The new 'Gender Identity in the Workplace' policy aims to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all trans staff.

This article is about a Garda policy for trans personnel to feel safe and included in the workplace. In the photo, the back of a Garda in uniform.
Image: Via Twitter - @beat102103

Earlier this year, An Garda Síochána published a new policy titled ‘Gender Identity in the Workplace’, aiming to ensure that all trans Gardaí are treated equally and that all gender identities and expressions are respected.

The document was published on February 1, outlining the force’s commitment to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all its staff. It states that An Garda Síochána does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment and supports an environment in which all individuals can be open about their gender identity and feel “respected, safe, welcome and included”.

Moreover, the organisation commits to supporting personnel who are “undergoing social or medical transition” or who wish to update their personal records to match their preferred gender, facilitating the process for them. The policy also states that the privacy of all Garda personnel is to be respected and thus, that no information regarding someone’s gender identity be disclosed unless the person in question has agreed to it.

Compliance with the trans-inclusive policy is mandatory for all Gardaí, as it is generally across the public service. As the State clarified in the past, there is no option to “opt-out” of such policy on the basis of “personal beliefs” or similar objections, as it is in line with the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2020-2021 and with the Gender Recognition Act 2015, which made Ireland one of the few countries in the world where trans people can amend their legal documents through a self-declaration process.

Speaking on behalf of the LGBT+ Garda Sectoral Steering Group, CEO of LGBT Ireland Paula Fagan said: “The AGS – LGBT + Steering Group warmly welcomes the publication of this very important policy document which equips the Garda organisation with the practical tools needed to uphold what is both a legal and ethical duty of ensuring that trans personnel are treated with dignity and equality.

“This best practice policy is firmly underpinned by numerous pieces of legislation. The Employment Equality Act prohibits any form of anti-trans discrimination in the workplace under the ‘gender’ ground, while the Gender Recognition Act provides trans people with the legal right to be recognised and treated as their authentic selves through a process of gender self-declaration,” Fagan continued.

“For An Garda Siochana, there are the added responsibilities that come with the ‘Public Duty’, which requires all state agencies to visibly demonstrate inclusive practices, both internally and in the service they provide to the wider public,” she added. “A Gender Identity policy should be seen as striving to meet all those obligations and we commend those in the Garda organisation who worked so hard in delivering on that.”

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