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Sainsbury’s is putting ‘trans ideology’ above staff welfare, whistleblower claims

Sainsbury’s is putting ‘trans ideology’ above staff welfare by ‘dismissing female workers fears over same-sex toilets after advice from Stonewall’, whistleblower claims

  • Sainsbury’s allowed staff to use whatever toilets they feel most comfortable in 
  • It worked with Stonewall to develop policy to cater for trans and non-binary staff 
  • One woman raised the issue on the Sainsbury’s website for staff members

Sainsbury’s is putting ‘trans ideology’ above staff welfare by letting men who identify as women use female toilets and changing rooms, a whistleblower claims.

The employee says the supermarket giant has ignored women’s concerns in order to bolster its standing with controversial equality rights group Stonewall.

To the dismay of some workers, Sainsbury’s had allowed staff to use whatever toilets they feel most comfortable in after working with Stonewall to develop a policy to cater for trans and non-binary employees.

One woman raised the issue on the staff website, asking if the company was breaking the law.

The supermarket has been keen to highlight its work with the charity and its ascent up its Equality Index league table, rising from No 191 in 2018 to No 71 now, making it is the highest-ranked business in the retail sector

She wrote: ‘Effectively, Sainsbury’s are now inviting male-bodied people to use the existing female changing areas and toilets. As far as I am aware, this has been implemented without consultation with female staff.’

The following day, Sainsbury’s chief financial officer Kevin O’Byrne, who is also responsible for LGBT+ issues, wrote to staff saying he was aware of ‘several posts that our colleagues might be concerned about’ and he reminded employees that transgender people were protected under the Equality Act 2010. 

He added: ‘Whilst we don’t expect everyone to understand the journey trans people go on, we do expect our colleagues to show respect, kindness and understanding to each other.’

The whistleblower claimed Sainsbury’s membership of Stonewall’s controversial Diversity Champions scheme has led it to ‘indulge in trans ideology’. 

The equality group has faced questions over the programme amid fears it stifles workers’ freedom to question transgender activism. 

The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that the Equality and Human Rights Commission was quitting the scheme, which has been lucrative for Stonewall. 

In 2019, income from companies and public sector organisations joining this and similar schemes totalled £3.27 million.

One woman raised the issue on the staff website, asking if the company was breaking the law. Astock image is used above [File photo]

One woman raised the issue on the staff website, asking if the company was breaking the law. Astock image is used above [File photo]

But the whistleblower dismissed the programme and Sainsbury’s involvement with Stonewall’s annual Workplace Equality Index as a ‘waste of money’. He said: ‘The Workplace Equality Index takes about 400 hours to fill in the forms and then you get just four lines of feedback.

‘It’s not anything actionable or thorough – it’s all just very vague. I would describe the scheme as a lovely little earner for Stonewall but a waste of money for Sainsbury’s.’

The supermarket has been keen to highlight its work with the charity and its ascent up its Equality Index league table, rising from No 191 in 2018 to No 71 now, making it is the highest-ranked business in the retail sector.

When the chart was published, Mr O’Byrne said the company was working to ‘identify more opportunities to engage and educate on LGBT+ inclusion’.

Last night, Sainsbury’s said: ‘We’re committed to being a truly inclusive retailer where every single one of our colleagues is treated fairly and with respect.’

Stonewall said its staff ‘deliver helpful and robust advice’ to more than 850 organisations and called the Workplace Equality Index ‘a robust benchmarking tool’. 

It further praised Sainsbury’s for ‘impressive work towards becoming a more inclusive workplace’ and said it used ‘thorough criteria’ in compiling its list of top employers.

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