Newham Council defends decision to ask employees whether they are gay

Newham Council’s head of Human Resources has defended its decision to ask employees whether they are gay.

Susan McNally insisted that the sexual orientation question on a recent survey proves the London authority’s commitment to equal treatment.

She added that the question was devised after taking advice from gay rights organisation Stonewall.

“Preventing discrimination and promoting equality and diversity helps us attract, motivate and retain the best staff,” said McNally.

“We also have a legal obligation to prevent discrimination under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. Showing that we’ve made a commitment to treating staff fairly makes sense and is something that the council is really serious about.”

The council has insisted that the information provided will be treated in confidence, and that employees had the option not to answer.

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