The open letter addresses equalities minister Liz Truss, and calls for an urgent reset in the government’s approach to LGBT+ rights.
The open letter – signed by general secretaries representing over five million union members – criticises the government for its “inaction” on tackling discrimination and harassment faced by LGBT+ people.
The intervention follows the government’s recent decisions to scrap its LGBT+ Action Plan and to disband its LGBT+ Advisory Panel.
The union leaders say these moves have “dismayed” many in the LGBT+ community and sent out a worrying message to wider society.
TUC evidence shows that:
- 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.
- Nearly half of all trans workers have experienced bullying or harassment at work.
- Seven in ten LGBT+ workers have experienced sexual harassment at work.
The union leaders say ministers must urgently develop a new strategy in consultation with unions to make sure all workplaces are safe for LGBT+ people.
They call on the government to introduce a new duty on employers to protect workers from harassment by customers and clients, and a specific duty to protect workers from sexual harassment.
And they call for employment tribunals to have powers to make wider recommendations to employers “to root out systemic failings and cultures of bullying and harassment.”
The letter also urges Liz Truss to swiftly recruit a new LGBT+ Advisory Panel with a clear mandate and trade union representation.
You can read the letter in full, as well as the list of signatories on the TUC’s website.