Staff Gender Identity Policy

Policy Owner
Equality Office
Document Type
Policy
Document Approval Date
Version
V1.1

Dublin City University fosters a culture that is open, collegial, collaborative, student-focused and ambitious. The University is committed to equality, educational opportunity, social justice, ethical behaviour and academic freedom. In line with this culture and its values, the University is committed to providing an inclusive and diverse environment in which all members of the University community should expect to be able to thrive and be respected and valued for their unique perspectives and contributions, so that they can achieve their fullest potential. This is in line with the fifth strategic goal at the heart of our Strategic Plan 2017-2022 Talent, Discovery and Transformation, which is to value and develop our staff community.     

The University strives to value and encourage all members, irrespective of gender identity, and to respect and recognise diverse gender identities and gender expressions. Gender identity and expression is a positive, core part, of being human and of experiencing wellbeing and fulfilment. This concept of the fundamental equality for our University community is central to our University’s ethos. In tackling the challenges of an era of unprecedented change, we see unprecedented opportunities: not only to transform the lives of those who will pass through our doors, but also, through them and through our innovation, to transform society as a whole.

With the enactment of the Gender Recognition Act 2015, any person over the age of eighteen can now self-declare their gender of preference and be treated legally as that preferred gender. Under that legislation, it is also possible that people between the ages of 16 and 18 may have had their preferred gender legally recognised. As such, people can apply for replacement birth certificates, driving licences, passports and other legal documentation that reflects this change. Thus, Ireland is one of the few countries globally where a person can declare their true gender without medical or state intervention. In line with these legal developments, the purpose of this policy is to ensure that members of our staff who wish recognition of their gender identity are facilitated to do so in a manner that respects their human rights and dignity.

This Policy applies to all staff within all departments/units of the University, both academic and support, including campus companies and research centres. These are all hereinafter collectively referred to as the ‘University’.

The University respects the human rights and dignity of all the members of University community. As a place where all members of the community are welcomed and valued equally, the University is committed to ensuring that all in our community can participate freely and fully in the life of the University regardless of their gender identity or gender expression.

Consequently, the University

  • Supports an inclusive environment of dignity and respect whereby everyone can develop their full potential free of discrimination. The University does not tolerate harassment, bullying, or discrimination of any member of the University community on the basis of gender identity and expression. Any such incidents will be dealt with under the procedures outlined in the University’s Policy to Promote Respect and Dignity by Preventing Harassment or Bullying.     
  • Respects the privacy of all our University community members and will not reveal information related to an individual’s gender identity or status without their prior agreement;
  • Supports an environment in which all individuals who choose to be open about their gender identity feel respected, safe, welcome and included in our University community;
  • Supports and is committed to provide reasonable accommodations for any University community member that is undergoing social or medical transition;
  • Facilitates all University community members and alumni that seek to update their personal records to match their gender identity and expression by providing clear and easily accessible guidelines for all related processes while ensuring confidentiality throughout; 
  • Encourages and facilitates staff training and awareness to ensure a supportive and accepting environment that will foster a culture of University community diversity and equality;
  • Is committed to removing unnecessary gender distinction within our University;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of this policy in relation to gender identity and gender expression in line with best practice;
  • Take all reasonable steps to provide appropriate support to ensure that gender identity and gender expression is respected and create an inclusive environment free from discrimination;
  • Provide supports for members of our University community in the area of gender identity and gender expression;
  • Ensure training in relation to gender identity and expression is provided for key members of our University community;
  • Promote and raise awareness around gender identity and gender expression within our University community; and
  • Ensure that policy is monitored and reviewed on a periodic basis.

Employee Rights

All employees have a right to:

  • Be treated with fairness, dignity and respect and to be able to express their gender identity freely;
  • Privacy and confidentiality; 
  • Equal access to employment, education, training and promotional opportunities, services, activities and facilities in the University;
  • Reasonable and appropriate arrangements and accommodations; and
  • Access to facilities appropriate to their gender identity.

Employee Responsibilities

An employee beginning the transitioning process should to be prepared to work with the relevant University authorities in order to clearly establish what their needs may be. As a starting point, the individual should contact in confidence their immediate supervisor / manager, the Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Unit or a Human Resources representative, and be prepared to speak about their intentions, needs and concerns.

It is DCU’s aim to apply a policy that meets best practice and, more importantly, the needs of our staff who identify as being transgender.

In such a scenario, an employee has a responsibility to:

  • Inform the Line Manager or Human Resources of any support needs as soon as possible to allow appropriate arrangements to be put in place in a timely fashion;
  • Provide as much notice as possible if time off is required for medical needs;
  • If records are to be changed, request this in a timely manner;
  • Ensure that appropriate documentation (to facilitate records changing) are submitted as required;
  • In order to respect confidentiality, be clear as to who is to be informed around their gender identity or gender expression; &
  • Follow the guidelines to support this policy as referred to in the ‘Related Documentation’ section below. 

Management Responsibilities

In the event that a manager is informed by an employee of their wish to avail of University supports in relation to their gender identity transition the following general steps will be taken:

  • Meet with the individual to discuss their needs and provide supports;
  • Inform the individual of their rights and responsibilities;
  • Inform the individual of the supports available internally;
  • With the permission of the individual liaise with the appropriate colleagues in Diversity and Inclusion and Human Resources to ensure that the full suite of supports can be provided;
  • Discuss with the individual on how (if applicable) they wish to communicate their gender transition to colleagues;
  • Explore with the individual whether any further supports are necessary;
  • Regularly review and communicate with the individual to ensure the necessary supports are being provided and work with the individual to put a confidential transition plan in place; &
  • At all times respect the privacy, confidentiality and sensitivity of this matter with the individual.

Confidential Transition Plan

The University is aware that there are different elements of transition such as social, legal and medical transition. It can be helpful to draw up a confidential plan to be formulated by both the employee and the relevant Line Manager for the period of transition and thereafter. The implementation of this plan will be reviewed periodically and reassessed at each significant part of the process. The plan will include the following, where applicable:

  • The expected point or phase of change of name or other personal details;
  • Who will need to be informed initially, and the level of information to be provided, in order to offer support and arrangements during the transition process;
  • Whether the staff member wishes to inform line managers, co-workers and students themselves, or would prefer this to be done for them; &
  • What amendments will be required to records and systems.

For detailed definitions and relevant terms related to this policy, please refer to the ‘DCU LGBTQ+ Terminology’ document referred to in the Related Documentation section below.

Further clarifications of this policy can be obtained from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit, (Email: equalitydiversityinclusion@dcu.ie).

This policy will be reviewed at 5-year intervals.

Document Name

Staff Gender Identity Policy

Unit Owner

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Unit

Version Reference

Version 1.1

Approved by

Executive

Effective Date

April 17th 2020