EY recommends starting with a heat-map to assess what may be acceptable approaches to LGBT+ inclusion in local contexts, and checking these periodically to be sure that nothing has changed in locations.
The Trans Legal Mapping Report (2017) showed that many countries are changing legislation to improve the working experience for trans persons. However, legal recognition of the reassigned, acquired, or preferred gender of a person may be treated inconsistently. For example, name changes may be possible, but gender markers on identity documents (birth certificate, identity cards) may not be possible or may be restrictive (requiring surgical reassignment or other validations). This can make it challenging for trans persons to obtain travel documents, open bank accounts, and gain visas and access to services in foreign countries.
In countries where same-sex marriage and relations are legal, and gender recognition is less restrictive, it does not necessarily mean that anti-discrimination protections exist for LBGT+ across employment, housing, healthcare, and services, or that local social and cultural views are accepting.
Definitions of ‘family’ in host countries add to the complexity, particularly for non-nuclear families and LGBT+. This affects visa eligibility, tax treatment, health insurance benefits and cultural belonging at social events.
Across Asia-Pacific, some markets are undergoing significant societal shifts. Support for LGBT+ inside organisations is maturing (or is in the process of being established). Japan’s First Lady Akie Abe marched in Tokyo’s Rainbow Pride Parade in 2014, and the Australian public voted for marriage equality in 2017 with a significant ‘yes’ majority. India decriminalised homosexuality in September 2018.
Supporting successful assignments for LGBT+
Across Asia-Pacific, several progressive organisations are actively seeking ways to ensure their LGBT+ expatriates ultimately have a successful assignment experience - professionally and personally. These organisations are doing three things to support their LGBT+ expatriates and expatriate talent pools:
1. Developing LGBT+ inclusive policies