Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans
It is a basic human right to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. A persons sexuality or gender identity should not determine whether they are employed, promoted, selected for redundancy - nor indeed should they be the brunt of discriminatory jokes.
We are committed to:
- securing equal opportunities policies which include sexual orientation and gender identity
- ensuring that workplace procedures dealing with discrimination and harassment cover sexual orientation and gender identity
- ensuring that employment benefits and agreements, such as pensions and family leave arrangements include same sex couples
- supporting lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans people in the workplace and in the union.
You do not need to be out at work to join the network, but you must identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans. See the terms of reference for the networks on the main equalities page.
LGBT equality at work
The TUC has published a guide for union reps on how to combat homophobia in the workplace. The guide, LGBT Equality at Work, provides legal tips for tackling harassment at work and practical advice on how unions can best represent their LGBT members. Guidance is also provided on a range of issues from challenging unacceptable behaviour and language to ensuring that LGBT workers who are posted to hostile countries are fully protected by their employers.
LGB & T workers and mental health
This is a new TUC guide for trade union reps about mental health issues and how lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people can be affected in the workplace. It reveals that mental health issues can be even more challenging for LGBT people than the rest of the population. This has a huge bearing on LGBT people in the workplace – the employment rate for all those with mental health problems is only 10 per cent – and the TUC guide explores the reality of the situation, why problems arise, and how best union reps can respond.
'Staying Alive': The impact of 'Austerity Cuts' on the LGBT Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) in England and Wales
"Staying Alive" is a TUC Funded Research Report by London Metropolitan University. In the context of the austerity cuts the LGBT VCS has been affected by changes in the levels of local government funding, and by welfare, health service and education reform. The cuts and reforms are ongoing and the full impacts have not yet been felt.
As LGBT service organisations have historically needed to rely on a relatively high level of public/statutory funding and support from such bodies they are particularly vulnerable when such cuts and reforms are being enforced.
Despite the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 and changing social attitudes, discrimination still affects LGBT people in England and Wales. Thus demand for LGBT services is still high and in some cases rising.
Equality in survivor pensions
Prospect is backing a call from the Trades Union Congress for ministers to remove one of the last legal hurdles to equality for same-sex couples. Surviving civil partners and same-sex couples are often left thousands of pounds worse off than a widow would be when their partner passes away.
Although civil partners and same-sex spouses now have the right to claim a survivor pension from a defined benefit pension scheme, it only applies from 2005 onwards and contributions before this date don’t count.
The TUC estimates that there are about 70,000 members of defined benefit pension schemes in the private sector alone who would leave behind a surviving civil partner or same-sex spouse. About one in four schemes do not treat same-sex survivors equally to widows. The government’s own review shows that the costs of equalising would be negligible for most schemes.
The TUC is urging people to sign a petition, hosted by All Out, calling on the government to ensure that pension schemes give widowers, same-sex couples and civil partners equal survivor pensions.
You can read more on the TUC's Touchstone blogs:
LGBT history month
Prospect supports LGBT History Month which takes place in February every year. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. The focus for 2016 is Religion, Belief and Philosophy - See Equality Briefing No 039 for further detail.. Prospect has adapted our equality poster for LGBT History Month.
International LGBT solidarity: a Trade Union Charter
The TUC Charter on international LGBT solidarity spells out the duty of unions to support LGBT people facing oppression across the world, and explains the principles on which it must be based. The Charter has been endorsed by the International TUC.
a:gender is the support group for all staff in government departments/agencies who have changed, or need to change permanently their perceived gender or who identify as intersex. They have produced "The Workplace and Gender Reassignment - a guide for staff and managers" which contains invaluable advice and guidance and which can be transposed to other workplaces, not just the civil service.
Tackling homophobia in football
The TUC is encouraging trade unions to collectively challenge the prejudice faced by many LGBT people in football and wider sport. The Tackling Homophobia in Football toolkit encourages engagement with the local clubs, supporters groups and county football associations which are vital to contribute towards removing the barriers faced by many in society.
The TUC recommend that this initiative is primarily designed for use by TU groups and not individuals. If any individual wishes to engage with the club we recommend approaching supporters groups, some of whom have specific LGBT sections, or if not, can look to create one specifically.
Responsibility for overseeing anti-discrimination legislation on behalf of LGBT people lies with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Prospect has sponsored UK Black Pride (UKBP) events which brings together diverse communities of LGBT people.
Prospect works closely with our sister union's LGBT network: PCS Proud.
Stonewall is the national campaigning group working for legal equality and social justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. It was formed in 1988 and since then has fought to put equality on the mainstream political agenda.
Press For Change: a campaigning organisation for trans people.
The Gender Trust: a registered UK charity offering support services to those concerned about gender identity.
Where will you celebrate Pride this year? Let us know if you would like any resources (flags, leaflets) and send us pictures to celebrate Prospect's commitment to Pride.
Equality briefings and resources
Equality Briefings provide advice and guidance on a range of equalities issues and a Briefing has been produced with links to Prospect's resources for equality, including our guides, posters and leaflets etc.