UNISON set to challenge workplace biphobia by launching new fact sheet for Bi Visibility Day

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UNISON, one of the UK’s largest trade unions, is preparing to challenge the discrimination of bisexual workers by launching a new fact sheet to mark Bi Visibility Day on September 23rd.

The 1.3 million strong trade union is set to challenge prejudices against bisexual people in the workplace, arguing that bisexuality is an ignored issue that needs to be addressed.

The website states: “Bisexual people face particular issues at work. They can feel very isolated, experiencing stigma from both straight colleagues and lesbian and gay colleagues.

“Although such discrimination is unlawful and many workplace equality policies refer to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, few do more than pay lip service to the existence and rights of bisexual workers.”

UNISON says it can make a difference by standing up for the rights of bisexual workers.

Research published in May by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) found that bisexual people experience even higher levels of discrimination at work than gay men.

Bisexual people are also more likely to feel they have to hide their sexual orientation at work than lesbians and gay men.

Bisexual women were the least likely to report discrimination, believing it would not be taken seriously as it “happens all the time.”

The UNISON pamphlet, with further details, can be viewed here.

In July this year, a Human Resources professional for the Ministry of Defence LGBT Network has said that although workplace equality has come a long way since the ban of gay people in the military, ‘B’ and ‘T’ still represent significant hurdles for full LGBT acceptance.

Robert Malpass said: “I can say our whole purpose now is about ensuring that LGBT people can be out and authentic in the workplace.

“The kind of hidden agenda, if you like, is ‘B’ and ‘T’. I think biphobia and bi issues are certainly the new frontier for us in the LGBT group and society generally.”

UNISON elected its first openly lesbian president, Maureen Le Marinel, in July.