Sexual orientation and gender identity equality

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Model policy

Sexual orientation and gender identity equality

This statement has been jointly agreed by management and the trade unions, who are equally committed to its implementation.

1. (Name of employer) recognises and values the diversity of its workforce.

  • We are committed to creating an environment where the sexual orientation and gender identity of all workers and service users are respected, and where all are afforded dignity and equal rights.

  • We also recognise and value the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people themselves, who are of every age, race, nationality, religion, disability, occupation, and family situation.

2. (Name of employer) recognises the existence of discrimination and prejudice

  • We recognise that false assumptions, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping are widespread in society and that to achieve our aim, we must take steps to actively promote equality and combat prejudice, discrimination and harassment.

  • We will not make assumptions about people’s sexual orientation, gender identity, relationships or caring responsibilities.

  • We will not discriminate either directly or indirectly against job applicants or workers on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, including in recruitment, selection, promotion, training, pay, conditions, leave or benefits.

  • We will not discriminate either directly or indirectly on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in the delivery of our services.

  • We will not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital/civil partnership status in the provision of family benefits or facilities for job applicants, workers or service users

  • We will not tolerate prejudice or harassment.

  • We will take seriously and investigate any complaints of discrimination or harassment, using the agreed procedures and respecting confidentiality.

3. (Name of employer) recognises the need to take positive steps to promote equality and tackle discrimination

  • We will work with the trade unions to take positive action to redress past and present discrimination, both individual and institutional. All policies, procedures and practices will be regularly reviewed in consultation with the trade unions, for their impact on equality on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Our literature, language, publicity and images will reflect the diversity of the workforce, including LGBT members

  • We will work to provide services accessible and appropriate to the diversity of LGBT service users.

  • We will consult LGBT workers and service users on steps to equality.

4. (Name of employer) recognises people’s right to be open about their sexual orientation/transgender identity and their right to keep this confidential

  • We aim to provide a supportive environment for LGBT workers and service users who wish it to be known they are LGBT and respect the confidentiality of those who do not.

  • We recognise that to out someone without their permission is a form of harassment and we will treat it as such.

  • We recognise that this has implications for record keeping, for how some rights can be accessed and for how complaints of discrimination are reported and investigated.

  • We will support workers undergoing gender reassignment and work with them and their trade union representative to agree a process for this in the workplace.

  • We will ensure that workers are treated in all respects as the gender in which they live.

5. (Name of employer) is committed to effective implementation and monitoring of steps to equality

  • We will publicise this statement widely and include it in our equality strategy and equality action plan.

  • We will work with the trade unions to monitor and report on progress in achieving our aims.

  • We will establish clear lines of responsibility and accountability and make sure they are well publicised.

  • We will include these equality issues in existing training programmes, and run specific training where necessary.

  • We recognise that effective implementation requires the full participation of the trade unions.

  • We will make clear to contracting companies and external agencies that they are expected to demonstrate compliance with our equalities policies.

Explanation of terms

Sexual orientation - orientation towards persons of the same sex, the opposite sex or both sexes; in common language - lesbian/gay, straight or bisexual

Gender identity – the gender a person identifies with. People’s gender identity does not necessarily conform to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Transgender person - someone whose own gender identity does not conform to the sex they were assigned at birth

Gender reassignment – the process of transitioning from the gender assigned at birth to the gender the person identifies with. This may or may not involve medical / surgical procedures

To come out/be out - to be open about your own sexual orientation or gender history

To ‘out’ someone - to reveal another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity/gender history without their consent.

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