Business must do more to protect the rights of LGBT+ employees
Discrimination in the workplace often leads to fear and deceit, which in turn could affect company performance, write Patrick Bracher and Xhanti Payi
The stance taken by the Department of Home Affairs in refusing entry to a notoriously homophobic US pastor, Steve Anderson, is very encouraging for the LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, who are often silent in the workplace. What is also not spoken about is the role of business in protecting and promoting the rights of employees who are part of this community. In SA, we have a legal framework that outlaws discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. It is disheartening that there has been very little momentum from business in living these constitutionally enshrined values and adhering fully to statutes that flow from constitutional principles — including the Employment Equity Act and the Companies Act. The Companies Act begins by setting out its purposes, the primary one being to promote compliance with the Bill of Rights in the application of company law. One of the ways this should be done is to allow all employees to be comfortable coming to wo...