Sexual orientation discrimination

Sexual orientation discrimination legislation has been in place in the UK since 2003. Sexual orientation is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. The law is primarily designed to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees and job applicants against direct and indirect sexual orientation discrimination, and harassment and victimisation because of someone's sexual orientation.

However, it is well-established in UK case law that a heterosexual individual can also be subjected to sexual orientation discrimination. For example, this could occur where a homophobic taunt is used towards an individual whom the perpetrator knows is not actually gay (English v Thomas Sanderson Blinds Ltd).

“Gender reassignment” is a separate protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. This means that transgender individuals are also protected against discrimination in the workplace.


LGBT+ workers experience higher levels of conflict at work

More than four in 10 LGB+ workers have experienced a work-based conflict in the last year, rising to 55% for trans workers.

Dubai

How to keep LGBT employees safe abroad

8 Feb 2021

It may not seem a burning issue right now, but there good reasons for firms to meet the needs of LGBT+ employees who need to travel or be resident abroad.

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Racist, sexist, homophobic police officers sacked

8 Jan 2021

Three police officers at Hampshire Constabulary’s serious organised crime unit were sacked for gross misconduct after being secretly bugged following whistleblower concerns.

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Stonewall announces top global employers for LGBT equality

21 Sep 2020

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality charity Stonewall has announced its Top Global Employers for 2020.

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US Supreme Court hands down landmark ruling for LGBT workers’ rights

16 Jun 2020

The US Supreme Court has ruled that it is unlawful for employers to dismiss workers because of their sexual orientation...

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Gay engineer awarded £175k for ‘nightmare’ treatment after coming out

15 Apr 2020

An engineer has been awarded £175,000 after taking his employer to the...

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Phillip Schofield and ITV co-host Holly Willoughby

Coming out at work: advice for employers

21 Feb 2020

After Phillip Schofield’s heartfelt Twitter post where he revealed he is gay, Philip Richardson, head of employment law at Stephensons...

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Ex-Clarks chief executive loses unfair dismissal case

7 Oct 2019

A former Clarks chief executive has lost his case for unfair dismissal after he was asked to resign following accusations of sexist, racist and homophobic comments.

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‘Gay cake’ case referred to European Court

15 Aug 2019

The case involving a Northern Irish bakery that refused to make a cake with a message supporting gay marriage will...

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Driver suspended after refusing to drive bus with rainbow-coloured number

14 Aug 2019

A bus driver has been suspended after reportedly refusing to drive a bus decorated with the rainbow-coloured LGBT pride flag....

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Seven in 10 LGBT staff sexually harassed at work

17 May 2019

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff are facing “shockingly high” levels of sexual harassment and assault, but almost two-thirds...

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Woodhill

Prison officer was unfairly dismissed after revealing sexuality

15 Feb 2019

A prison officer who was subject to verbal and physical abuse over his sexual orientation was unfairly dismissed, an employment...

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Pinsent Masons staff

Law firm tops LGBT-inclusive employer rankings

21 Jan 2019

International legal giant Pinsent Masons has been named the most inclusive employer in the UK by LGBT equality charity Stonewall...

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The 10 most important employment law cases in 2018

11 Jan 2019

As always, HR professionals had their fair share of employment law cases to keep track of in 2018, but what...

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What employers need to know following the ‘gay cake’ ruling

18 Oct 2018

It is the case which has captivated the nation almost as much as the Great British Bake-Off. Tom Long looks...

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