Party for Scotland’s gay-friendly employers

PinkNews Staff Writer February 22, 2007
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Stonewall Scotland celebrates the first anniversary of its Diversity Champions Scotland programme today with and event in Edinburgh.

The anniversary reception, sponsored and hosted by Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS), marks a successful first year for the Diversity Champions Scotland programme.

22 major Scottish employers totalling nearly 100,000 staff now work with Stonewall Scotland to build workplaces free of discrimination.

Diversity champions in Scotland include HBOS, Lothian and Borders Police and the Scottish Executive and 150 invited guests from a variety of major Scottish employers are attending the reception.

Paddy Tomkins, Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police, will be speaking at the event.

“Diversity Champions Scotland helps us to re-affirm our commitment to our lesbian, gay and bisexual staff,” he said.

“It also encourages us to show leadership in delivering a workplace free of discrimination and a police force best placed to serve the whole community.”

The issue of discrimination has been in the news in Scotland after an employment tribunal in Glasgow awarded huge damages to a gay man victimised at work.

32-year-old Jonah Ditton was a media sales manager for CP Publishing Ltd for only eight days, yet the nakedly homophobic behaviour of his boss was reflected in his £120,000 compensation award.

It was the largest award ever for a case of sexual orientation discrimination.

Mr Ditton described his former employers as “foul individuals,” and told the tribunal how he was abused on a daily basis.

His boss, Warren Paul, called him “a wee puff.”

The case was just the latest high-profile example of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2004 being used to stamp out homophobia in the workplace.

The director of Stonewall Scotland, Calum Irving said: “The Jonah Ditton case recently brought home the need for employers to get serious about tackling workplace discrimination against lesbian and gay employees.

“The employers we work with understand this but we want them to go further in showing leadership and achieving change at the chalk face where it matters.”

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