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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 website, Click here.
The following information is specific to the Welsh context, legal powers, advice services and policy development.
Legislation to protect lesbian, gay, 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.
Click here for information on Stonewall Cymru - Diversity Champions.
This is an equality network where public and private sector employers work with each other and Stonewall to develop best practice on employment and employee policies, recruitment, retention and monitoring and consulting with LGB employees.
Click here for best practice employer guides
In 2003, Wales was described as an 'advice desert' in a report commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, Commission For Racial Equality and Disability Rights Commission (Snakes and Ladders, 2003) . As well as the identification of scarce advice services at this time there has also been recognition of the fact that there is also currently no institution or equality commission in existence to support the newly introduced Employment Equality Regulations 2003.
To tackle this and fill the gap, Stonewall Cymru obtained funding for the DTI to set up an helpline to provide LGB people with information and support about discrimination in the workplace and in their life and to assist in taking their cases to an Employment Tribunal through a network of trained professionals. This project has now closed. Since the Snakes and Ladders report and following support such as that from the DTI, a range of services have been developed to reduce the 'advice desert' in Wales. There is 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 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 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. Community Legal Advice 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. Community Legal Advice is there to ensure that people get quality legal services that tackle their real needs.
Establishing, maintaining and developing Community Legal Advice 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:
Or you may wish to visit the website at www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk , where you can:
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.
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