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Judgment of Taylor vs Jaguar Land Rover case is a significant step for non-binary rights

Rachel Badham December 6, 2020

The judgement of the Ms Taylor versus the Jaguar Land Rover corporation was published this week, detailing the landmark ruling which saw Ms Taylor claim workplace discrimination on the basis of their non-binary identity, with the hope it will lead to a national increase in protections from discrimination for gender diverse people. Ms Taylor, who previously identified as a man, had worked at Jaguar Land Rover as an engineer for 20 years. They later found they identified as gender-fluid and began to dress in women’s clothing at work, leading to constant insults and harassment from colleagues, who said they were ‘not normal’. 

Ms Taylor claimed discrimination on the ground of gender reassignment, but the case was taken to court when Jaguar Land Rover argued that gender-fluid/non-binary identities did not fall within the definition of gender reassignment. Ms Taylor’s case was successful as the tribunal found there was “no doubt” they fell under the definition of gender reassignment, adding: “We thought it was very clear that Parliament intended gender reassignment to be a spectrum moving away from birth sex, and that a person could be at any point on that spectrum.”

The review of the case also discussed the implications for non-binary workers, saying: “Those with varied gender identities may feel encouraged that they should now be protected from discrimination in the workplace.” It also emphasised the importance of anti-discrimination policies and practises in UK workplaces, saying: “it is important that employment practices are not only updated in line with today’s standards around equality and inclusion but are also actively brought to the attention of their workforce.”

Oscar Davies, the non-binary lawyer who co-published the review of the case, also tweeted about the implications of the judgement and gave pointers on how workplaces should be dealing with discrimination, saying: “A person’s gender in the workplace should not be patholigised”, and that the Ms Taylor versus Jaguar Land Rover case has demonstrated a lack of corporate attention to LGBTQ+ discrimination has negative consequences for the employee and employer.

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