2003: Freedom from discrimination and harassment at work
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2003: Freedom from discrimination and harassment at work

Lesbian, bi and gay people entered a brand-new world of protection in the workplace thanks to the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, which came into force in December 2003.

The new law prohibited direct or indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation. It covered discrimination in all areas of employment – from recruitment, to pay and promotion, to dismissal. The law also covered discrimination in vocational training, qualifications, trade organisations, further education and higher education.

Many trans people had previously won similar protections at work since the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations in 1999, which prohibited discrimination in employment and vocational training for people intending to have, were currently undergoing or had already undergone, gender reassignment.

Similar pieces of legislation were introduced in Northern Ireland in 1999 and 2003. Stonewall now works with more than 800 employers to help them create workplaces where everyone is free to be themselves.

Our Diversity Champions programme was set up in 2001 and we work with a huge range of industries, from high street chains to fire and rescue services.

We have made incredible progress toward LGBT equality over the last 30 years, but the fight is far from over.