Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (307)

Joan Burton


307. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht 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. [7565/18]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department is not nominated to participate in the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 being carried out at present by my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection. While staff of my Department are trained to deliver an appropriate level of customer service, written guidelines, for staff or the public, in dealing with transgender matters have not been prepared.

All staff in my Department are, of course, 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. In addition, my 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.

Since it came into operation, no issues relating to the Gender Recognition Act 2015 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 it will be treated in accordance with the Act.