Employment

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Comprehensive information on the legal framework, your rights and issues of concern that must be challenged in Great Britain on employment is available on the Stonewall GB website. Click here to visit.

The following information is specific to the Welsh context, legal powers, advice services and policy development.

Overview

Legislation to protect lesbians, gay men, bisexual and heterosexual people, from not being hired, being sacked, being harassed or indirectly discriminated against in employee polices came into force with the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.

Polices on sexual-orientation are increasing being added to the diversity management schemes of large private and public sector employers who know that their absence is bad for the brand and who want to send a strong message of inclusion.  All employee policies should specifically mention same-sex eligibility.

However, very little is known about where and under what conditions LGB people work in Wales. None of the national data sets measuring employment collect any data that would give insight into lesbian and gay men's working lives, occupational choices or segregation, pay or career progression.  In addition, very few employers in Wales monitor the workforce, undertake staff surveys, or promote LGB employee networks, so that they can understand where lesbian and gay people may be concentrated in their organisations or understand particular barriers they may face. Monitoring to look for occupational ghettos is key.

Advice Services

There are a range of advice providers who may be able to discuss your circumstances, suggest ways to negotiate with your employer or advise of your legal rights and the process to follow to obtain justice.  Both the Community Legal Service and Citizens Advice recognise that formal legal equality is insufficient when people cannot get the advice they need to mediate with employers or make a complaint. The Wales Trade Union Congress also work to challenge inequality at work, and have a network of negotiators and equality officers who will try to help individual trade union members who have a complaint.   ACAS has a series of useful booklets on your rights at work, and how to discuss issues with an employer.

Citizens Advice 

Citizens Advice Bureaux provide free, confidential and independent advice from locations across Wales including in bureaux, GP surgeries, hospitals, colleges, prisons and courts. Advice is available face-to-face and by telephone. Most bureaux offer home visits and some also provide email advice. The advice helps people resolve their debt, benefits, housing, legal, discrimination, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems and is available to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age, nationality, disability or religion.

Online CAB advice www.adviceguide.org.uk
for practical, reliable, up-to-date information in English, Welsh, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu and Chinese on a wide range of topics. Information is continuously reviewed by their team of advisers and covers England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Community Legal Advice

Community Legal Advice provides free information, help and advice to the public on a range of common legal issues. It is an easy to use service, available in English and Welsh, via a national helpline or a website. The Community Legal Service aims to ensure that people get information and advice about their legal rights and help with enforcing them by bringing together legal aid solicitors, Citizens Advice Bureaux, Law Centres, Local Authority Services and other organisations in local networks, all across Wales. The Community Legal Service is there to ensure that people get quality legal services that tackle their real needs.

Establishing, maintaining and developing the Community Legal Service is the responsibility of the Legal Services Commission, working together with a number of partner organisations and the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

The helpline telephone number is 0845 345 4 345, where you can:

  • Get free initial advice from a qualified legal adviser about Welfare Benefits, Debt, Housing or Education law between 9am and 5 pm weekdays (if you call outside office hours, just leave a message and you will be called back).
  • If you are eligible for Legal Aid you can get further free legal help with your case by phone and post.
  • Find quality local advice services for other types of problems
  • Order legal information leaflets
  • Listen to recorded messages about common legal problems 24 hours a day.

Or you may wish to visit the website at www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk where you can:

  • Search for a quality local legal adviser or solicitor
  • Ask a question or choose a common topic and be directed to the best advice websites
  • See if you are eligible for legal aid funding by using an online calculator
  • View and print independently-written legal information leaflets on a range of popular topics.

All the advice and help given is confidential and independent. Calls to the helpline can be made for the price of a local phone call from anywhere in Wales. Mobile users should check the cost of calling with their network.

Wales TUC 

The Wales TUC campaigns for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at work and in society.

The Wales TUC and trade unions in Wales were at the forefront of the successful campaign that lead to the introduction of anti-discrimination laws in October 2003, which meant that for the first time British workers had legal protection against discrimination in employment or training on grounds of their sexuality. The Wales TUC also campaigned for the Gender Recognition Act that provides legal recognition for trans people in their new gender and protection from discrimination.

The TUC regularly publishes reports and information on LGBT employment issues. For information about LGBT rights at work visit www.tuc.org.uk or www.workSMART.org.uk.

The Wales TUC LGBT committee advises the Wales TUC on LGBT equality work and undertakes its own work to promote LGBT equality in the workplace.  The committee is made up of representatives from different TUC affiliated unions. It meets quarterly. There are regional networks for LGBT trade unionists in every TUC region in England and Wales.

For further information contact the Wales TUC at:

Wales TUC
Transport House
1 Cathedral Road
Cardiff. CF11 9SD.

029 2034 7010
wtuc@tuc.org.uk
www.wtuc.org.uk 

ACAS

Stonewall Employee Guides: Discrimination at work: It's so over! 
A plain language guide to The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. Available in 12 languages here. 

 

Diversity Champions Cymru

Diversity Champions Cymru is the all-Wales good practice employers' forum on sexual orientation. Being a member of the Diversity Champions programme gives your organisation one-to-one advice from a dedicated client account manager and networking with hundreds of high profile employers across Wales and throughout GB.

Click here for best practice employer guides.


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If you cannot find the information you need on this website, you can call the Stonewall Cymru offices on 029 20 237744 or 01492 622202 or the Stonewall info line on 08000 50 20 20 (Mon-Fri 9:30am - 5:30pm) and we will try to point you in the right direction.