Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (286)

Joan Burton


286. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her 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 her 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 she will make a statement on the matter. [7568/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

As the Deputy will be aware, I launched a review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 last November. The group established to review the Act is chaired by Ms Moninne Griffith and is comprised of members of support and advocacy organisations, other independent experts in the field, as well as representatives of Government bodies with an interest in this area. My Department is represented on the Review Group and provides the secretariat to the group. The closing date for written submissions to the Group was 5th February 2018 and given its representation on the Group my Department did not make a written submission.

The areas within the Department which have had the most contact with transgender customers are Client Identity Services for the issue of Gender Recognition Certificates and the General Registers Office in relation to issuing a new birth certificate from the register of gender recognition. Contact by transgender customers is with a small team of experienced and sensitive staff members who deal with these applications in a confidential and supportive manner. The staff have been praised by the transgender community for the sensitive and efficient way in which applications are processed and handled.

Guidance to be put in place for staff in my department regarding transgender matters and their engagement with customers will reflect the sensitive nature of the individual's situation and best practice in terms of customer service delivery.

Central guidance is a matter for the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Civil Service.