The Equality Bill: PFC Questionnaire

May 26, 2009

I don’t have a lot of time for PFC any more (this is why) – but I have even less for the Equality Bill (and this is why) – but, for the greater good of the trans community and all that jazz, here’s the contents of an email that washed up in my inbox earlier. It’s a questionnaire from PFC about the Equality Bill:

[Via e-mail from Stephen Whittle/Press For Change News]

Dear All

Please answer this yourself if it is relevant, and then send the following questionnaire to as many contacts as possible.

Stephen

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Please complete this questionnaire, and please forward it to as many trans people, trans organizations and other rights organizations IMMEDIATELY

Many thanks

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The Equality Bill : PFC Questionnaire

PFC will be speaking to the Parliamentary scrutiny committee on the Equality Bill next Tuesday 2nd June. We would welcome your feedback on the following questions, by late on Friday 29th May 2009.

Please send all replies by Friday 29th May to letters@pfc.org.uk

1a. Gender Reassignment as used in Vol 1, s.7 of the Equality bill currently means to include not just people pursuing transsexual treatment, but also any person who is living permanently in their new gender role. It also includes anyone perceived to be either transsexual or living permanently in their new gender role, as well as providing protection to anyone victimized in the workplace because they support the rights of a person who is transsexual or living permanently in their new gender role. PFC recognizes this might be within the limits of protection afforded by European Union law, but knows the UK government has the powers to go further than the minimum provided by EU law.

Should the definition used of people protected be wider? yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

1b.If you answered Yes, please describe as best you can the types of trans people should be provided protection against discrimination , in workplaces, in accessing services, in performing public functions?

Types of trans people to be included:

__________________________________________________________________________________

2a.The bill affords some protection to young people intending to undergo gender reassignment. PFC does not believe it is appropriate to use the term ‘gender reassignment’ when referring to children and adolescents.

Should the term gender reassignment be used when protecting young people in school who we might refer to as ‘gender variant’, or, as ‘in the future likely to seek gender reassignment’.

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

2b.If not, please explain in less than 100 words, why not?

__________________________________________________________________________________

2c.What better term might be used to provide protection to young people in school?

__________________________________________________________________________________

3.Should Schools be permitted to harass pupils and prospective pupils because they possess the Characteristic of ‘Gender Reassignment’.

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

4a.Press for Change is extremely concerned by elements of the exemption to the protection to trans people in the use of ‘Single sex Service’ containedin S. 24 and S. 25 (1) of Vol II, Sch. 3 Part 6. Gender reassignment: Single Sex Services. For example in the case of disability discrimination businesses have been able to claim as a defence, that they can not afford to provide reasonable adjustments – so long as that is true. The example given in the bill is given of a clothes shop which does not want to allow a trans person to use a changing room. PFC believes this is contrary to European Union and European Convention law.

Should service providers be able to discriminate against those who are transsexual, or who are living permanently in their new gender role, as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.?

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

4b.Even if services were able to discriminate in cases of those people who re transsexual, or who are living permanently in their new gender role, should that include any person who has obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate?

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

5a. The Bill, in Vol. II ,SCHEDULE 9 WORK: EXCEPTIONS, pt. 1 General : OCCUPATIONAL REQUIREMENTS, ss. 1 – 3 allows for a potential employer, partnership, personal Offices or appointments to require that a prospective employee/partner/personal office holder, or appointment is not a transsexual person (which includes anyone who is living permanently in their new gender role) so long as this is a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.’

Should there be any other employment/financial/ partnership/ appointment circumstance when it can be demand that a person not be a transsexual person?

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

5b.If you answered no, can you describe (in less than 200 words) any situations where you think it might be appropriate to demand that a person not be a transsexual person in relation to the above areas.

6a.Similarly , Vol. II ,SCHEDULE 9 WORK: EXCEPTIONS, pt. 1 General : OCCUPATIONAL REQUIREMENTS, ss. 1 – 3 allows vocational course providers to refuse access ot the course to people who are transsexual, but also any person who is living permanently in their new gender role, to access certain courses if an outside employer has advised them that a trans person could not get or do the job for which the training is given. Vol II, Sch 9 Work Exceptions, Part 1, Occupational requirements, s.5,ss.(4) states that ‘a person commits an offence by knowingly or recklessly making a statement such as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(a) which in a material respect is false or misleading’. Whilst PFC acknowledges that an employer who is employing within their own home to provide ‘personal care services’ should have a complete right to determine who they choose to perform intimate duties, PFC believes the above is clearly contrary to European Union and European Convention law in all other areas mentioned.

Should a vocational course provider ever be allowed to refuse a place to a transsexual person, except on ground of merit where others are better qualified or experienced to do the course?

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

6b.Additionally,Vol II, Sch 9 Work Exceptions, Part 1, Occupational requirements, s.5,ss.(4)states that ‘a person commits an offence by knowingly or recklessly making a statement such as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(a) which in a material respect is false or misleading’., i.e. this would mean all trans people, including those with a GRC would be legally obliged to state they were trans if applying for vocational training. PFC believes this is clearly contrary to European Union and European Convention law.

Should any trans person ever face criminal action for failing to disclose the fact that they are trans, for a vocational training place, except where they have to apply separately to the Criminal records bureau for clearance in order to work with vulnerable people?

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

6c. Should any trans person with a gender recognition certificate ever face criminal action for failing to disclose the fact that they are trans, for a vocational training place, except where they have to apply separately to the Criminal records bureau for clearance in order to work with vulnerable people??

yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

Further DETAILS to be completed if preferred, and if you wish to hear more from PFC about the Equality Bill and any changes achieved.

7. Are you a Trans person? yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

8. if you would like us to keep you up to date with these concerns only, please provide your email:

_________________@___________________

(your contact details will be kept confidential, and will be destroyed on your request)

Organisations

9. Are you representing a Trans organisation? yes no (please delete to leave your answer)

10. If you are representing a Trans organisation, please say which one

__________________________________________________________________________________

11. What is your email (so we can keep you up to date with these concerns only)

_________________@___________________

12. If you are representing another sort of organisation, please say which one

__________________________________________________________________________________

11. What is your email (so we can keep you up to date with these concerns only)

_________________@___________________

To respond please cut and paste this questionnaire into a new message:

Please send all replies by Friday 29th May to letters@pfc.org.uk

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