Gender reassignment procedures are increasingly being offered as an employee benefit, it has been revealed.
Both Facebook and Netflix now offer employees the chance to claim the cost of treatments such as hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery on their health insurance.
Gender reassignment resources
The companies are part of the Corporate Equality Index, run by the Human Rights Campaign in the US, which rates employers who provide at least one transgender-inclusive healthcare plan.
The index shows that the number of companies offering such procedures has increased from 49 in 2009, to 418 in 2015.
It says: “Businesses large and small have removed transgender exclusions from their health insurance contracts and modified clinical guidelines to provide health insurance coverage for mental health counselling, hormone therapy, medical visits, surgical procedures and other treatments related to gender transition or sex reassignment.”
Speaking to news channel Bloomberg, Jody Herman, a researcher from the University of California, said that only around one in 10,000 to 20,000 employees would use the coverage each year, but that average claim costs were around £20,000. A full transition could cost more than £100,000.
James Baron, professor of human resources at the Yale School of Management added: “It becomes a bit of a rat race as to who can out-commit whom. Committing to this form of equality allows a company to put another arrow in its quiver without terribly profound cost implications.”
Both Netflix and Facebook have hit the headlines in recent months for their workplace policies.
Netflix announced this summer that it would offer unlimited shared parental leave for up to a year, while Facebook has offered to fund egg freezing for female employees who want to delay having children.