A Wales where everyone is free to be themselves – why we need to make workplaces inclusive for LGBTQ+ workers

Phil Jones Guest
Published date
We all deserve to be our true selves. We all deserve to expect dignity, respect and kindness at work.

As Trade unionists, we understand the importance of being treated fairly in the workplace. But for members of the LGBTQ+ community, it remains the case that employers may discriminate against us, or not ensure that safety is guaranteed.  This needs to change.   

I believe the new Wales TUC 10 step action plan will help bring about the change we need to see.  

The new guidance includes 10 simple steps which to help reps negotiate better workplaces for LGBTQ+ workers.   

Download 10 steps towards LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces

Steps in the right direction for LGBTQ+ workers

Though society has made strides in recent years, with better laws, public opinion, and social acceptance, hatred towards LGBTQ+ individuals still exists in many workplaces.  

Transgender people, in particular, face a higher chance of discrimination or hate speech at work, in public, or online. They even have lower odds of finding work in the first place. 

We want to see improvements in how LGBTQ+ individuals access healthcare, housing, education, workplaces, and community spaces safely. We must ensure that our human rights record in Wales demonstrates that it is a welcoming, safe, and inclusive place to live and work. 

As a trade union movement, we have spoken to the government, participated in LGBTQ+ consultations, informed policies, and made many changes and plans. But we know that the changes we want can only happen with the hard work and dedication of trade union members. 

Your 10 steps to a more inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ people 

I’ve been proud, as Wales TUC LGBTQ+ forum chair, to work on the new workplace guidance which sets out how union reps and workplaces can: 

  1. Incorporate gender neutral language  

  2. Make it comfortable for workers to highlight their pronouns at work 

  3. Support workers who are transitioning  

  4. Consider workplace policies  

  5. Develop training and progression 

  6. Don’t underestimate the power of negotiation  

  7. Consider workplace Anti-bullying practices 

  8. Set up a staff union backed LGBTQ+ group or network 

  9. Remember the past by honouring the future  

  10. Build a strong union.  

The safest, most inclusive workplaces in the world 

If we work together to make these changes I believe we can create the safest, most inclusive workplaces in the world.  

It will require effort, commitment, and a willingness to stand up for what is right, but we can make it happen.  

As trade unionists, it is our responsibility to fight for the rights of all workers, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.  

By working together and supporting one another, we can create a world where everyone is free to be themselves and feels safe in doing so. We can create a better future for all workers and make Wales a leader in LGBTQ+ rights.