Experiencing hate at work

Many LGBT people face discrimination in the workplace because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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 and gender identity may be seen as a barrier to promotion or recognition of achievements. In some cases LGBT people avoid certain careers where they think they will experience hate.

Nobody is suggesting that LGBT 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 LGBT 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 hate of all kinds is made clear in all appropriate policies.

If you’re an employee and are dealing with biphobia, homophobia and transphobia 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 LGBT employees group?