TUC asks: how’s work?
The TUC launches a major new survey today into how lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people find working life in the UK.
Despite changes in the law that should have brought an end to discrimination and prejudice, there is evidence that LGBT people are still experiencing difficulties at work:
- In 2013 Stonewall reported that 1 in 4 (26%) LGBT employees were not at all open with colleagues about their sexual orientation. That “lumpy data” of LGBT masks that bi staff are more likely to feel the need to conceal their sexuality than gay and lesbian workers.
- More than half (53%) of trans workers have also felt the need to hide their status from colleagues, according to Totaljobs.
- And if you’re a lesbian or bisexual woman you may be at risk of sexual harassment as well as homophobic abuse. TUC research into sexual harassment found that more than half (52%) of women said they have experienced sexual harassment at work.
As a result the TUC wants to carry out a thorough investigation into the experiences of LGBT people at work, and will use the findings to:
- Campaign on the issues most affecting LGBT people in the UK right now.
- Produce training material for union reps to ensure they can best protect and represent their members.
- Help employers create a more inclusive work environment – including training for staff, getting the correct policies in place to prevent discrimination, and supporting LGBT staff if things go wrong.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We hope that this comprehensive research will let us shine a light on the range of issues faced by LGBT workers across the UK – many of whom may be experiencing bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace and have no one to turn to.
“It’s vital we understand what modern working life is like for LGBT workers, so we can challenge prejudice and have a zero-tolerance policy to homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. We know that getting these policies right makes business sense because employers retain experienced staff from all backgrounds.
“Please take part in our survey and help us campaign for a better working life for LGBT people.”
You can complete the TUC survey at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LGBTworker