One of the largest federal government departments has become the first federal institution in Canada to draft a guide to accommodating transgender employees.
Public Services and Procurement Canada was to unveil the guide today at a gathering of employees in Gatineau, Que., across the river from the Parliament buildings, during an event carried live on Facebook.
CBC News obtained a document outlining the new Support for Trans Employees: A Guide for Employees and Managers, through an Access to Information request.
The guide is a resource for managers that is a “one-stop place where we can provide everything you needed to know with bit of direction,” Donna Achimov, assistant deputy minister of the human resources branch, said in an interview with CBC News.
The guide describes practices designed to assist employees who have transitioned or are in the process of doing so.
It also touches on how much information employees should share after they’ve completed the transition and are ready to return to work.
Setting out roles and responsibilities
Such an approach would have helped Kate Hart, a transgender woman who helped the department develop the guide, in large part by sharing her personal story and the challenges she faced working for another arm of government back in 2008, Passport Canada.
Hart, with the help of her union, used what she calls a “top-down” approach in which the union contacted the Passport Canada’s CEO, who then worked with lower-level managers to make her return to work as smooth as possible.
“We spent six months figuring out how we were going to do this because there was nothing in the human resources guidelines,” she said in an interview with CBC News, recalling the length of time it took to devise a strategy.