The Free Speech Union is demanding the withdrawal of a ‘woke handbook’ being used by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust, prohibiting empathy for female workers worried about sharing toilets with biological males. The Mail has more.
Thousands of workers at a hospital trust in the North East have been given a woke handbook which forbids team leaders using phrases such as “I understand your concerns” to anyone who complains about the issue.
The 38-page document, which applies to more than 8,300 doctors, nurses and support staff, also says that it is discriminatory not to use a trans or non-binary person’s preferred pronoun.
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has been accused of unlawfully discriminating against employees with gender-critical views, with critics calling it “a recipe for bullying women”.
The Free Speech Union also said the policy must be withdrawn.
Under the ‘Transitioning at Work and Gender Diversity Policy’, staff are told it is transphobic to “deliberately use the name a trans colleague had prior to transition”. They are also told it is offensive to ask a trans or non-binary person questions such as “which bathrooms do you use?”
The policy tells bosses that employees who identify as a different gender should be allowed to use alternative changing rooms and showers, even if they have no plans to medically transition.
It reads: “Managers must not make supportive comments such as ‘I understand your concerns’ to staff who, for example, complain about trans or non-binary colleagues having access to gendered spaces.
“This policy applies to everyone, including applicants applying for a job, staff including agency and volunteers, services users and carers, visitors, stakeholders and any other third party organisations who work in partnership with the Trust.”
The Equality Act orders employers not to discriminate against staff on several “protected characteristics” that include religion and belief. Now campaigners have told the trust the policy must be scrapped.
In a letter to bosses at the Trust, Toby Young, Director of the Free Speech Union, said: “We are writing to request that this policy be immediately withdrawn and an urgent review undertaken.
“We are especially concerned by its insistence that female staff cannot refuse to use the same bathroom facilities as biological males and cannot express any concerns about having to do so.
“The Trust must strike a balance between protecting trans individuals from harassment and discrimination and protecting the rights of gender-critical employees.”
Worth reading in full.