Accor Pacific has introduced a new gender transitioning policy to better support its transgender, nonbinary, takatāpui, and gender diverse employees through gender identity and affirmation at work, this Trans Awareness Week (November 13-20).

The gender affirmation support plan includes up to 20 days’ paid leave and up to 12 months’ unpaid leave for full-time employees (pro-rata for part-time and casual), the ability for employees to choose the uniform that best represents them, change of names and pronouns in Accor systems, and additional training for managers and colleagues where required.

Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, said it’s about celebrating all gender identities and providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for everyone.

“Everybody has the right to be themselves at work and, most importantly, to feel safe in their workplace,” she said.

“Accor strives to support all team members so they can achieve their highest potential – this is why we are committed to constantly improving the workplace for our teams.

“Part of this is ensuring we have a gender affirmation policy, along with increasing of parental leave, and family and domestic violence leave.”

While employees are not required to discuss their gender identity at work, those who choose to be openly gender diverse and/or seek gender affirmation in the workplace will be offered appropriate, sensitive and informed advice and support.

Further support is also available through Accor’s peer-led Pride Network, which promotes a LGBTIQA+ inclusive culture, offers networking events and learning opportunities, and offers advice on the needs of LGBTIQA+ team members.

“This gender affirmation policy is an inspiring step forward for Accor Pacific,” said Wendy-Jane, an employee of Accor’s Christchurch hotels.

“As an older trans person, I am proud to be able to be myself at work and it gives me hope that younger transitioning employees will get the support and acceptance they need to be the real deal themselves.”

Accor has also previously provided education for employees on the use of pronouns and formed a partnership with New Zealand organisation Pride Pledge to provide further training and resources.

It’s the latest in a series of changes to important employment policies at Accor including the expansion of paid Parental Leave to up to 10 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child, plus the contribution of superannuation during this period.

Accor’s Family and Domestic Violence Leave policy has also been updated to include up to 20 days of paid leave annually, flexible working arrangements, and emergency accommodation for up to 20 days per year.