Sexual Orientation Discrimination
It is unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation is defined as:
- Towards people of the same sex I.e lesbians or gay
- Towards people of the same sex and the opposite sex I.e bisexual.
- Towards people of the opposite sex I.e heterosexual
This Act applies to goods and services, and all employment this will include any vocational training and includes recruitment, promotions, dismissal and transfers.
The Act makes it unlawful to:
- Direct discriminate – isto treat someone less favourably than others purley because of their sexual orientation; for example not giving a promotion to an employee purely on the grounds that they are gay. bisexual or lesbian.
- Indirect discriminate – A practice that will disadvantages people of a particular sexual orienation, unless this can be justified; for example of this could be a particular policy for maternity / paternity leave which would not apply to same sex couples.
- Victimise for example whensomeone who has made a compliant or allegation in relation to a complaint of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
- Harassment- harassment is unwanted atterntion that violates a person’s dignity and can create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive work environment for a person to work in
It is as unlawful to discriminate against someone who is heterosexual, lesbians, gay men and bisexual people.
It should be made clear by all employers in their Equality Policy that is designed to prevent discrimination in:
- Discipline and grievances
- Combating bullying and harassment.
- Recruitment and selection
- Training and development
- Determining pay
As an employee if you feel you are being harassed by your work colleague or even a manager because of your sexual orientation and you have put in a complaint with your company and you feel that the outcome was not satisfactory or the process was not handled fairly and in a timely manner you can take your company to the Employment Tribunal this type of claim is known as discrimination.
It can be lawful to specify when you are recruiting, for example a company who is providing counselling for gay men may be able to show that there is an occupational requirement for counsellors to be gay.