In the month of February LGBT History Month has been marked across the UK with the purpose of observing the stories, rights and contributions of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. As February draws to a close we reflect on our own involvement with the LGBT community and what our responsibilities are as employers.

At Balhousie Care Group we are unashamedly pro diversity and anyone in our organisation from the LGBT community is 100% part of our family. Our duty to our friends from the LGBT community is not only legal, it is also moral and a matter of human decency.

We have a robust Equal Opportunities & Diversity policy that reflects our commitment to equality for all at every stage of the employee life cycle. This includes making sure that people of all sexual orientations and genders can work in a welcoming, safe and dignified environment. It also includes protection against the malicious practice of ‘Outing’, where the sexuality of a person is revealed to colleagues against their wishes. We have a zero tolerance approach to ill treatment towards anyone identifying as LGBT, and this will be dealt with through our Bullying & Harassment policy as a conduct issue. Additionally, we have Equality & Diversity training on our online learning with the opportunity for further education in this area for those that wish so.

Policies and procedures play an important part in every organisation, however it is the attitudes and behaviours in the workplace we all display that have the most impact. The care homes and offices of Balhousie Care Group are very diverse and the culture of our workplaces are extremely inclusive. At every level of our business we have colleagues from all walks of life who come together to deliver the important service of providing care that enhances the quality of lives. Our people work together in partnership regardless of any differences and it is a great testimony to our Everyday Heroes that misconduct as a result of discrimination is a near non-occurrence.

While we have much to be proud of as a diverse employer we should not lose sight of the progress that we still have to make. With this in mind I am happy to announce the following:

  • Challenging Inappropriate Behaviour – Despite all the inclusive work that exists it may still be the case that some people will feel uncomfortable with comments made in the workplace, particularly when those comments are disguised under the thin veil of ‘banter’. We all deserve the opportunity to work in an environment that we are comfortable in. So to mark LGBT History Month this February we have put a Challenging Inappropriate Behaviour module on our online learning that aims to educate on what is inappropriate in the workplace and the right way to tackle any issues.
  • Transitioning at Work Policy – The rights of our people who have reassigned or are seeking to reassign their gender is recognised in law and our Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy. However, in order to be progressive in equality and diversity we will go a step further. In 2019 the People Services team will devise and implement a Transitioning at Work policy, the first of its kind in Balhousie Care Group. This maiden policy will set out the support that will be in place in the workplace for anyone from the transgender community who are in the process of transitioning from one gender to another.

It is fantastic that Balhousie Care Group is a modern, diverse, inclusive and passionate organisation and these small steps of progress helps to ensure that remains the case. Everyone in Balhousie Care Group takes pride in our collective efforts in this area, welcoming individuals of all diversities to our Balhousie Family.