Election 2023: Role description – Chair
This document explains the role and responsibilities of the Chair of the Civil Service LGBT+ Network
- About this document
- Overview of the role
- Time commitment
- Term of office
- Pay, reward and expenses
- Connected roles
About this document
An election for the chair of the Civil Service LGBT+ Network has been called, following the resignation of the incumbent chair.
This document explains what the role of the Chair of the Civil Service LGBT+ Network involves, to help potential candidates understand what they would be expected to do if they were elected.
Overview of the role
The Civil Service LGBT+ Network (“the Network”) helps to create a more diverse, inclusive and equal place to work for LGBT+ civil servants. Its mission is to work to create a safe and inclusive working environment in the Civil Service, encouraging a culture which supports workplace equality and engages with LGBT+ civil servants.
As Chair, you will lead the activities of the Network. You will recruit and manage a large team of volunteers who will help to deliver these activities.
You will work closely with those leading LGBT+ networks in individual Civil Service organisations to deliver on shared objectives and to represent their views, and the views of staff in their organisations, to Civil Service leadership.
You will work closely with Civil Service HR, and the Permanent Secretary and SCS LGBT+ Champions in support of the delivery of the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and the network’s planned activities.
You will have flexibility to determine what the Network delivers and how your network operates, within the boundaries of acceptable practice set out by Civil Service HR.
You should expect to spend an average of 2 to 5 hours a week on network activities.
With agreement of your line manager, you may be able to undertake some network activities as your ‘corporate contribution’, meaning you will have flexibility to undertake some of these activities in work time. It is a usual expectation in many Civil Service organisations that leading a staff network is then formally part of your work objectives, and that you are performance managed as part of the role.
You should be prepared to undertake some of the responsibilities of the role in evenings and weekends, and outside of usual work time.
Term of office
The Chair of the Civil Service LGBT+ Network is an elected position with a fixed term limit. This term limit is currently under review and, if changes are adopted, it will be limited at 3 years before another election must be held.
It is the general expectation that the Chair will serve between 2 and 3 years before calling an election.
Pay, reward and expenses
This is a voluntary, unpaid role.
You are likely to incur regular, small expenses to undertake network activities – for example, the network uses a cloud email provider that costs around £5 a month; the costs of this are currently met by the incumbent chair.
You may be able to claim some expenses back. This is agreed on an adhoc-basis; no standing budget is associated with network activites.
As Chair, you have the flexibility to determine the Network’s priorities and workplan in whatever you see fit. Typically, the Chair of the Network would be expected to:
- recruit and lead a national team of volunteers to help deliver on the Network’s priorities
- develop a workplan for the network that supports the work of the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and is agreed with departmental network leaders and Civil Service HR
- coordinate national LGBT+ pride activities on behalf of the Civil Service each year
- regularly engage with Civil Service HR on issues relating to LGBT+ inclusion and workplace policy
- attend the regular Network Voice Advisory Group and SCS Champions meetings to provide insight on workplace inclusion issues affecting LGBT+ staff
- represent the views and promote the interests of LGBT+ staff in the Civil Service both inside and outside the Civil Service as appropriate
As Chair, you will need to regularly engage with:
- Civil Service HR
- the Permanent Secretary LGBT+ inclusion champion (current Jim Harra, HMRC Permanent Secretary)
- LGBT+ network chairs
- chairs of other cross government networks
You will also need to appoint one or more Vice-Chair positions to a committee. One of these Vice-Chairs should act as your deputy when you are not available, in line with Civil Service HR guidance on operating staff networks.
Chairs of staff networks are bound by the same behaviour and conduct rules as other civil servants. At all times you must ensure that you are acting in line with the Civil Service Code. In particular you should ensure you are maintaining political impartiality in both your activities and in the activities of the Network as a whole.