Sexual orientation

In brief

If you are new to the University, we hope you find this information leaflet for new LGBT+ staff useful.

The University has an active LGBT+ Staff Network, providing social and work-related networking opportunities. 

There are also growing networks of LGBT+ Role Models and LGBT+ Allies.

Further support and advice


The University does not tolerate any form of harassment or victimisation and expects all members of the University community, its visitors and contractors to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration.

The University has a network of volunteer harassment advisors who offer confidential support and advice. To find out who the harassment advisors are in your department or college, please email

If you would prefer to speak to a Harassment Advisor who is LGBT, we have seven who can be contacted direct. For more information visit the Harassment Advisor Network webpage.

Support for families

All the University policies, in particular the family leave policies are LGBT+ inclusive and apply to same-sex, same-gender and non-heterosexual couples. Please see the links below for more information:   

  • Leave including information on holiday, career breaks, carers leave, parental bereavement leave and leave for other reasons.
  • Family leave including information on maternity, paternity, adoption, share parental leave, fertility treatment leave and unpaid parental leave.

The University offers a comprehensive range of childcare services.  For full information on this, together with details of the various schemes offered visit the Childcare Services website.

National support services

See this useful list of organisations who work to support LGBT+ people and their families in the UK.

External resources relevant to LGBT+ inclusion

Legal context and advice for employers

For a helpful summary of the UK legal position on discrimination towards employees due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender reassignment, see this CIPD guidance, which also includes recommendations on promoting LGBT+ inclusion at work.

Best practice guidance

For practical, evidence-based guidance on promoting LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace, see the CIPD report Inclusion at Work: Perspectives on LGBT+ working lives

Advance HE have published guidance related to advancing LGB equality for staff and students in higher education. This includes the legislative framework; how to identify and address homophobic behaviour; and methods of developing and sustaining peer support mechanisms for staff and students.

In depth

Other networks in Oxford

Interdisciplinary Queer Studies Network

Oxford’s first interdisciplinary Queer Studies Network aims to bring together the many scholars at the University of Oxford whose work engages with queer studies, in order to open up new avenues for engagement with queer theory, marginalised voices and LGBTQIA+ experiences, art and activism.

Oxford Area Academic LGBT Staff Network

This informal network is for all lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) staff at Oxford Brookes University, University of Oxford (and its colleges), and Oxford University Press. Message the group via their Facebook page for up-to-date information on events and activities.

The University of Oxford Newcomers' Club

The Newcomers' Club is an organisation, run by volunteers, whose aim is to help the newly-arrived wives, husbands or partners of visiting scholars, of graduate students and of newly appointed academic members of the University to settle in and to give them the opportunity to meet people in Oxford.

Further employee benefits

The Work + Family Space is a University benefit for all employees that offers access to emergency back-up childcare and adultcare, a 'speak to an expert' phone line, and a wide range of guides and webinars.

Occupational Health provide support to all University employees on work-attributable problems and issues.

Further external resources relevant to LGBT+ inclusion

LGBT+ experiences in Higher Education

Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain – University report explores the nature and extent of discrimination faced by LGBT+ students.

The LGBT in Britain – work report explores the nature of discrimination experienced by LGBT+ employees and the effect that this has.

The experience of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual staff in Higher Education is a short research report from the Equality Challenge Unit based on qualitative data from staff working in Science, Engineering and Technology who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace

LGBT+ at Work: A podcast mini-series (with transcript) focusing on the experience of LGBT+ professionals, the challenges they’ve faced and the role they believe HR can play in developing inclusive workplaces.

LGBTI+: pride and support at work: Acas podcast (with transcript) focusing on the importance of organisations supporting their LGBTI+ communities and what practical steps they can take to become a more diverse and inclusive workplace.


Information and resources for BAME and POC LGBT+ communities

Information and resources for disabled LGBT+ people and LGBT+ people with accessibility needs

LGBT+ Staff Network logo

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