Transgender community to get equal opportunity in jobs

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on July 14, 2020

A file picture of members of the Transgender community attending a training programme for para-legal volunteers in Mumbai   -  Vivek Bendre

Centre publishes an updated draft of ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020’

As part of the draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 — an updated version of an earlier draft released in April this year — the government has proposed giving equal opportunity in employment to transgender community.

The new draft — part of gazette notification dated July 13 — envisages that every establishment shall implement all measures to ensure non-discrimination against any transgender person in any matter relating to employment including, but not limited to, infrastructure adjustments, recruitment, promotion and other related issues. The government has sought comments from stakeholders within the next 30 days.

The draft rules mandate every establishment to publish an equal opportunity policy for transgender persons which will be displayed on its website or at visible places within its premises. The policy will contain details of infrastructural facilities (such as unisex toilets), measures put in for safety and security (transportation and guards) and amenities (such as hygiene products) to be provided to the transgender persons to enable them to effectively discharge their duties.

It will also have applicability of all rules and regulations of the company regarding service conditions of employees and details of the complaint officers.

It also talks about adequate steps to be taken by the government to prohibit discrimination against transgender in any government or private organisation or establishment, including in the areas of education, employment, healthcare, public transportation, participation in public life, sports, leisure and recreation and opportunity to hold public or private office.

For inclusive development

Neelam Jain, Founder & CEO of PeriFerry , a Chennai-based social start-up for driving workplace LGBTQI+ inclusion, said the government has started working with organisations like hers to implement skilling programmes. “Even Tweet Foundation and other NGOs associated with trans community have been utilising the scheme to upskill and prepare the community for jobs,” she said.

Pravin Agarwala, Co-founder & CEO of Bengaluru-based Betterplace, Digital Trust Platform for Blue Collar, felt that the government has to ensure that all the policies are in place to enable this much-needed inclusive development.

“I think there is a lot of emphasis on creating the right infrastructure, upskilling of people, encouraging them to be part of organised sector,” he said.

On the issue of job openings, Jain said Corporate India has opened up quite a bit to offer inclusive job opportunities at various levels. In fact, till date PeriFerry has placed 160+ trans persons in corporate jobs. However, Agarwala thinks there is some hesitation even now.

The organisations have to ensure that the right culture is developed so that there is no discrimination. “On the other hand, having worked with 1,000+ companies, my perspective is that they would be willing to take this as an opportunity, provided they get the skilled people. I am sure they will learn and manage the internal culture,” he said.

Lohit Bhatia, President, Indian Staffing Federation, said that in the recent past, companies, especially in ITeS and IT, have been open about hiring transgenders in their employee base and have shown readiness, particularly on roles where the person is working in an office environment and can be provided the comfort and facilities that be needed.

Societal changes and younger generations being more open and accepting will allow more frontline roles to be offered to transgenders.

The Census for the first time in 2011, collected data of Transgenders with details related to their employment, literacy and caste. According to the 2011 Census, the Transgender population in the country was around 4.88 lakh, though experts say it is much higher.

Published on July 14, 2020

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