Standards of behaviour

This document explains the standards of behaviour we expect of everyone who attends our events.

The Civil Service LGBT+ Network exists to ensure that every one can come to work each day feeling safe to be themselves. We do not want anyone to experience, or be in fear of experiencing, discrimination because they have a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe that people will be more effective if they can be themselves at work.

We also want to help make the Civil Service the most inclusive employer in the United Kingdom. We want to encourage a culture that supports workplace equality and engages with LGBT+ civil servants.

From time to time, the network organises events. Consistent with our mission statement and objectives, these events can include learning and development events, social and networking events. Most of our events are open to everyone in the Civil Service – regardless of who they are, or how they identify. Some events are designed to provide a space for specific groups of people to come together, like our women’s events and BiSpace.

For all our events, we aim to ensure that everyone will be welcomed and feel included. We expect everyone attending our events to uphold the highest standards of behaviour.

Civil Service Code

All civil servants – regardless of their role or grade – are bound by the Civil Service Code.

We expect everyone attending one of our events to abide by the core Civil Service values of ‘integrity’, ‘honesty’, ‘objectivity’ and ‘impartiality’.

In particular, we expect that anyone attending our events will always act in a way that:

  • is professional
  • is fair, just and equitable
  • reflects the Civil Service commitment to equality and diversity
  • maintains political impartiality, no matter what their own political beliefs are

General conduct

We consider the events we organise to be an extension of your workplace. We expect that everyone attending our events holds themselves to the same standards as they would in their ordinary place of work.

If your conduct is not suitable for your workplace, we also consider it to be unsuitable at our events.

Use of language

You will hear and read lots of terminology used on our website, in our communications materials, and at our events.

Our ambition is to use language that is clear and accessible so it is widely understood by as many people as possible. We also understand that seeing or hearing terms you might personally identify with is important.

In general, we use the term ‘LGBT+’ to describe all people with minority sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, or variations in sex characteristics. You may, from time to time, hear us use terms like:

  • gay, lesbian, bi, ace or queer
  • heterosexual or straight
  • transgender, non-binary or cisgender
  • intersex

Some of these terms are well understood; others are not. If we use a particular term, we mean it in the broadest, most inclusive way possible. For example, when we talk about ‘bi’ people, we usually mean that term to include bisexual, pansexual and asexual people.

We recognise that some of these terms might make you feel uncomfortable. We will always aim to use language sensitively. The words we choose will never be intended to cause offense.

We expect that everyone attending one of our events will also choose their words carefully and sensitively.

Responding to issues and managing complaints

If we consider the conduct of someone attending our events to fall below the standards we have set out in this document, we reserve the right to take action in response.

Our response will be proportionate to the significance of the issues at hand. We will ordinarily:

  • as a first step, ask that attendees stop conducting themselves in the manner that they are
  • if this does not help to resolve a situation, we may eject attendees from an event

In light of the severity of an issue, we may also:

  • refuse to admit individuals to future events for a period of time or indefinitely
  • formally escalate an issue internal to the attendees’ department or agency

Individuals affected will have a right to appeal a decision retrospectively, either via the Network’s leadership team or, where formal processes are engaged, through usual departmental procedures.