Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (229)

Joan Burton

Question:

229. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has prepared written guidelines for staff and the public on dealing with transgender matters; if they are published; if staff have received training in respect of this; if his Department is participating in or making a submission regarding the review being undertaken in respect of the operation of the Gender Recognition Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7564/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department has not published guidelines for staff or the public specifically relating to transgender matters and my Department is not participating in the review of the Act.

All staff in my Department are obliged to treat their colleagues and members of the public with dignity and respect in accordance with the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. The Code, which is signed by all staff,  provides for non-discrimination under the nine specified grounds, as stated in the Equality Act 2004, which includes gender.

Under the Department's Customer Service Charter, staff in my Department are made aware of the requirement to treat all staff and customers with respect and courtesy. In addition, the Department is committed to the Dignity at Work Policy for the Civil Service which aims to promote respect, dignity, safety, and equality in the workplace.

Dignity at Work training is rolled out to staff of my  Department on a regular basis. In addition, all new staff entering the Department, attend induction training which includes information on customer service and dignity at work policies.

Since it came into operation, no issues relating to the Gender Recognition Act have been brought to the Department's attention by staff, managers or any representative bodies or trade unions. In the event of an issue being brought to my Department's attention, staff in the customer service and human resources areas will treat such issues in accordance with the Act.