Stonewall Cymru today launched a project to raise awareness of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 for all Information and Advice providers in Wales. The project will help lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales get the advice they need, improve the quality of advice available to them, and remove the barriers to securing justice.
Research showed that there is a lack of awareness among people in Wales of their employment rights and revealed that they are less likely than elsewhere in the UK to be successful in getting help and funding to challenge discrimination on the grounds of disability, race or sex.
Federico Podeschi, Stonewall Cymru’s Discrimination Law Officer, said: “Many people who have been discriminated against do not complain to their employer because they are afraid of being dismissed and then being unable to find other employment. This is particularly the case for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, who, for a number of reasons, feel that disclosing their sexual orientation would result in further mistreatment”.
Sexual Orientation legislation is still relatively new, but recent claims of discrimination are showing that people are starting to stand up for their own rights similarly to all other strands of discrimination.
Stonewall Cymru will be working with partners in EOC Wales, DRC Wales, and CRE Wales on a ‘transfer of expertise’ scheme, offering training and advice to help Citizens Advice Bureau, Trades Unions, ACAS, business advisers and other advocacy organisations to address significant gaps in knowledge and understanding of the employment regulations.
Stonewall Cymru will also offer direct support to people who feel they have been discriminated. A dedicated advice service is available for information and support to assess their circumstances. Advice on taking Discrimination Law cases to Employment Tribunal will be achieved with the support of a network of professionals who specialise in this field.
Anyone wanting more information on Discrimination Law or on Stonewall Cymru’s new project can visit www.stonewallcymru.org.uk (or www.stonewallcymru.org.uk for the Welsh version) or contact Federico Podeschi (Discrimination Law Officer ) on 029 20237749.
For further information contact: Federico Podeschi, Discrimination Law Officer, (029 20237749 / 07852 211793) or Alison Parken, Director (029 20237744)
Out of hours media enquiries 07985 439 660.
1. Stonewall Cymru is the all Wales lesbian, gay, and bisexual equality group. Founding members include Sir Ian McKellen. www.stonewallcymru.org.uk
2. Research: “Snakes and Ladders” was launched by the Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality, and Equal Opportunities Commission in Wales on 19 March 2003. The report described Wales as an "advice desert".