The Equality Act prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. Human gender identity and gender expression come in a multitude of forms, and not everyone is unambiguously female or male. Gender minorities include trans people, such as transsexual, non-binary gender (transgender) and transvestite people, as well as intersex people.
Gender minorities are still often confused with sexual minorities. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under the Non-Discrimination Act. Compliance with the Equality Act is supervised by the Ombudsman for Equality and the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal, while labour protection officials (regional state administrative agencies, AVI) are in charge of monitoring discrimination in working life.
Gender minorities have been an increasingly large part of the work of the Ombudsman for Equality since 2004. The Ombudsman for Equality has actively strived to improve gender minorities' protection against discrimination and called for statutory-level regulations to improve equality for gender minorities.
The reformed Equality Act, which took effect on 1 January 2015, prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. The Act also obligates authorities, education providers and employees to prevent discrimination.
New provisions related to gender identity and gender expression were included in the Equality Act specifically to clarify and broaden the scope of the protections of gender minorities against discrimination, although it should be noted that the same provisions apply to all people and not only gender minorities. The premise behind the amendments is the idea of gender diversity and that every person has their own gender experience and way of expressing gender.
Statements on discrimination and gender diversity
Do you suspect discrimination?
- If you suspect that you have been discriminated against you can receive instructions and guidance from the Ombudsman for Equality.
- In cases of discrimination at work:
If you are a member of a trade union you should get in touch with the union steward and find out your rights.
- Guidance from the Ombudsman for Equality is free. The trade union membership fee includes the right to legal advice.
- You can also contact a legal aid council, a lawyer's office or a lawyer. You will usually be charged for legal services. Check if you have the kind of legal expenses insurance which covers your legal expenses.
If you are of limited means you may be entitled to the services of a legal aid council for free or for a reduced fee.