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Lucie Garvin: Our network is helping to make LGBT+ history at Acas

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Lucie Garvin, Helpline Knowledge Manager at Acas discusses creating an inclusive work environment for the LGBT+ community.

Lucie Garvin Lucie Garvin

Lucie joined Acas in 2008 and worked on the helpline before moving on to individual conciliation.

She has been working with the helpline training team for the last four years, helping with training updates on legal knowledge and complex questions for the helpline.


"Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning"

Maya Angelou

Words written or spoken can create conflict and dispute but they can also resolve that conflict and work through a dispute to bring it to an end. Human voice is a powerful tool and that can be felt everywhere.

Giving the workforce a voice is an important part of a productive workforce. You can see more detail about this on our productivity pages.

But what does employee voice look like in practice? Acas has relaunched its LGBT+ staff network to coincide with this year's LGBT history month. It was decided to broaden the network so it is now called LGBT+ & allies and it welcomes everyone to make a change and to contribute.

This is an important step in giving LGBT+ staff a chance to use their voice and to contribute their views, their understanding and their knowledge across the whole of Acas.

The network will work with Acas management teams to act as a critical friend, helping to shape and influence staff policies as well as providing feedback on external work that links to the network.

Alongside this the network will give ongoing practical guidance on how Acas can continue its work to be an inclusive workplace for all. Acas recognises the need to keep reviewing and updating in the journey for equality, diversity and inclusion.

The network provides an important space for LGBT+ staff to talk in confidence, to share and to offer support if and when needed for issues that might not be work related but are linked to LGBT+ issues.


Why the "+"? To be honest, we know that it isn't just lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans within the community. The community is representative of so much more diversity. We wanted the network to recognise the many sexual orientations but also the spectrum of gender of all staff, including intersex and those who are non-binary or gender-fluid.

Knowledge is key to being able to make a difference. Acas has published research on pdf icon Supporting trans employees in the workplace [707kb] and guidance on Gender reassignment and Sexual orientation discrimination.

February is the month in the UK to celebrate LGBT history and a chance to recognise the hard journey so far to celebrate what has been achieved while knowing that further work is still needed.

This year's theme is Geography. As Acas staff are geographically dispersed with offices across the UK we are making use of our organisations Yammer site to post about and discuss LGBT history, giving staff from all areas of the UK a chance to contribute.

February isn't the only time to reach out and discuss LGBT+ issues but it is a great time to start if it is new to your organisation.

Acas will be working to create Inclusion Networks for Race Equality and Disability as well as continuing its work with our Carers staff network.

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