Government should show more pride in LGBT+ people
The NUJ has signed a TUC letter taking the government to task over its inaction to address the inequality experienced by the LGBT+ community who face discrimination at work.
The letter, signed by Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, and Ann Galpin, co-chair of TUC Disabled Workers' Committee to Liz Truss, women and equalities minister, says:
“We were dismayed that you have jettisoned the 2018 LGBT Action Plan, which was based on evidence from more than 100,000 LGBT+ people. And we were disappointed at the decision to disband the LGBT Advisory Panel.
“Nearly two in five LGBT workers have been harassed or discriminated against by a colleague. A quarter have been discriminated against by their manager, and around one in seven by a client or patient. That rises to nearly half of all trans workers experiencing bullying or harassment at work. Seven in ten LGBT workers have experienced sexual harassment – and one in eight LBT women have experienced sexual assault or rape at work.
“We urge you to consult with unions on a strategy to make sure workplaces are safe for all LGBT+ people.”
The letter calls on the minister to:
- Introduce a new duty on employers to protect workers from harassment by customers and clients.
- Create a specific duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.
- Reinstate employment tribunals’ powers to make wider recommendations to employers, to root our systemic failings and cultures of bullying and harassment.
- Recruit a new LGBT Advisory Panel, with a clear mandate and trade union representation.
Natasha Hirst, chair of the NUJ’s Equality Council, said:
"Nobody should experience harassment or discrimination at work. Sadly, this isn't the case for far too many LGBT+ workers. Challenging discrimination is not simply an act of solidarity but also demonstrates a recognition that the discrimination of any group of people harms everybody. The NUJ backs the call build a safe and inclusive society for LGBT+ people."