A key issue facing LGB individuals is harassment both inside and outside the workplace. For example, the Commission received 72 enquiries/applications for assistance from individuals who believed they had been discriminated against on the grounds of their sexual orientation between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013. Almost 29% of these enquiries related to harassment either inside or outside the workplace.
The majority of those harassment enquiries related to harassment within the workplace. However, the number of enquiries relating to harassment outside the workplace has substantially increased compared to those received in the previous year .
Further, we have supported a number of discrimination cases which reveal the shocking nature and extent to which some LGB employees have been subjected to homophobic harassment in the workplace.
It is also of note that the recent Equality Awareness Survey 2011 (pdf) has highlighted that LGB people were more likely to report being harassed because they belonged to a particular group (38%) than heterosexual respondents. Further the Equality Awareness Survey 2011 revealed as regards public perception of unfair treatment that most respondents were of the view that LGB people, of all equality groups, were the most likely to be subjected to harassment.
- The Commission recommends the Executive takes effective action to prevent homophobic harassment both inside and outside the workplace and to encourage employers to promote LGB equality within the workplace.
- As set out in more detail later, there is a wide range of proactive steps that employers can take, both to prevent harassment within the workplace and to build a culture that is openly supportive of LGB equality.