Sunday, 26 February 2012
Thursday, 2 February 2012
We recently had an employee who has come out of the closet. Should HR take a role to make this person feel welcome? I have heard a lot about equal rights issues and do not want to create any problems that do not exist?
Avoiding the issue can sometimes create a bigger problem. The best thing to do would be to engage with the individual and find out their needs and views. As a valued member of staff you wouldn’t want to lose them for the sake of a conversation. If you find it a difficult subject to broach or are wary of legal issues here is a wide range of support and advice available to help you understand your responsibilities as an employer. Stonewall the Lesbian, Gay and bisexual rights organisation has a wealth of in-depth resources for you to look over.
Try to remember that your sexual orientation has a much bigger affect on your life than what happens in the bed room. People who are fearful of a negative response to their choice of partner will usually feel the need to create a double life to avoid talking about the places they visit, their partners, people they socialise with and those they respect. This can be draining and stressful meaning that individuals can’t put as much focus into their work as they would like.
Also be realistic about the fact that some people are still not open to a gay or lesbian life style and there may well be circumstances that need to be dealt with sensitively. Put some guidelines in place so that everyone knows what to do if a situation occurs.
We look forward to reading your comments and questions below or via email.