Security update - April 2023
An update on everything new within the Security and Protective Services sector.
SIA Searching Requirements in relation to single-sex and transgender individuals
Further to the update provided last month, where we advised that SIA had withdrawn their publication ‘SIA Trans customers: A guide for door supervisors’, we have received the following update from the SIA:
“For the delivery of training in relation to conducting searches on single-sex and transgender individuals, there is an expectation that professional trainers source the most up to date guidance and practice and deliver training accordingly.
Please find the high-level guidance in relation to conducting searches on single-sex and transgender individuals below:
- Conducting searches on single-sex and transgender individuals
- Guidance on conducting a search is available in paragraphs 13.57-13.60 on pages 197 to 198 of the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance (PDF | 945 KB)
Due to historical legal challenges, we [the SIA] have agreed this approach with the EHRC and as a result, any concerns about searching an individual should be raised directly with the EHRC.”
For ease please find paragraphs 13.57 - 13.60 below:
Gender reassignment discrimination and separate and single-sex services
13.57 - If a service provider provides single- or separate sex services for women and men, or provides services differently to women and men, they should treat transsexual people according to the gender role in which they present. However, the Act does permit the service provider to provide a different service or exclude a person from the service who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or who has undergone gender reassignment. This will only be lawful where the exclusion is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
13.58 - The intention is to ensure that the transsexual person is treated in a way that best meets their needs. Service providers need to be aware that transsexual people may need access to services relating to their birth sex which are otherwise provided only to people of that sex. For example, a transsexual man may need access to breast screening or gynaecological services. In order to protect the privacy of all users, it is recommended that the service provider should discuss with any transsexual service users the best way to enable them to have access to the service.
Example: A clothes shop has separate changing areas for male and female customers to try on garments in cubicles. The shop concludes that it would not be appropriate or necessary to exclude a transsexual woman from the female changing room as privacy and decency of all users can be assured by the provision of separate cubicles.
13.59 - Service providers should be aware that where a transsexual person is visually and for all practical purposes indistinguishable from a non-transsexual person of that gender, they should normally be treated according to their acquired gender, unless there are strong reasons to the contrary.
13.60 - As stated at the beginning of this chapter, any exception to the prohibition of discrimination must be applied as restrictively as possible and the denial of a service to a transsexual person should only occur in exceptional circumstances. A service provider can have a policy on provision of the service to transsexual users but should apply this policy on a case-by-case basis in order to determine whether the exclusion of a transsexual person is proportionate in the individual circumstances. Service providers will need to balance the need of the transsexual person for the service and the detriment to them if they are denied access, against the needs of other service users and any detriment that may affect them if the transsexual person has access to the service. To do this will often require discussion with service users (maintaining confidentiality for the transsexual service user). Care should be taken in each case to avoid a decision based on ignorance or prejudice. Also, the provider will need to show that a less discriminatory way to achieve the objective was not available.
Centre Details to the SIA
A reminder that we have been asked to confirm up-to-date centre contact details for the SIA. This information will be used to populate the 'Search for a Training Provider' facility on the SIA website. All current listings on the SIA website will be removed, so if you wish to appear on the Training Provider list on the SIA website please ensure you complete this form by 30 April, 2023: Centre Details to the SIA | Form