Local authorities make up 15% of the top 100 employers for gay, bisexual and transgender staff, according to a new report.
The inclusive approach found across many parts of local government has made it the most prominent sector in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index.
Leicestershire County Council was named the top local authority, ranked seventh overall – up from 17th last year, while Newcastle City Council climbed four places to 15th.
A Leicestershire County Council spokesperson said: ‘To make sure we continue to be a great employer and provider of services to LGBT people, we have written and published Monkey’s Family, a picture book for young children who have been adopted by same-sex couples that explains the adoption process and why people might have “two mummies” or “two daddies”.
‘We’ve also developed a good practice guide for our managers on managing LGB staff: for example, on how to deal with “coming out” and how to create an inclusive culture in the workplace, and we've worked with our partners in the police, ambulance service and fire and rescue to identify and celebrate LGBT role models across Leicestershire.’
Sheffield, Birmingham and Northumberland all made the top 50. Other councils in the top 100 are Rhondda Cyon Taf, Bury, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, Southend-on-Sea, Medway, Nottingham, Carmarthenshire and Islington.
The education and health and social care sectors accounted for a further 26% of the top 100 while Government security service MI5 was ranked number one.
Megan Perryman, head of public sector programmes at Stonewall, said: ‘It’s great to see local government so strongly represented in the Top 100 yet again. In challenging financial times, local councils are having to think more creatively about how they can ensure LGBT inclusion in workplaces and in local communities. The excellent work showcased in the Top 100 shows how successful this creative thinking can be. The hard work from all involved will have a real impact on workplaces and neighbourhoods across the country.'