Homophobia at work

Many LGB people face discrimination in the workplace because of their sexual orientation.

This can mean dealing with the prejudice of their own colleagues which can be unbearable and lead to increased absenteeism and moving jobs. Bullying and intimidation in the workplace can lead to depression, a sense of worthlessness and even thoughts of suicide.

Sexual orientation may be seen as a barrier to promotion or recognition of achievements. In some cases LGB people avoid certain careers that they think will be homophobic.

Nobody is suggesting that LGB employees should be given special or preferential treatment. Everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed and develop in their careers, regardless of sexual orientation. If you’re a business, let your customers know you welcome LGB people.

What can be done

It’s illegal for any employee to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. If you’re an employer, make sure that your policy on zero tolerance on homophobia is made clear in all appropriate policies.

If you’re an employee and are dealing with homophobia in the workplace, tell your employer immediately. 

If you want more advice contact The Lesbian & Gay Foundation on 0845 3 30 30 30 

You can also contact organisations such as ACAS*, who will advise you on the most appropriate and effective action – and what your rights are as an employee, or your obligations as an employer.

*ACAS is an organisation devoted to preventing and resolving employment disputes. www.acas.org.uk

If you’re an employer – or an employee – why not start an LGB employees group? 

Email enough@lgf.org.uk for an information pack on how to start an Enough is Enough Campaign Action Group.