Employment Equality Regulations

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2003 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
1 August 2003

Conference welcomes the implementation of workplace protection on the grounds of sexual orientation, whilst deploring the exemptions granted on religious grounds. Conference believes that this will allow discriminatory practices which will be far more widespread than is necessary for the maintenance of a religious faith extending to groups such as teachers and administrative staff.

The effect will be that workers will be denied rights everyone else will take for granted and be forced to live in fear and prevented from coming out to colleagues. Conference further deplores the role played by the Church of England in proposing this loophole to the Government.

In spite of these shortcomings Conference believes the regulations present a significant opportunity to raise lesbian and gay issues with employers. Conference therefore urges all branches to raise the regulations with employers and to ensure the regulations are incorporated both into policies and procedures and into equalities training provided by the employer.

Conference therefore instructs the National Lesbian and Gay Committee (NLGC) to:

1. write to the Archbishop of Canterbury to deplore the Church’s role in removing workplace protection from discrimination for significant numbers of employees;

2. work with other relevant bodies e.g. Trades Union Congress, Stonewall, Lesbian and Gay Employment Rights (LAGER), Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights (LCLGR), to monitor and publicise discrimination faced by employees working for faith based organisations;

3. highlight the need to raise awareness of the new legislation directly with employers and the wider UNISON membership;

4. emphasise the need for training for stewards in dealing with sexual orientation discrimination cases.