Linklaters enhances employee medical benefits to include gender reassignment

Linklaters has enhanced the firm’s Private Medical Insurance Scheme to include gender reassignment surgery.

The move is in support of people with gender dysphoria, a medical condition where a person experiences discomfort and distress from a mismatch between their biological sex assigned at birth and their gender identity.

The new benefit, effective from 1 March 2019 and provided by AXA PPP healthcare, forms part of the firm’s strategy to create a diverse and inclusive environment in which transgender colleagues feel supported.

AXA will pre-authorise the surgery in line with NHS protocols which requires the individual seeking treatment to be under the care of an NHS Gender Identity Clinic. The Clinic will provide robust mental health support from specialists in dealing with gender dysphoria including counselling and speech therapy.

As part of its ongoing support, the firm launched a Transition at Work Toolkit in 2016 with guidance from external trans-inclusion specialists. The Toolkit provides practical guidance to support transgender staff during their preparation for, and following, their transition.

Patrick McCann, Global Head of Learning and LGBT Committee representative at Linklaters, said: “This step reflects the firm’s commitment to be best in class for diversity and inclusion in the legal sector, supporting our people as their employer, whatever their journey may be. The new benefit highlights the value we place on creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels comfortable and that they belong.”

Linklaters efforts to support the trans community extends beyond making progress internally. Last year the firm was also one of 13 organisations to be named a launch partner for Stonewall’s newly created Trans Ally Programme, aimed at fighting discrimination that trans and non-binary people face around the world.