The lesbian, gay, bisexual with transgender (LGBT) advisory committee consists of eight men and women who identify as being LGBT who are elected annually at group conference by branches to represent the interests of all LGBT members in HMRC and the VOA.
We elect a chair and vice chair from the LGBT committee.
A voice in your workplace
It's difficult to know precisely how many LGBT members are in the Revenue and Customs group.
Through our membership records system commix, around 500 people have so far identified as being LGBT, but only 12% of members have reported their sexual orientation and/or if they identify as trans.
In order to ensure we are fully representative of the views of our members and we play a full part in shaping and strengthening our campaigns, recording of equality information is a key element to this. You can update your status via iMembership.
The LGBT committee strongly advocate the use of monitoring of sexual orientation and gender status in a carefully controlled confidential way.
We appreciate issues of sexual orientation and issues relating to personal gender status are incredibly personal in nature, but without full effective monitoring neither the employer nor the union can ensure the needs of LGBT members are being met.
What we do
In addition to providing policy advice and guidance to the GEC we are tasked with implementing the equality section of the group organising action plan from a LGBT members' persepctive.
Our work has included:
- Producing an information pack for branches to enable them to better understand the issues facing LGBT people with respect to the workforce change programme
- Examining the reasons behind the department’s decline in it’s standing in the annual Stonewall workplace equality index and producing a motion for group conference to propose policies to tackle this
- A survey of all branches to find out the level of knowledge of LGBT issues and how confidence branches have been in handling issues
- Identifying training needs.
In 2010 we produced a report on the impact of the cuts.
In 2011 our project on dealing with LGB&T personal cases was published
Through our group action plan, we will be working towards improving declaration rates for LGBT members (and hopefully departmental systems). We'll be drafting and issuing an electronic members' briefing and using the Stonewall 'what's it got to do with you?' leaflet to explain why monitoring is so important.
Taking our agenda foward
We have concerns around the implications of the Next Generation HR (NGHR) programme. We believe R&C have good policies in place and we hope NGHR will not be used as an opportunity to begin a 'race to the bottom' - i.e. adopting less sympathetic policies from other departments. We will be raising our concerns with the GEC and the employer.
We are developing a project around 'what's in a word' - this is about framing and defining commonly used LGBT terms to dispel common misconceptions, to expand on the broadness of the inclusion of bisexuality, to explain why trans fit in with LGB issues and to include some work around asexuality.
If you would like details on when the next advisory committee meeting is please contact a committee member. We welcome constructive feedback from our LGBT members on our work.