UK: Linklaters becomes first Magic Circle firm to pay for staff’s gender reassignment surgery
Linklaters has become the first Magic Circle firm to offer gender reassignment surgery to staff on its private medical insurance scheme.
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 (GIC). The clinic will provide robust mental health support from specialists in dealing with gender dysphoria, including counselling and speech therapy.
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.”
The announcement is the latest in a range of steps that Linklaters has taken in recent years to support transgender people.
In 2016, the firm launched a Transition at Work Toolkit with guidance from external trans-inclusion specialists, providing practical guidance to support transgender staff during their preparation for, and following, their transition.
Last year, Linklaters was one of 13 organisations named as a launch partner for LGBT charity Stonewall’s newly-created Trans Ally Programme, aimed at fighting discrimination against trans and non-binary people.