Care homes should check that new staff have a positive attitude towards homosexuality before they are taken on, inspectors say.
They also want care homes to stop referring to husbands and wives. ‘Neutral’ words such as partner should be used instead.
The advice has been issued by the Commission for Social Care and Inspection (CSCI), the body responsible for scrutinising care homes.
The document draws heavily on the experiences of a small sample of 92 homosexuals in care homes who responded to a survey.
The advice says that employers should ensure that “all new staff have positive attitudes towards LGB [lesbian, gay or bisexual] people.”
It continues: “An assessment of the attitudes of staff around equality issues, including equality for LGB people, should be part of the recruitment and selection process.”
Christian care workers who feel unable to be positive about homosexuality could be withdrawn from certain roles, though they should not be able to opt out themselves, the guidance suggests.
“There may be circumstances where ‘matching’ staff to particular types of assistance for LGB service users would be beneficial to the person using the service.”
The CSCI says it has introduced the guidance because of the new Sexual Orientation Regulations on the provision of goods and services. However, the guidance goes well beyond what the regulations require.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “This seems to ignore the fact that many care homes have a specifically Christian ethos. Christians have rights too.”
A Christian who applies for a job in a care home and is rejected because of her religious beliefs on homosexual practice may be able to challenge the decision legally.