On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, today, May 17, government released Guidelines to Support Trans and Gender Variant Employees for government workers, making Nova Scotia the first provincial public service in Canada to do so.
The guidelines provide clarity on how trans and gender variant employees are supported and included in the workplace. Government is launching the guidelines to help build a safe, diverse, respectful and inclusive work environment.
“These guidelines will help make our workplaces more inclusive for trans people,” said Maddi MacDonald, co-chair of government’s LGBTI Network. “They are a step toward addressing assumptions that all people are male or female, which marginalizes and excludes trans people.
“Making our public service more inclusive of trans and gender variant people will benefit both employees and the Nova Scotians we serve.”
The guidelines support trans and gender variant employees being able to access spaces and experience their work environment in ways that affirm their gender identity based on how they self-identify.
Areas addressed by the guidelines include:
— safety, inclusion, and access to washroom and change room facilities
— work assignments and workplace inclusion
— use of an employee’s identified name and pronoun
— being able to wear clothing that reflects one’s gender identity
— respect and protection for employee confidentiality with respect to gender identity
“Government is committed to providing a workplace that values diversity and is free from discrimination,” said Public Service Commission Minister Labi Kousoulis. “We are removing barriers to employment and workplace inclusion for marginalized groups and creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive workplace.
“We’re very proud that Nova Scotia is a leader among provincial and territorial governments in increasing awareness of diverse gender identities and gender expressions in the workplace.”
This winter, the Public Service Commission conducted a workforce census that indicated about one per cent of Nova Scotia government employees identify as trans or gender variant.
The guidelines are part of government’s Respectful Workplace Policy. To view the guidelines, visit http://novascotia.ca/psc/employeeCentre/diverseWorkforce/policies.asp.