Making Equality Count

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2008 Police Staff Service Group Conference
26 June 2008
Carried as Amended

Conference is concerned that some police services have introduced workforce monitoring on sexual orientation without any consultation with UNISON or other staff unions, or with any clear purpose. Some police employers only liaise with the Gay Police Association and/or independent organisations that deal with leasbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, such as MESMAC (Men who have Sex with Men – Action in the Community), on such matters and do not recognise UNISON’s legitimate role in representing our members’ interests, including our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members.

Conference notes that there is no legal requirement to monitor sexual orientation. Many workers can and do keep their sexual orientation to themselves, to avoid discrimination.

Conference also notes that monitoring alone does not make anything more equal. It only makes a difference when it is part of a proactive programme of equality actions.

Conference reaffirms UNISON’s policy on workforce monitoring of sexual orientation – that it should not be introduced unless:

1)There are already agreed, well-publicised policies on sexual orientation equality in place for the particular police force;

2)There is proper consultation with UNISON and other unions, and the workforce, including those most directly affected;

3)There is a clearly stated purpose to the monitoring – how the data will be interpreted and how it will be used to further equality;

4)There is a robust strategy to ensure that confidentiality of people’s answers, including who will receive data and how it will be processed, stored and reported.

Conference calls on the Police Staff Service Group Executive to:

a)Circulate the full UNISON advice on sexual orientation workforce monitoring to branches;

b)Collect information from branches on where sexual orientation monitoring has been introduced and the outcome, and

c)Publicise best practice examples.