A major new study has revealed that discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation is still very much a problem.
More than 5,000 LGBT+ people in the UK took part in a new survey by the TUC, which found that 36% of LGBT+ workers revealed that they have been harassed or bullied at work.
The survey found that 39% of LGBT+ people have faced discrimination and harassment from a colleague, while 29% of LGBT+ employees faced it from a manager and 14% by a client or patient.
As for LGBT+ people being out in the workplace, only half (51%) are open about their sexuality to all of their colleagues.
That falls to 36% for young people, while 27% of bisexual people said they hide their sexuality at work.
More concerning, however, is that 30% of trans people asked said that they had their trans status disclosed to fellow employees against their will.
“Britain is fast becoming a more equal and accepting country,” said TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady.
“But it’s shocking that in 2017 so many lesbian, gay, bi and trans people around the UK still experience discrimination and harassment at work just because of their sexuality or because they are trans.
“Let’s be clear – homophobia and transphobia at work is undermining, humiliating and can have a huge effect on mental health. LGBT workers are often left feeling ashamed and frightened. It has no place in a modern workplace, or in wider society.
“Employers must be clear that they have a zero tolerance attitude to harassment of their LGBT staff – and stand ready to treat any complaint seriously.
“Many unions have a network for LGBT staff – and reps who are ready to stand up for LGBT workers facing harassment and discrimination. So if you’re worried about what’s going on in your workplace, you should join a union.”
In response to the findings of their survey, TUC are calling on the UK government to ban zero-hours contracts in order to reduce the risk of bosses being able to withdraw hours from anyone who complains.
They also want employment tribunal fees abolished, as they make it much harder for LGBT+ who have suffered discrimination or harassment to get justice.
What’s more, they want employers to promote LGBT-inclusive equality training in all industries and professions, as well as making sex education in schools LGBT-inclusive to ensure homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are addressed as early as possible.