LGBT equality in the workplace

Sexual orientation

To help you better understand and address the issues relating to sexual orientation in the workplace, this page provides a summary of information, tools, resources and best practice to help you create a culture and environment that welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff, allowing them to be themselves at work and to contribute fully to the wider organisation.

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council (EDC) brings people and organisations together to make sure that the health and social care system continuously improves its performance on equality, and tackles health inequalities for all who use and deliver health and care services. 

The National Information Standard for sexual orientation monitoring released by NHS Digital in October 2017 aims to better meet the needs of LGBT people through improved data collection. The new standard will also provide a mechanism for recording the sexual orientation of all patients and service users aged 16 years and over across all health services and Local Authority social care providers in England.


In 2018, Stonewall published a report with YouGov called LGBT in Britain: Health Report. The report is the latest in a series on the state-of-the-nation LGBT in Britain, which uncovers the alarmingly high rates of poor mental health experienced by lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) in Britain today. In the past year alone, half of LGBT people have experienced depression and three in five have suffered from anxiety, far exceeding estimates for the general population.

 

These findings underline the importance of the proactive work being done by committed organisations and individuals to effectively meet the needs of LGBT people. But while real progress has been made, many LGBT people – particularly trans people – still experience routine discrimination in health care settings.

 

In 2015, Stonewall published a report called Unhealthy Attitudes. The report presented a picture of life in the NHS for some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender doctors, which was not representative of the type of organisation and organisational culture that the majority of staff and leaders in the NHS aspire to.

 

Following publication of the 2015 report, the EDC set up a task and finish group to look at addressing some of the issues highlighted in the report, and to help implement some of the Stonewall's recommendations.

 

To support the work of the EDC and the task and finish group, and to share successes and learning from organisations and individuals who are leading the way on diversity and inclusion, use the links to resources below as a starting point for wider work within your organisation.  You can find more information on the sexual orientation monitoring standard on the NHS England website and information on the EDC on the NHS England website. 

Share your experiences of LGBT+Networks

LGBT+ Networks has launched a new online forum, which is part of a national research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and based at the University of York. The forum is a place for NHS staff to discuss their views and experiences of LGBT+ staff networks within their own organisations and find out how others are working.  To get involved visit LGBT+Networks and on Twitter @lgbt_networks.   

Further resources

LGBT in Britain: Health Report In 2018, Stonewall published a report with YouGov called LGBT in Britain: Health Report. The report is the latest in a series on the state of the nation LGBT in Britain, which uncovers the alarmingly high rates of poor mental health experienced by lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) in Britain today. 
Sexual Orientation Monitoring Standard (2017) The National Information Standard for sexual orientation monitoring aims to better meet the needs of LGBT people through improved data collection. The standard also provides a mechanism for recording the sexual orientation of all patients and service users aged 16 years and over across all health services and Local Authority social care providers in England.   
Sexual orientation reading list The Equality  and Human Rights Commission has produced a useful reading list.
Unhealthy Attitudes In July 2015, Stonewall published a report which found evidence of discrimination and unfair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff and patients across the health and social care sector.
Stonewall's Top 100 Employers list Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust was named Stonewall's staff performer in 2016. It was commended for its consistent work to support its LGBT staff and to communicate and consult with the local community because of its constant efforts to create inclusive workplaces. They continue to do great work to achieve an inclusive workplace, take a look at their equality  and diversity resources and guides.
  The LGBT staff forum at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust issues an LGBT newsletter updating colleagues on the group's activities and key events in the LGBT calendar.
Guessing our colleagues’ gay and lesbian identities can be harmful Anna Einarsdóttir a senior lecturer in organisational behaviour, theory and technology at the York Management School, talks about how problems can arise when identities and stereotypes are either matched or mismatched. 
The National LGB&T Partnership The National LGB&T Partnership was established in order to reduce health inequalities and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia within public services.  The partnership combines the expertise of twelve key LGBT organisations across England.
Trans Unite Trans Unite allows members of the transgender & non-binary communities to find a support group local to them (or even an online-only group). 
Stonewall - sexual orientation employer toolkit Stonewall has developed a sexual orientation employer toolkit which introduces employers to the practical steps they can take to make their workplaces more inclusive. 
LGBT  issues at work CIPD has released a series of weekly podcasts exploring the experience of LGBT people in the workplace. The series provides useful tips for HR colleagues and managers on how to create a truly inclusive culture.
UNISON  LGBT resources UNISON has a helpful resource library with information on the key issues affecting LGBT members. 

Haven't found what you're looking for?

If you can’t find something, or would like to see something added to this web page please get in touch at diversityandinclusion@nhsemployers.org

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