IKEA gives transgender staff paid leave to change gender

Persons who want to change gender can take a total of 24 weeks of leave for medical and non-medical treatment over a period of ten years, FNV said. They will then continue to be paid and will not have to call in sick or take special leave.

Some of the IKEA employees asked for leave for gender reassignment, says FNV director Daniëlle Wiek. “In the Netherlands, many collective labor agreements are still aimed at the traditional male-female ratio.”

Do not exclude

According to Wiek, the union also wants other collective agreements to become more inclusive in the future. “We are becoming more and more aware that the male-female relationship is by no means complete. It is a pity that we still exclude a lot of people in this way,” she says.

The new collective labor agreement will run from October 1 this year to August 31 next year. Employees will also receive a wage increase of 40 cents per hour and the opportunity to work more hours.

Role model

In 2018, Amsterdam was ahead of its time: at the time, the municipality decided that civil servants who wanted to change their gender could take paid leave. In doing so, the municipality wanted to be a role model for other organisations.

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