Business: LGBT People

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she will take to improve LGBT+ workers representation on the boards of FTSE 100 companies.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

One of our top priorities is to make the UK the best place in the world to work and grow a business. New provisions in the UK Corporate Governance Code give employees a stronger voice in the boardroom. They require companies to have an employee director, a designated non-executive director or a formal employee advisory council, or to explain why another employee engagement mechanism has been adopted.

The Government has legislated to require annual reporting on how boardrooms are engaging with their employees and taking their interests into account – this applies to public and private companies with more than 250 employees. The UK Corporate Governance Code also sets out that a company’s culture should value diversity and should promote diversity in appointments and succession planning.

LGBT+ people should be able to be themselves in the workplace, so that they can do their best work and achieve their full potential. The Government Equalities Office (GEO) LGBT Action Plan published in July 2018 has over 75 commitments regarding the representation of LGBT people in the workplace. This action plan was informed by the National LGBT Survey of 108,000 respondents and sets out commitments to improve the lives of LGBT people in the workplace. GEO will create a comprehensive training package on tackling LGBT workplace discrimination that will be available to all employers, developing targeted interventions to improve the experiences of LGBT people at work.

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