Friday, 9 October 2009

MaltaStar: GWU’s policy paper calls for LGBT employment rights to be seen as fundamental human rights

The employment rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT) are trade unionists rights, and trade unionist rights are fundamental rights of the human being, the General Workers Union’s policy paper on LGBT employees said.

The GWU launched five policy papers, one of which deals with the rights of the LGBT community on the workplace.

“One of the highest fundamental principles is that each person is born free, each having the same rights and dignity. This universal principle intrinsically means that no one should suffer discrimination, neither in society nor in the workplace, due to race, belief, sex, identity nor gender expression and sexual orientation.” The policy paper said.

The situation in Malta

The union noted that a number of LGBT persons are being discriminated, ridiculed and abused, verbally and physically, in their workplace and social life.

“Workers coming from sexual minorities do not enjoy the same rights and benefits that married couples are entitled to, such as the right to emergency family leave, parental leave in the case of a non biological parent, and the possibility that certain forms of insurance provided by the State or by employers be extended to their partners.”

The policy paper that initial measures were taken in the Seventies, where homosexuality was de-criminalized and more recently in the European Union Directive No 2006/54/KE which grants more rights to transsexual persons.

However, the GWU also noted: “a person who changes identity, even though endorsed by official certification such as the identity card and passport, for the purpose of marriage the transsexual person is still considered to be a person of the gender, which he or she was born.”


The GWU states that the government, together with the social partners, should discuss the legal parameters in the Malta Council for Economic and Social development, so that in the near future, the parliament will pass laws that entitle LGBT persons the same amount of bereavement leave and urgent family leave.

“Subsequently, after these two enactments, all the rights that workers enjoy today should be implemented.”

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