Same-sex couples will be allowed the same employment benefits as married employees from December, under legislation to be introduced later this year.
The Civil Partnership Act, which comes into effect on 5 December, allows same-sex couples to make a legal commitment to each other by forming a civil partnership, similar to marriage.
Provisions in the Act include employment and pension benefits, helping same-sex couples “organise their lives together”.
The DTI has cautioned HR professionals that not everyone will want to reveal their sexuality to colleagues at work, and the wording on some forms will need to be considered carefully.
Barclays is one of the first companies to launch a policy to start to inform employees about the new Act. It originally revised its banking policies in 2001 to ensure they were open to same-sex couples.