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Gender Reassignment

3. Gender Reassignment

Last Updated: August 2020

According to the Equality Act 2010, gender reassignment discrimination is when someone is treated differently because their gender identity is not the same as the gender assigned to them at birth. This can occur due to a one-off action, or can be caused by a rule or policy. Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful, however in some cases being treated differently due to gender reassignment is lawful – further information on these lawful exceptions can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

In order to be protected from gender reassignment discrimination, individuals are not required to have undergone gender reassignment treatment or surgery, as changing physiological or gender attributes are recognised under the Equality Act 2010. This can include changing names, pronouns, dressing differently and living in their self-identified gender. It is stated that individuals ‘can be at any stage in the transition process – from proposing to reassign your gender, to undergoing a process to reassign your gender, or having completed it.’  

Whilst the Equality Act 2010 uses the term gender reassignment, SVC recognises that the umbrella term of ‘trans’ is a more widely used term and many members of the trans community feel that gender reassignment refers to a medical process when many trans people may choose not to undergo any medical procedure. Gender identity is a term used to define a person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.  Non-binary is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’.  Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.

There are different forms of gender reassignment or gender identity discrimination including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

At SVC, we are committed to promoting and developing equality, diversity and inclusion in our actions, projects, and practices.

  1. Our Equal Opportunities 2020 policy outlines that gender identity discrimination is unlawful. Please read the policy for more information;
  2. Anyone involved in SVC is encouraged to report any form of gender identity discrimination to SVC staff, SVC Board of Trustees, or the HR department at Innovate Trust. Please read our Problem Solving Procedure 2020 for more information;
  3. According to SVC’s Annual Report 2019-2020 our volunteers were:

    79% female
    20% male
    1% non-binary/third gender

    Accordingly, SVC commits to promoting volunteering opportunities widely in order to recruit a more representative demographic of volunteers;
  4. SVC will continue to provide volunteers with the option to inform SVC if they have a trans history on the SVC volunteer application form;
  5. Please see SVC’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement and Commitments page for more commitments.  


Equality Human Rights Website (2020) Gender Reassignment. Available at:

SVC’s Policies and Procedures (2020) Equal Opportunities Policy. Available at: