Recognising that each transition is unique and driven by the individual, the new policy provides a wide range of support for colleagues about to transition, those currently transitioning and those who have already transitioned.
Support measures introduced by Danske Bank include three days leave to attend medical appointments and an additional 10 days leave to address matters relating to their transition, in line with the bank’s Special Leave policy, and a flexible dress code.
The bank acknowledges that although transitioning is a positive experience for many, it can be challenging for others, so colleagues will also have access to counselling and mental health support through Benenden, the bank’s healthcare benefit provider.
The comprehensive document also includes practical guidance for trans employees on recruitment, change of identity processes, and the bank’s anti-discrimination policy.
Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank, said:
“We want all our colleagues to be themselves, and to create a working environment in which nobody should be forced to hide behind a mask.
“Only when colleagues feel truly connected to their organisation can they reach their full potential, so as the next stage in this journey we wanted to support colleagues who don’t identify with societal gender norms. Our new policy aims to reassure colleagues that we recognise that every individual’s journey is different and that we will support them, alongside seeking to create a culture of understanding among all our employees and people leaders.”
Support measures also include the introduction of a detailed support guide explaining key terms, developed with input from the bank’s Rainbow Network and from Stonewall.
Danielle Harper, from Danske Bank’s Rainbow Network, said:
“This is a huge milestone for us. The Rainbow Network, along with many other colleagues, felt it was important to listen, and to develop a specific policy that ensures trans colleagues feel supported and validated in the workplace. I’m so proud to have been involved and to work for an organisation that is committed to providing a truly supportive environment for trans colleagues, creating a culture in which they can thrive.”
Kerry Phillips, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at Danske Bank, added:
“Sex and gender are two separate concepts that are often used interchangeably. For some people, there is a difference in the sex that they were assigned at birth and their gender identity – their personal sense of having a particular gender. For us, it’s simply about prioritising human dignity and individuality and doing the right thing by supporting colleagues through any steps they may take to transition.”