Workplace Report June 2007

Equality news

Studies find high levels of anti-gay harassment

Two new studies have indicated that unions may need to step up their role in combating anti-gay harassment and bullying in the workplace.

An investigation by the Wales TUC has revealed that around one-third of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) workers face regular harassment in the workplace.

Mike Smith, chair of the Wales TUC LGBT committee, said the research would "help us build a more detailed picture of key issues for LGB workers and enable trade unions to strategically target campaigning to eradicate homophobic harassment in the workplace across all sectors in Wales."

Meanwhile a report by Stonewall, the campaigning organisation for LGB people, found that "anti-gay bullying at work is widespread".

Living together - British attitudes to lesbian and gay people polled over 2,000 adults and found that 13% - almost four million people across the national workforce - have witnessed verbal bullying of LGB people at work. And physical bullying had been seen by 4% of workers - over 1.2 million people.

However, both reports provide grounds for optimism. For example, around 80% of both male and female respondents to the Wales TUC survey felt their colleagues/line manager would be supportive following homophobic harassment.

And the Stonewall survey found that the vast majority of people (93%) support laws to protect gay people from discrimination and harassment at work.

The Stonewall report can be downloaded from

The Wales TUC report had not been posted on the TUC website as Workplace Report went to press.