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TUC issues new briefing on LGBT workers

TUC cropThe TUC has published a new briefing for trade union reps about mental health issues and how lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people can be affected in the workplace.

LGBT Workers and Mental Health reveals that mental health issues can be even more challenging for LGBT people than the rest of the population. This has a huge bearing on LGBT people in the workplace – the employment rate for all those with mental health problems is only 10 per cent – and the TUC guide explores the reality of the situation, why problems arise, and how best union reps can respond.

Recent studies show that one of the main causes of mental health issues for LGBT people is bullying and harassment in their workplace because of their sexuality. The briefing gives reps practical advice on how to tackle a challenging work environment, how to support union members who are experiencing prejudice from managers or colleagues, and how to negotiate effective equality policies with employers to deal with workplace issues as they arise.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “One of the impacts of recession and austerity has been a large increase in the number of cases of mental health issues across the working age population.

“The stigma attached to these problems means many workers are reluctant to talk to their colleagues or managers, often leaving it until it is too late to avert long-term absence from work which can then lead to them losing their jobs.

“LGBT workers in particular are being affected by this mental health crisis, and union reps need to understand why this is happening, learn how to support them, and recognise that prejudice and discrimination at work can be what is causing the problem in the first place.”