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Gender changes protected against gender discrimination

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Legal news
calendar 14 June 2024
globus Sweden

On 25 April 2024, the Swedish parliament introduced changes to the anti-discrimination rules. The new rules protect anyone who intends to or has changed their legal gender or undergone gender reassignment surgery covered by the rules.

A reform of the rules on gender changes will enter into force on 1 July 2025. The rules allow people to change their gender from the one registered in the population register. In the rules’ current form, it is the oldest of its kind in the world, and it has been pointed out that other Nordic countries have made similar changes to their rules.

Due to the reform, the Parliament has also introduced changes to the anti-discrimination rules. Discrimination based on gender is extended to anyone who intends to or has changed their gender legally . Likewise, the protection also extends to anyone who intends to or has undergone gender reassignment surgery covered by the rules.

IUNO’s opinion

Changes to gender identity rules and anti-discrimination have been sweeping over the Nordics and the rest of Europe. Notably, in 2017, the European Court of Justice found that requiring someone to change gender through surgery to legally change gender was unlawful. While the changes to the rules on gender changes are introduced to bring the rules in line with the latest case law, the changes to the anti-discrimination rules introduces new rights and obligations.

IUNO recommends that companies consider protected groups when making decisions affecting employment terms and conditions. Companies should review their documents and policies to ensure they are gender-neutral and avoid direct or indirect discrimination. Recruitment, compensation and benefits and terminations are some examples of decisions that can result in compensation claims. Also, access to gender neutral workplace facilities, such as restrooms, should be accessible to all employees.

[Act on the amendment of the Anti-Discrimination Act (2008:567)]

A reform of the rules on gender changes will enter into force on 1 July 2025. The rules allow people to change their gender from the one registered in the population register. In the rules’ current form, it is the oldest of its kind in the world, and it has been pointed out that other Nordic countries have made similar changes to their rules.

Due to the reform, the Parliament has also introduced changes to the anti-discrimination rules. Discrimination based on gender is extended to anyone who intends to or has changed their gender legally . Likewise, the protection also extends to anyone who intends to or has undergone gender reassignment surgery covered by the rules.

IUNO’s opinion

Changes to gender identity rules and anti-discrimination have been sweeping over the Nordics and the rest of Europe. Notably, in 2017, the European Court of Justice found that requiring someone to change gender through surgery to legally change gender was unlawful. While the changes to the rules on gender changes are introduced to bring the rules in line with the latest case law, the changes to the anti-discrimination rules introduces new rights and obligations.

IUNO recommends that companies consider protected groups when making decisions affecting employment terms and conditions. Companies should review their documents and policies to ensure they are gender-neutral and avoid direct or indirect discrimination. Recruitment, compensation and benefits and terminations are some examples of decisions that can result in compensation claims. Also, access to gender neutral workplace facilities, such as restrooms, should be accessible to all employees.

[Act on the amendment of the Anti-Discrimination Act (2008:567)]

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

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