In a recent Gazette Notification dated 13th July, 2020, the Ministry has issued the Draft Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 (“Draft Rules”) inviting comments and suggestions within 12th August, 2020.
Comments and suggestions may be addressed to the Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi – 110001.
The Draft Rules will become effective on its final publication in the Official Gazette.
Key Highlights of the Draft Rules:
A. Obligations of establishments-
1. In line with Section 3 and Section 9 of the Act which prohibit any form of discrimination towards transgender persons, the Draft Rules propose to impose the following obligations on establishments which they have to comply with in order to implement the provisions of the Act.
2. Every establishment has to implement all measures to ensure non-discrimination against any transgender person in any matter relating to employment which also includes infrastructure adjustments, recruitment, promotion and other related issues.
3. Equal Opportunity Policy for transgender persons.
a. Every establishment has to publish an Equal Opportunity Policy for transgender persons.
b. The establishments must display the Equal Opportunity Policy, preferably on their website, failing which, at conspicuous places in their premises.
c. The Equal Opportunity Policy of a private establishments should, amongst other details, contain the following information –
• infrastructural facilities (such as unisex toilets), measures put in for safety and security (transportation and guards) and amenities (such as hygiene products) to be provided to the transgender persons so as to enable them to effectively discharge their duties in the establishment.
• applicability of all rules and regulations of the company regarding service conditions of employees;
• details of the complaint officers.
[The Draft Rules define “discrimination” as any distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of gender identity and expression which has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal basis with others, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field and includes all forms of discrimination, including denial of reasonable accommodation;]
B. Grievance redressal-
a. Section 11 of the Act mandates every establishment to designate a person as a complaint officer to deal with the complaints relating to violation of the provisions of this Act. Now, the Draft Rules propose to confer the duty upon the appropriate Government to ensure that every establishment designates a complaint officer.
b. Further, it is also the duty of the appropriate Government to ensure that the establishment appoints a complaint officer within 30 days from when the Draft Rules are enforced.
c. The complaint officer has to act upon the complaints received within two days from the date of receipt of such complaints. However, if the set timelines are not met, it is the duty of the head of the establishment to take action in all such cases.
d. The appropriate Government will also be required to set up a grievance redressal mechanism, operating through a helpline and outreach centres, for enforcing the provisions of the Rules within 1 year.
C. The Draft Rules also prescribes the formats for the following-
a. Application by a transgender person desirous of obtaining a certificate of identity.
b. Certificate declaring the gender identity of the person which will be issued by the District Magistrate
c. Transgender identity card which will be issued by the District Magistrate