Openly gay or lesbian job applicants are 40 per cent less likely than heterosexuals to be offered a job interview, according to a Cambridge study.
Dr Nick Drydakis of the Angela Ruskin University sent out 9,000 job applications for positions advertised on six job sites in Cyprus.
He sent out four fake applications for each job, two from a heterosexual man and woman, and two from a gay man and woman.
The covering letters and CVs were almost identical, apart from the fact that one set of applicants said that they had been volunteers in a charity, and the other that they were members of the Cypriot Homosexual Association.
The survey revealed that a gay man was 39 per cent less likely to be offered an interview than his straight counterpart, and lesbians were 42.7 per cent less likely.
"The hiring process is perhaps the single most important part of the employment relationship, but is the least understood," said Dr Drydakis.
"What is clear is that people who face biased treatment in the hiring process must spend more time and resources finding jobs, and at the same time firms are missing out on potential talent as a result of biased hiring.
"The results of this study in Cyprus show that these differences in offer rates and salaries can lead to significant welfare losses for gay and lesbian job seekers."