Although LGBT+ workers are protected by law from discrimination, harassment and bullying, a recent report published by the TUC shows that despite the progress of recent decades, many LGBT+ workers continue to find the workplace a negative or harmful environment.
The TUC interviewed 16 employees across several sectors, and whilst the employees did believe that there had been progress, their expectations of employers were low. The employees considered themselves to be fortunate when basic legal standards were met. The report notes that recruitment is a particular concern for LGBT+ workers with several of the employees stating that they would definitely hide their identity when applying for a new role. The report also found there was a general consensus that trans and non-binary employees currently face the greatest challenges in work. Many of those interviewed felt that progress on trans inclusion in the workplace was going backwards. Some believed that the toxic narrative in the media contributed towards their experiences at work.
Whilst the TUC note that many employers have inclusive workplace policies, the report states that this is not enough. The report states that acts of harm are very likely to go unreported as they believe very little will be done. Furthermore, many of the interviewees described discriminatory and bullying experiences such as being repeatedly misgendered and being outed by their work colleagues.
In summary, the TUC report recommends that employers should focus on creating an inclusive culture at work and that managers should set behavioural expectations for everyone and should aim to ensure that they actively and consciously create an inclusive environment for their employees.
If you are an employer and require advice on workplace inclusion policies, please contact Morgan LaRoche’s Employment Team.