Amazon UK releases new guidelines on pronouns and uniforms for transgender staff

Online retail giant Amazon UK has released a set of new guidelines to teach all employees how to support their transgender colleagues.

The guidelines and associated toolkit will teach Amazon employees about the use of appropriate pronouns for trans staff, as well as confirming that transgender people are allowed to use the bathrooms and uniforms that match their gender identity.

At the launch of the guidelines on Thursday, Amazon said they will also include support for transgender employees wishing to change their official records and photo in order to help make their transition at work as simple as possible.

Amazon said that they hoped that the new guidance and toolkit will help remove any confusion or concerns that cisgender employees may have with the help of a glossary and extensive question and answer section. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (David Ryder/Getty Images)

Amazon also has confirmed that the benefits they provide will help cover transition-related services, including gender confirmation surgery.

With the launch of the toolkit, Amazon highlighted recent research from Stonewall that found that over a quarter of transgender people have felt forced to change jobs due to transphobic harassment and bullying.

The research also found that 42 percent of transgender people surveyed are not able to live permanently as their gender due to fears that it could affect their job.

Many transgender people are not out at work (Creative Commons)

The toolkit and guidance were created with support from Amazon’s LGBTQ employee group glamazon.

Luca Sale, chair of glamazon UK, said that the new toolkit will be beneficial to all staff.

Sale said: “Being whole and authentic at work allows everyone to focus on bringing great value to our customers as well as retaining the great talent we hire.

“Becoming your real self should be a bureaucracy-free journey and Amazon is facilitating it by providing easy-to-follow guidelines as well as health benefits that include gender reassignment surgery.

“Our transgender employees, their peers and their managers have now the ability to consult the Toolkit before, during and after the transitioning process removing any uncertainty about what to do or say.”

Amazon’s ‘Transparent’ themed float at LA Pride in 2015 (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

The new guidance brings Amazon UK in line with similar policies already in place in the United States, which will eventually be rolled out in more countries.

Michael, an Amazon employee who is currently transitioning, supported the new guidelines and toolkit.

Michael said: “It provides comprehensive resources to answer some of the more common questions around names, pronouns and policies without my colleagues needing to worry about whether or not they were allowed to ask particular questions.

“This outward flow of information made it easy for them to understand the changes and how they would affect them without doubt and ambiguity, at their own pace.”

Participants celebrate with Amazon at Pride (Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

Simon Johnson, Director of Media at Amazon, praised the new guidelines and toolkit for the safety they could bring to trans staff.

Johnson said: “We have hundreds of millions of customers who benefit from diversity of thought and strongly believe a variety of backgrounds, ideas, and points of view is the best way to invent on behalf of our customers.

“Diversity and inclusion is good for our business and our customers, and transgender employees are an important part of our team.

“We hope with the new guidelines and support, every employee feels even more safe, valued and able to succeed based on the skills and contribution they bring to the business.”

In May, Amazon was criticised by anti-LGBT activists after it blocked a listed hate group from taking part in a charity scheme.