Supported by the University’s Behaviour Policy, we recognise the rights of our people of diverse sexuality and gender identities to live and work free of prejudice and discrimination, with all the essential freedoms enjoyed by other members of our university community and the broader population. Fostering a genuinely inclusive environment affords all our staff a sense of belonging and an equal chance of success whether it be through study or work.
Under the values and principles of the University’s People Strategy, all continuing and fixed term staff can access 30 days paid leave to support them in defining their gender or undergo a gender transition. The mechanism to apply for this leave is submitted as special leave request (“other paid leave”) through MyHR. We recognise the need to a specific leave entitlement under clause 65 of the Staff Agreement so this will be addressed in the next renegotiation of the Staff Agreement where it will be formally classified as a separate leave option for persons undergoing gender transition/affirmation.
Further, this paid leave is supported by the following guidance which aims to provide security and clarity about employment support options for University of Tasmania staff undergoing gender transition/ affirmation:
‘Transgender’ is a word that covers a diverse range of people whose common experience is that their inner sense of gender is different to the sex they were assigned at birth.
An individual’s affirmed gender is the gender that matches their gender identity, rather than the gender they were assigned at birth. Often transgender individuals will feel more comfortable, confident, or able to be their true selves when they are able to express themselves as their affirmed gender. Transitioning is the process an individual goes through when they to begin to live as their affirmed gender, rather than that assigned to them at birth.
Staff are encouraged to speak to their Head of School or Institute, or to the Chief People Officer about accessing Gender Transition/ Affirmation leave support options available to them at the University. People and Wellbeing Business Partners located within each College and Division are also available to assist discussing gender transition/affirmation leave and ensuring appropriate support mechanisms are put in place. This includes support for staff with:
- Legal and preferred name change and pronouns
- Updating gender, title, and email records
- New ID card
- Communication with the manager or colleagues about the staff member’s gender transition/ affirmation
- Returning to work considerations and flexible working arrangements
- Gender affirmation leave: up to 10 days paid leave
- Additional paid or unpaid special leave (staff)
- University counselling and support services.
Gender transition/ affirmation awareness training can also be arranged for the staff member’s immediate team to promote and support an inclusive work environment during and after the gender transition/ affirmation, with the agreement of the individual.
There are also several relevant and useful internal University and external resources that you may wish to access here.
The University provides a range of leave to assist staff undergoing a gender transition/ affirmation as set out in the Staff Intranet ‘Manage Your Leave’ Page, including:
- Gender Transition/ Affirmation Leave: All continuing and fixed term staff who are undergoing a gender transition or require time to define their gender can access up to 30 days, to be used at the staff member’s discretion.
- This can be requested via MyHR Employee Self Service which there is a leave category for paid ‘Gender Affirmation’ leave.
- The 30 days leave is not calculated on a pro-rata basis.
- The leave allocation is additional to, and may be taken in conjunction with, other types of leave to which the staff member is entitled.
- No medical note will be required to support the application for this additional leave
- If the application for this leave is declined by the line manager, consistent with the approach taken in respect of cultural leave, it can be escalated for consideration by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
- Special Leave (paid or unpaid): Staff experiencing difficult personal circumstances may be eligible for special leave as outlined in Clause 64 of the University of Tasmania Staff Agreement.
The University will not tolerate discrimination based on gender identity and complaints of discrimination will be managed according to the Disputes Resolution Procedure in the University of Tasmania Staff Agreement, and the University’s Behaviour Policy.
Our University community members who wish to raise a concern or make a complaint about inappropriate behaviour are asked to contact the Safe and Fair Community Unit. This dedicated unit has been established to receive reports of inappropriate behaviour (from staff and students) and will engage with relevant personnel (including People and Wellbeing team as appropriate) to resolve a matter. You may contact the Safe and Fair Community Unit on (03) 6226 2560 or via email at SaFC@utas.edu.au. Matters are dealt with confidentially and sensitively.
For more information regarding our community values and behavioural expectations of the University:
Where a staff member requests that gender information on their personal record be amended or it is necessary to verify their gender to confirm identity or determine eligibility for a service or an entitlement, the University recognises any one of the following as sufficient evidence of the person’s affirmed gender:
- a statement from a registered medical practitioner or a registered psychologist.
- a valid Australian government travel document, such as a current passport, that specifies their affirmed gender.
- an amended state or territory birth certificate that specifies their affirmed gender.
- a state or territory gender recognition certificate, or
- a ‘recognised details certificate’ showing that a state or territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages has accepted a change of sex.
Affirmed Gender: an individuals’ gender self-identification, rather than the gender that was assumed based on the sex they were assigned at birth.
Gender: refers to a person's sense of being as male, female, or somewhere in between or neither.
Gender affirmation: the process of adopting a gender that best defines the person regardless of their sex assigned at birth. This process may include social, medical, and/or legal transition and may be undertaken in any order over a short or long period of time.
Transgender or Trans: a person who identifies their gender as different to that assigned at birth. A trans person might identify as male or female, or as non-binary (and relate to terms such as gender fluid, gender queer, bigender, etc). Some women might use terms such as trans woman or Male-to-Female (MtF) and some men might use terms such as trans man or Female-to-Male (FtM) to describe their lived experience. Additionally, Indigenous trans women might identify as Sistergirl, and Indigenous trans men as Brotherboy.