Sexuality and sexual orientation

All departments and agencies are committed to support their gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual employees.

At present the Civil Service does not monitor service-wide the sexual orientation of our employees. However, the Welsh Assembly is assisting the Cabinet Office with a project to survey the sexual orientation of civil servants in a number of departments and agencies.

Last updated - 9th December 2008

Following this pilot, and further discussion with departments, a recommendation will be made on how we should be monitoring sexual orientation across the Civil Service. Monitoring lets us assess whether groups of people are being treated equally in areas such as recruitment or promotion. All information is stored confidentially and can help in assessing and tackling any inequality.

Even without monitoring, a number of departments and agencies have programmes of action, networks, champions, conferences and training interventions in place to support employees.

Furthermore, an increasing number of departments and agencies are members of Stonewall - an organisation promoting equality and justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals.

Departmental achievements

Here are two examples of what individual departments have been doing to promote equality for employees of all sexual orientation:

The Inland Revenue (now part of HM Revenue and Customs) has:

  • appointed a doctoral student to undertake qualitative research into organisational attitudes towards people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual
  • arranged a presentation by Stonewall to the Diversity and Equality Officer network
  • set up regional and area initiatives, such as:
    • local focus groups
    • 'Challenging Homophobia in the Workplace' training for managers
    • an information booklet on sexual orientation issues.

HM Land Registry has addressed sexuality issues by:

  • including sexuality issues in diversity training for managers
  • extending provision of special leave to same-sex partners
  • renaming paternity leave to Maternity Support Leave, and making this available to partners of either gender.

Religion guidance

Guidance for managers and employees on sexuality issues, including useful links.