Tackling LGBT discrimination from energy customers, colleagues and members of the public

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2011 Energy Service Group Conference
1 March 2011

Conference welcomes the 2010 Equality Act – one of the last Labour government’s final pieces of legislation. This provides a wide ranging basis for negotiating in our energy workplaces. It places a duty on every employer, whether in the private or public sector, to protect their employees from discrimination from colleagues, customers or members of the public on grounds of sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

Conference is concerned, however, that members working in energy are still reporting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse from customers. Conference is further concerned that our employers are not doing enough to protect these members.

A fundamental role of trades unions is to negotiate policies with employers to ensure the dignity and respect of all members, including LGBT members, are taken seriously.

Therefore, Conference calls on the Energy Service Group Executive, working through the Business and Environment Equal Opportunities Working Group, to:

1. Promote the use of UNISON’s LGBT bargaining guides to help negotiate specific anti-LGBT harassment and bullying measures into energy employers’ equality policies and practices;

2. Encourage energy branches to raise the profile of LGBT members and their issues;

3. .Raise awareness of UNISON’s Equality Scheme among branches.