Stonewall Cymru has launched a project to raise awareness of the 2003 Employment Equality Regulations covering sexual orientation amongst information and advice providers in Wales.

The project will help lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales get the advice they need, improve the quality of advice available to them, and remove the barriers to securing justice.

The gay charity started the programme in reaction to research by the Disability Rights Commission, Commission for Racial Equality, and Equal Opportunities Commission, which showed a lack of awareness among people in Wales of their employment rights and revealed that they are less likely than elsewhere in the UK to be successful in getting help and funding to challenge discrimination on the grounds of disability, race or sex.

Federico Podeschi, Stonewall Cymru’s discrimination law officer, said: “Many people who have been discriminated against do not complain to their employer because they are afraid of being dismissed and then being unable to find other employment. This is particularly the case for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, who, for a number of reasons, feel that disclosing their sexual orientation would result in further mistreatment”.

Stonewall Cymru will be working with partners in EOC Wales, DRC Wales, and CRE Wales on a ‘transfer of expertise’ scheme, offering training and advice to help Citizens Advice Bureau, Trades Unions, ACAS, business advisers and other advocacy organisations to address significant gaps in knowledge and understanding of the employment regulations.

The group will also offer direct support and advice to people who feel they have been discriminated.