In light of Stonewall’s recent employer’s survey, Wrigley Claydon have decided to look at equality in the workplace, and specifically at LGBT rights in the workplace, about which both employers and employees need to be aware.
The law is set out in the Equality Act 2010, which establishes 4 types of discrimination:
1. Direct Discrimination happens when a person is treated worse than another in a similar situation. For example, an employee who is dismissed after mentioning that she has a girlfriend.
2. Indirect Discrimination happens where an employer creates a discriminatory policy across the organisation which disadvantages employees who are LGBT. For example, giving company cars to married couples, but excluding civil partners.
3. Harassment involves harassing or making jokes about LGBT colleagues. Jokes can be innocuous or deliberate, but both can constitute harassment.
4. Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated badly because of having made a complaint relating to sexual discrimination. It can occur to an associate of an LGBT colleague.
Equality in the Workplace – How employers should act
Here are top tips:
1. Do not tolerate abuse of LGBT staff by customers or employees;
2. Ensure there are no company policies that would indirectly discriminate against LGBT employees.
3. Do take seriously any complaints LGBT staff may have. Make sure to deal with any bullying from other employees as a matter of priority.
4. Do not disclose a person’s sexuality without their express consent.
Equality in the Workplace – What can employees do
Here are some suggestions:
1. Firstly try to resolve the matter with the people who are bullying you. If they joke about you, ask them politely to stop.
2. If your colleagues are more sinister, talk to your supervisor immediately. If you are afraid, take a colleague with you.
3. If the matter does not improve, raise it with a senior manager.
4. If discrimination persists, consider taking legal action against your employer.
If you are concerned about Equality in the Workplace, whether you are an employer or and employee, please contact our Oldham employment solicitors for some initial advice. We would be happy to assist you at any stage step of your journey.
Please get in touch with our Employment department directly on 0161 785 3529 or email John Porter email@example.com or Soibilate Iketubosin firstname.lastname@example.org
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