Disclosure of Sexual Orientation to Clients

Back to all Motions

2006 National LGBT Conference
27 July 2006
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that Buckinghamshire is a rural county predominantly made up of small communities and that workers in public services often find themselves in situations where they are forced to disclose their sexual orientation to clients because both live in the same locality.

When confronted with this problem it is often the response of supervisors to either blame the LGB employee for “outing” themselves, or to require them to keep their sexual orientation a secret. Conference notes, that not only is this impossible for most employees in small or rural communities, it is also unlawful. Under the Equality in Employment (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 employers may only require that LGB staff hide their sexual orientation in the workplace, if they also require this of heterosexual.

Conference notes that the disclosure of sexual orientation to clients is often not supported by services who are either unaware of the full issues around the need to disclose, or unaware of the difficulty in keeping sexual orientation a secret, particularly in smaller communities.

Conference therefore instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

1.Provide information and support to all members (not just LGBT members) about handling disclosure of sexual orientation, gender identify or gender reassignment, and how to deal with managers who are unaware of the full issues around disclosure;

2.Continue to disseminate information about the Equality in Employment (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, and include information specific to disclosure of sexual orientation to clients.

It is important for information to be forwarded to all members, rather than just those that we know are LGB, because if an employee is not comfortable with disclosure of their sexual orientation we have no way of knowing who they are.