Law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is now offering gender reassignment surgery as an employment benefit.
The company has become the first law firm to offer to cover part or all of the costs of gender reassignment surgery for its transgender employees.
Launched on 1 January 2018, the benefit will also provide employees access to psychological support at any time during their transition process. Those transitioning will also be eligible for time off for medical appointments and procedures.
Support will also be given to employees whose family members are transitioning.
The announcement comes as the firm launches its Global Transitioning Guidelines, a “global policy framework to support employees as they transition”. The guidelines provide practical guidance for the firm and the transitioning staff member, alongside steps to create a “transitioning support plan for individuals”.
Justin D’Agostino, Global head of disputes and regional managing partner, Asia, said, “We are a transgender inclusive workplace, and these guidelines ensure that transgender employees are treated with the same respect and understanding in every office across our global network.”
“I am proud of the commitment the firm is making to our [employees], and am grateful that we are able [to] reflect on the importance of valuing every individual as their true and whole self.”
“The transgender community faces ongoing discrimination and in launching these guidelines we are acknowledging the ongoing impact of transphobia on the everyday lives of our transgender [employees] and clients and the importance of creating a global workplace that is safe and supportive.”