Trans Equality Policy Statement

The term transgender or trans is used here as an umbrella term which incorporates a broad range of people whose gender identity or gender expression is not typically associated with their assigned sex at birth, this includes those who identify as non-binary, agender, gender queer, gender fluid or any other self-identified term.

USW is committed to celebrating the diversity of its staff, students, partners and visitors. Our Trans Equality Policy Statement outlines our commitment to promoting equality on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. These pages provide guidance and sources of support.

There are several laws that protect the rights of trans people and are relevant to all staff, students and visitors at USW, these include:

  • The Equality Act 2010, which ensures trans people can study and work at USW free from discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation and are able to have the same opportunities as their cisgender peers. Discrimination is also applicable to policies, procedures and practices and, therefore, we have a duty to ensure our processes do not disadvantage someone on the basis of their gender identity.  The Equality and Human Rights Commission EHRC gives detailed information and guidance relating to the Equality Act and gender identity discrimination.
  • The Gender Recognition Act 2004 covers all four countries of the UK and allows trans people to apply to the gender recognition panel to seek full legal recognition of their self-identified gender. Crucially, the Gender Recognition Act gives trans people privacy rights. Anyone who acquires information that a person is trans or has a trans history in an official capacity (in the course of their job, for instance) is liable to criminal proceedings if they pass that information to a third party without the permission of the individual. For example, this could be as a staff member in relation to a student. Stonewall explains the Gender Recognition Act and why it now appears outdated and needs to be reformed.
  • The Human Rights Act 1998 is relevant to everyone but certain articles are particularly relevant including:  Article 8 the right to a private life (which also means personal information should be kept securely and not shared without the permission of the individual concerned) and Article 3 (the right to freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment). Information about each article in the Human Rights Act is available from EHRC.

University of South Wales Trans Equality Policy Statement

The University of South Wales celebrates and values the diversity of its University community. It values the unique contribution of all students and staff, whatever their gender identity or gender expression, and is committed to treating all employees and students with dignity and respect. The University of South Wales (USW) will at no time discriminate against people on the grounds of their gender identity or gender expression.

This policy statement refers to ‘trans people’, and by this term, it has in mind a broad range of people whose gender identity or gender expression is not typically associated with their assigned sex at birth. This includes those who have non-binary, agender or gender fluid identities.

USW celebrates and values the diversity of its workforce, and believes that the University will benefit from employing trans people at all levels of responsibility, thus hoping to provide diverse role models for students who identify as trans.

USW will treat all employees, students, visitors and prospective employees and students with respect, and seeks to provide a positive working and learning environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

USW undertakes to ensure the following:

  • Students will not be denied access to courses, progression to other courses, or fair and equal treatment whilst on courses because of their gender identity or expression, or because they propose to, are in the process of, or have already transitioned.
  • The University will put policies and processes in place to ensure that requests to change name, title and gender on records will be handled promptly and the individual involved will be made aware of any implications of the changes.
  • We will work towards ensuring the curriculum does not rely on or reinforce stereotypical assumptions about trans people, and that it contains material that represents trans people and trans lives.
  • Staff will not be excluded from employment or promotion or be redeployed against their wishes because of their gender identity or expression. Redeployment may be required in exceptionally rare circumstances where gender is relevant as an occupational requirement in compliance with exceptions laid out in the Equality Act 2010. In these circumstances, USW would work within the Redeployment Policy and support would be provided for the employee throughout the process.
  • Transphobic abuse, harassment, bullying or victimisation (including but not limited to name-calling, deadnaming, intentional misgendering, derogatory jokes, unacceptable or unwanted behaviour, and intrusive questions) are disciplinary offences and will be investigated under the Dignity at Work Policy and/or Dignity at Study Policy/Student Conduct Regulations. This includes unacceptable behaviour towards someone who is perceived to be trans, whether or not they actually identify as trans, and unacceptable behaviour towards someone who is associated with someone who is trans (e.g. partner, child, friend etc.).
  • Transphobic hate speech, in the form of written materials, graffiti, music, speeches, social media or any other media, will not be tolerated. USW undertakes to remove any such hate speech whenever it appears on the premises or on University social media accounts.
  • USW will provide a supportive environment for staff and students who wish their trans status to be known and respect the right of the individual to choose whether they wish to be open about their gender identity, trans status or trans history, and with whom. To ‘out’ someone, whether staff or student, without their permission is a form of harassment. USW will respect the confidentiality of all trans staff and students and will not reveal information without the prior agreement of the individual. Disclosure of information relating to gender identity without the individual’s consent would only take place in exceptionally rare circumstances, for example, if the university were required to disclose something to the police because the individual’s or someone else’s life is at risk. In such instances information relating to a person’s gender history or trans identity would still only be disclosed if it were relevant to the situation.
  • USW will include gender identity matters in equality training provided for staff.
  • Gender-neutral facilities will be factored into the design of any new building and work will be undertaken to develop gender-neutral facilities on all campuses in existing buildings.
  • USW welcomes and, where possible, will provide appropriate facilities to support any trans student and staff groups wishing to meet, such as meeting rooms on USW campuses.
  • USW will include gender identity as an equality monitoring question in internal staff and student satisfaction surveys and will monitor complaints related to trans equality.
  • In providing accommodation for students, any concerns or issues raised by trans people will be handled by Accommodation Services and will be treated fairly and in line with USW’s obligations under the Equality Act.
  • Staff and students undergoing medical treatments and surgical procedures related to gender reassignment will receive support from USW to meet their particular needs during this period.
  • USW recognises that trans people come from diverse backgrounds, and will strive to ensure that staff and students do not face discrimination on the grounds of their gender identity or expression, or in relation to other aspects of their identity, for example, their age, disability, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. In addition, assumptions will not be made about the gender of partners of trans staff or students.
  • USW will ensure its environment, in terms of its pictures, images, publicity materials and literature, reflects the diversity of its staff and students.
  • USW will ensure communication with any staff member or individual student uses the individual's identified name, title and pronouns. USW will also use gender-neutral language in University-wide (including staff-wide or student-wide) communications.
  • This policy statement is supported by guidance, which sets out further information about implementation of these commitments and provides additional advice for staff and students. Which is within this section on the Hub and UniLife.