benefit any worker needing leave for personal circumstances they cannot talk to

Benefit any worker needing leave for personal

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benefit any worker needing leave for personal circumstances they cannot talk to colleagues about. Workers are sometimes expected to provide 'evidence' of relationships before being granted special leave. It is doubtful whether such evidence is necessary to avoid abuse of the system. If procedures do require evidence, make sure there is guidance on the type of evidence and that requirements are applied equally to all workers, whatever their sexual orientation. When negotiating on work/life balance, remember that everyone has a right to a private and social life. For example, there can be an expectation that people without children will always provide cover at Christmas or work the most anti-social shifts. If lesbian, gay and bisexual people are perceived as having no family life, this can have a negative impact on them. AIMS Negotiate family friendly policies that are accessible to lesbian, gay and bisexual workers without having to jump through hoops to ‘prove’ their entitlement and which they can access confidentially, if this is what they want. Make sure that work/life balance policies respect the different lives that people lead and do not end up discriminating against any group of workers. IT firewalls and filters Some IT firewalls and filters have very basic screening which blocks e- mails containing the words lesbian, gay or bisexual, automatically quarantining them as offensive, adult or unprofessional. This is not acceptable. There have even been cases of union activists hauled in under disciplinary procedures for receiving UNISON emails about LGBT workers equality. It can be hard for an individual to raise this so branches should make sure their employers do not block such e-mails. Bargaining support group e-mail: [email protected] LGBT group e-mail: [email protected] 8
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L e s b i a n , g ay a n d b i s e x u a l w o r ke r s r i g h t s – M ay 2 0 1 3 Staff networks A growing number of employers are setting up staff LGB or LGBT networks. Problems arise where they are a hand picked or self-selecting minority who are wrongly seen to represent all LGB workers and where the employer talks to them rather than consulting staff unions on LGB equality. Many UNISON LGBT activists have found that the best way to deal with such staff networks is to get involved with them, while demanding that the role of the unions continues to be recognised. Publicity, implementation, training and monitoring Negotiations on policy should include agreement on publicity, implementation and monitoring. New and amended policies should be circulated to all workers, explaining why they have been adopted. LGB equality should be included in training for managers and for all staff. Practice must be in line with policies. If local managers have discretion in implementation, members must be aware of their rights and know how to make a complaint if necessary. The complaints procedure should be confidential and well publicised.
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