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LGBTQ+ Expressions, Tips for Employers and Words You’ll Encounter in the Workplace

pride month(1)

Do you think twice before going to a public toilet? Do you go into the Men’s or Women’s? This can be a simple answer for most people. For certain people of the LGBTQ+ community however, this can be a complicated question. For example, a Trans person who is in the middle of transitioning genders or fully transitioned, would want to use a different bathroom to their gender listed on their birth certificate. Most people within the Trans community are happy to use binary bathrooms (male or female signs), however the problem lies in the attitude others may have towards them doing so.

June marks Pride Month, during which special recognition is put onto the LGBTQ+ community for the role they play in our lives, as well as to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues faced in society.

To support you and your LGBTQ+ workers, HR:4UK has put together some top tips to help support you and your business in supporting those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

We have also created a downloadable resource with a list of LGBTQ+ expressions to learn about and pass onto your workers!

Download the guide here

HR:4UK’s Top 7 Tips for UK Employers

Speaking to our advisors, here are our seven top tips for LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the workplace.

  1. Develop clear zero-tolerance policies on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic discrimination and harassment, with clear sanctions for staff and customers. Make sure that the policy is accessible to all workers as it is always important to outline there is a zero-tolerance to any of these actions; all workers should be made to feel safe and respected at all times.
  2. Actively communicate that you have an equality policy to all workers and ensure that the process for reporting homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in the workplace is clear. Communication is key, and keeping those lines open and clear for all helps to give a reminder that you are there to help and take action where necessary.
  3. Implement all-staff diversity and inclusion training such as explaining what LGBTQ+ discrimination or abuse might look like. It is also helpful for all workers to know expressions used within the community, as well as phrases to avoid in the workplace to respect certain individuals, which in turn can help to ultimately challenge anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes amongst colleagues.
  4. Ensure that line managers have the appropriate training and support to confidently take a zero-tolerance approach to all homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse in the workplace. If managers do not have the appropriate training it is difficult for workers themselves to have the right training and guidance as well. It begins with senior levels of the business to have the appropriate understanding in order to demonstrate a good understanding and set a precedent for others to follow.
  5. Run awareness-raising sessions for all employees on Trans inclusion, along with guidance about using pronouns and facilities. Using the correct pronouns for an individual helps to reaffirm their identity without confusion, and creates a better workplace for everyone to be a part of, however this can be difficult to attain without awareness-raising sessions to help create a better understanding and the knowledge to do so.
  6. Include statements and examples of their commitment to LGBTQ+ staff by mentioning equality and inclusion on public communications such as the website. When advertising job roles, make sure that a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace is clearly communicated.
  7. Encourage and support the formation of an LGBTQ+ network group so that employees within this community have visible role models and peers. In smaller organisations, employers should assist LGBTQ+ staff in joining an external network, so that they are a part of a wider network that is there to further support them and opening up connections.

How can HR:4UK Help you?

Whatever your problem, no matter how small, HR:4UK are always here to help you avoid any risky and costly mistakes. But if you’re looking to educate your team on LGBTQ+ issues, did you know HR:4UK offers a range of online training, including modules on LGBTQ+ awareness?

To find out more, please contact HR:4UK on 01455 444 222 or [email protected].

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.