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1 in 5 workplaces do not have any policies to support LGBT staff – TUC poll

New TUC poll reveals widespread lack of support for LGBT people at work

  • Only 1 in 8 employers monitor their LGBT pay gap  
  • And only 1 in 3 companies who have LGBT policies have updated them in the last 12 months 

One in five (21%) workplaces told the TUC they do not have any policies in place to support their lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) staff at work, according to a new poll published today (Thursday). 

The poll of around 1,000 HR managers – run for the TUC by YouGov and published today on the first day of the TUC’s annual LGBT+ conference – also found: 

  • Bullying and harassment: Only half (51%) of managers surveyed told the TUC they have a policy prohibiting discrimination, bullying and harassment against LGBT workers in their workplace. Less than half (47%) said they have a clear reporting route for workers to raise concerns about discrimination, bullying and harassment against LGBT workers – even though one in seven (15%) managers have responded to bullying, harassment or discrimination against one or more LGBT workers. 
  • Trans workers: Just one in four (25%) managers said that they have a policy setting out support for trans (including non-binary) workers who wish to transition to live as another gender. 
  • Family-friendly working: Less than half (47%) of HR managers told the TUC that they have family policies (such as adoption, maternity, paternity and shared parental leave policies) that apply equally to LGBT workers. 

Of those HR managers whose workplaces that have LGBT policies in place, only around one in three (34%) have reviewed those policies in the last 12 months. 

More than one in four (28%) can’t remember when they last looked at them. 

LGBT pay gap 

The most recent research suggests there is a 16% LGBT pay gap, meaning LGBT workers are effectively paid £6,703 less per year. 

But the new poll revealed that only one in eight (13%) of the workplaces the TUC spoke to currently monitor the pay gap between LGBT workers' pay and non-LGBT workers’ pay. 

So, the TUC says it is unsurprising that only one in five (20%) managers said that they have a LGBT action plan to address inequalities identified through monitoring exercises. 

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people deserve to feel safe and to be respected at work.  

“But it’s shocking so many workplaces don’t have specific policies in place to support their LGBT staff. 

“Without these policies, too many LGBT workers experience bullying, harassment and discrimination at work. 

“A step change is long overdue. Ministers must introduce a new duty on employers to protect all workers from harassment by customers and clients. 

“And government should also introduce a statutory requirement for large employers to report on their LGBT pay gaps – in the same way they do their gender pay gaps – with action plans detailing how bosses will address these inequalities.” 

Government action needed 

The TUC is calling on the government to introduce a range of measures to support LGBT people at work, including: 

  1. LGBT pay gap reporting: Ministers should introduce a statutory requirement for large employers to report their LGBT pay gaps and employment rates – with regular monitoring and action plans detailing how employers will address these inequalities. Polling suggests that the LGBT pay gap is around 16%. 

  1. Protection from workplace bullying and harassment: The government must consult with unions on a strategy to make sure workplaces are safe for all LGBT people. As a minimum, the government should introduce a new duty on employers to protect workers from harassment by customers and clients. 

Editors note

  • YouGov poll: All figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,001 HR decision makers in British businesses. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9-23 June 2022. The survey was carried out online. For more information please visit: https://yougov.co.uk/ 
  • TUC LGBT+ conference: The TUC LGBT+ conference 2022 will be held in London today (Thursday 30 June) and Friday 1 July. Activists will meet to form cutting-edge LGBT equalities policy for the trade union movement. Key themes will include marking 50 years of Pride, closing the LGBT pay gap, and ending homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the workplace. The conference will hear from leading activists and figures including Dr Lady Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, founder of UK Black Pride, Andrew Lumsden, veteran of the Gay Liberation Front and London’s first ever Pride March, and Stuart Milk, of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Nadia Whittome MP will also be speaking at the event. 
  • LGBT pay gap: YouGov polling found a 16% LGBT pay gap, meaning that LGBT workers took home £6,703 less per year. For more details please visit: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019/07/02/lgbt-employees-paid-less-than-straight-pay-gap/ 
  • About the TUC: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 
Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/1-5-workplaces-do-not-have-any-policies-support-lgbt-staff-tuc-poll

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