Last reviewed 23 November 2021

The Government’s LGBT Business Champion, Iain Anderson, recently hosted an event in Manchester to discuss inclusion in the workplace with businesses and charities.

The second in a series of events organised by Mr Anderson, this was also attended by the Minister for Equalities, Mike Freer, and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT Rights, Lord Herbert of South Downs.

Part of the role of the LGBT Business Champion is to gather evidence of good practice and what works when it comes to improving workplace inclusivity. The evidence gathered will then help shape future recommendations that Mr Anderson will make to businesses.

The latest event is part of this process, with representatives from a range of organisations on hand to discuss how they make sure their workplace is inclusive for LGBT people. Mr Anderson highlighted research which suggests that LGBT people face high levels of bullying, harassment and conflict in the workplace.

Around a quarter (23%) of respondents to the National LGBT Survey 2017, who were in employment, reported that they had experienced a negative or mixed reaction from others in the workplace due to being LGBT.

Mr Freer said: “Everybody must be free to be themselves in all aspects of life. We are here to support businesses to foster an open and accepting culture so all staff feel empowered, regardless of their background, sexual orientation or anything else. We are also aware that we have a lot to learn from business.”

Lord Herbert said that the Government wants business to play a key role in the UK’s first Global LGBT Conference — “Safe to Be Me” — which will be taking place in June next year.

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Businesses must pro-actively implement measures to ensure the workplace is inclusive for all staff. A zero-tolerance stance against any bullying or harassing behaviours can be supported by effective training and robust policies and procedures.

Affected individuals should be aware of the process for raising a grievance which should then be fully investigated and appropriate action taken.

Organisations can further enhance their company culture by creating an environment of openness and inclusivity through celebrating LGBT events, such as Pride Week, and partnering with local LGBT charities.