Adam Penman Discusses Implications Around Gender-Critical Beliefs

September 7, 2021

McGuireWoods London associate Adam Penman authored an Aug. 19, 2021, article for People Management magazine outlining implications for businesses whose employees hold gender-critical beliefs, in light of a recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling on gender discrimination.

Penman’s article — titled “What Employers Should Be Aware of as the Gender Debate Evolves”— described the EAT’s judgment as a victory for Maya Forstater, whose contract with the Centre for Global Development was not renewed because of a series of tweets expressing her gender-critical views.

In its ruling, the EAT noted that gender-critical beliefs are a form of speech protected under the Equality Act 2010, which could have implications for employers looking to police speech in the workplace.

“Holding such beliefs is separate from acting on them and accordingly, gender critical views may be tolerated in workplaces,” Penman wrote.

He added that it remains to be seen whether such views would always be considered consistent with the principle that philosophical beliefs are worthy of respect in a democratic society.