written by Anonymous

I couldn’t see any signposting for managers that they should be aware of sex as a protected characteristic or of the right in law to single sex spaces being in potential conflict with the desire to allow trans identified individuals to use toilets for the opposite sex. There was no suggestion that this should be subject to any kind of balancing act. 


I work for the Ministry of Justice and following their withdrawal from the Stonewall Champions Scheme I decided to take a look at MoJ Equality and Diversity Policies to see if they had been misrepresenting the law as was suggested in press reports and the University of Essex report. The reason given for withdrawal was ‘cost effectiveness’. The MoJ has been ranked 5th in the Stonewall Equality Index. 

I had already noticed a fudging of what the protected characteristics actually are in Civil Service Learning courses implying for example that ‘gender identity’ is a protected characteristic and using the word ‘gender’ when the legal term is ‘sex’. 

The first thing that stood out was the lack of much information on sex equality. There is a ‘Gender Network’ with very sparse information and no mention of ‘women’ or the issues that women are likely to face as hurdles to a career, and so far as I could see no link to a Sex Equality Policy or even a ‘Gender’ Equality Policy. 

There is however, a Gender Identity and Intersex Policy and Guidance: 

“MoJ treats individuals in the gender that is right for them regardless of whether or not they have a GRC” 

“All individuals have the right to express their gender identity and present in their affirmed gender at work this could mean: 

[Inter Alia] Using any appropriate single sex toilets and other facilities.” 

This is reiterated in the: 

Supporting Transgender, Intersex and Non-Binary Staff Toolkit

“All individuals have the right to express their gender identity and present in their affirmed gender at work this may mean: 

[Inter Alia] Using any appropriate single sex toilets and other facilities.” 

There is also the: Transgender, Intersex and Non-Binary Policy 

“The Civil Service does not require a person to have a GRC to have their GI recognised at work” 

“Part of gender transition is living in the gender with which a person identifies. This includes using the facilities they feel are right for them, such as toilets and changing rooms.” 

“Having a flexible expression that differs from day to day” 

“It is assumed that the individual knows which facilities are the best match for their GI and expression. Some transgender, NB and intersex individuals may feel most comfortable using gender neutral facilities where present but this is a matter of personal choice” 

Example: a trans man who has recently transitioned…makes the decision to use a gender neutral toilet until he feels more comfortable using the male toilets. He should not be asked to use gender neutral facilities; this is completely his choice.” 

Probably not a coincidence that the example given is a transman using the male toilets rather than a transwomen using the female ones. 

I couldn’t see any signposting for managers that they should be aware of sex as a protected characteristic or of the right in law to single sex spaces being in potential conflict with the desire to allow trans identified individuals to use toilets for the opposite sex. There was no suggestion that this should be subject to any kind of balancing act. 

I am also unaware of any consultation on effectively making facilities, where privacy is an issue, mixed sex. 

Yet another guidance document: Gender Identity and Intersex Support

Recruitment Guidance: The GRA 2004 and GRC holders: Aug 2019 

“Although not covered by the GRA it is good practice to treat a transgender applicant who does not hold a GRC in the same way as an applicant who does” 

I am not aware of whether any consideration has been given to how this might affect the data on the representation of for example, women at senior levels. 

I have also seen signs that there will be a move away from discussion of ‘protected characteristics’ in equality training towards a new concept of ‘belonging’. Whether this is to enable the continuation of Stonewall ideology now that they have been outed as misrepresenting the law, by ignoring protected characteristics altogether or by at least burying them in the odd legal document remains to be seen. 

6 thoughts on “Ministry of Justice employee

  1. Richard Collumbell says:

    I too work for the MoJ. At some point I’m looking into setting up some kind of staff forum for people who are concerned about the sexist and homophobic implications of implementing policies based on Gender identity politics.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. la scapigliata says:

      That sounds like a great idea Richard. I would just say that in some other institutions, employees are being persecuted if they resist these policies so I would advise caution. Obviously, I don’t know whether MoJ is more democratic, plus Maya Forstater judgement has established that it is not legal to discriminate against employees for their gender critical beliefs. All these policies are not in accordance with UK law, which doesn’t allow self-ID and it requires single-sex facilities to be provided, so the sooner the institutions can bring these policies in line with the law, the better. Best of luck!

      Like

    2. Melissa Martin says:

      “Although not covered by the GRA, ie legal, it is good practice to treat a transgender applicant who does not hold a GRC in the same way as an applicant who does, ie illegally ”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fredro says:

    Extending the protected status beyond GRC holders looks like trying to be nice but – if sex remains a protected category that protection is necessarily violated by this voluntary “going beyond” for non-GRC holders. I’m staggered lawyers didn’t pick up that one. Or didn’t want to…
    If you are female they have simply sacrificed you for the greater progressive prerogative.There is an irreducible conflict of rights between women and “transwomen” and all authority is trying to avoid admitting it since they would be forced to publicly admit it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. la scapigliata says:

      Could not agree more, well said! There are twitter threads by lawyers from circa 2017/2018 that report on indoctrination sessions in Chambers, where typically an AGP male who was a part of some Stonewall or Marmaids “education session” is invited to gaslight lawyers and they would typically not be allowed to question or object to the BS these people spouted about “no conflict of rights” and “bigotry”. It took some years to terrify professionals – medics, lawyers, teachers etc” into complying with this nightmarish nonsense.

      Like

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