24/09/2015 06:57 BST | Updated 24/09/2015 07:59 BST

Netflix And Facebook Offer Gender Reassignment Surgery To Employees

Employees at Netflix and Facebook are among the latest workers to be offered gender reassignment procedures as part of their benefit packages, it has emerged.

The firms are part of a Corporate Equality Index rating employers that provide at least one transgender-inclusive healthcare coverage plan.

The list was compiled by Washington NGO the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which points out the number of companies offering the procedures has increased from 49 in 2009 to a record 418 in 2015.

Netflix has been added to the growing list of companies offering gender reassignment procedures to staff

The HRC writes: "Since 2004, the HRC Foundation has asked employers whether they offer transgender health benefits without exclusion as part of its annual Corporate Equality Index survey. 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 counseling, hormone therapy, medical visits, surgical procedures and other treatments related to gender transition or sex reassignment."

While the news is positive for the LGBT community, some experts have pointed out very few employees will actually use the benefits, thus making the company appear inclusive with little financial burden.

James Baron, a professor who studies human resources at the Yale School of Management, told Bloomberg: “It becomes a bit of a rat race as to who can out-commit whom [with diversity initiatives].

“Committing to this form of equality allows a company to put another arrow in its quiver without terribly profound cost implications.”

Jody Herman, who researches law and public policy related to gender identity at the University of California told the channel around only around one in 10,000 to 20,000 employees typically uses gender transition coverage per year, with an average claim cost of $29,929.