A policy of shared values, fairness, courtesy, and respect


Company Values and an associated Code of Conduct are now accepted in Government/Industry as a standard of best practice. The Company promotes a policy of shared values, fairness, courtesy and mutual respect amongst our Members. This puts the Company in line with the Water Conservation Trust and other Livery Companies which already have policies in place.

It also reflects the Rules for The Conduct of Life which was given to Members with their City Freedom.

Aim: to promote the development and advancement of our profession, ensure free and fair debate, show courtesy and respect to fellow members of Company and guests, uphold principles of equality and diversity and ensure the avoidance of bullying and harassment.

Four Principles:

1. Promote Our Profession

For Water Conservators, a respect for water and the wider environment is fundamental. The Company promotes and spreads awareness of the science, art and practice of water and environmental management, playing an informative role to the Government, the City of London, and the wider public about the many and diverse ways that water and wider environmental issues affect our lives. The Company achieves this by organising and attending technical conferences, by offering networking opportunities at formal lunches and other events, encouraging environmental training, education and professional qualifications and by supporting specific environmental initiatives such as the Plastics Free City and the City’s Climate Change Strategy.

2. Support Charitable Giving

Charitable giving is an important part of the Livery tradition, with a particular focus on training and education. For Water Conservators, this includes support for the Water Conservation Trust and other charitable activities.

3. Respect for others

Livery Companies are founded on a bond of fellowship between members. The Company encourages an environment that promotes dignity, equality and respect for all. The Company will not tolerate any acts of unlawful or unfair discrimination (including bullying/harassment) committed against any member or guest of the Company.

4. Upholding Livery Tradition

As a modern company, Water Conservators seek to uphold the traditions of the Livery movement, including charitable giving, support for education and training and by supporting Livery events in the City.

Diversity Policy

Every Company member and guest is entitled to an environment that promotes dignity, equality and respect for all. The Company will not tolerate any acts of unlawful or unfair discrimination (including harassment/bullying) committed against any member or guest because of a protected characteristic:

  • Sex;
  • Gender reassignment;
  • Marriage and civil partnership;
  • Pregnancy and maternity;
  • Race (including ethnic origin, colour, nationality and national origin);
  • Disability;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Religion and/or belief;
  • Age.

Allegations regarding potential breaches of this policy will be treated in confidence, investigated and appropriate action taken where necessary – see below.

Bullying and Harassment Policy

Bullying is defined as any solicited or unwelcome act that humiliates, intimidates or undermines the individual. Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate, or injure the recipient. It may result in individuals feeling hurt, humiliated, or vulnerable.

Acts of bullying do not necessarily take place face to face, but may also be by written communication, e-mail, social media, phone or other means. No form of bullying will be tolerated.

Examples of bullying behaviour include but are not limited to:

  • Belittling, ridiculing, or demeaning an individual;
  • Excessive shouting at an individual;
  • Continually criticising an individual without justification;
  • Spreading malicious rumours;
  • Derogatory remarks;
  • Insulting or aggressive behaviour;
  • Abusive or inappropriate emails or postings on social media.

The actions listed above will be viewed in terms of the distress caused to the individual. It is the perception of the recipient that will determine whether any action or statement can be viewed as bullying.

Harassment is unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for an individual. It may be persistent or an isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient.

In upholding these values, the Company will never seek to cover up any allegations of disrespect, malice or any allegations of harm (mental or otherwise) and a report will be prepared annually for the Court on all allegations made (whilst keeping all individual details confidential) and the outcome of them.

It is the duty of all Members to report to the Court designated responsible person any concerns that they may have that inappropriate behaviour has been committed. Allegations will be treated in confidence, investigated and appropriate action taken where necessary.

Such concerns shall be documented, but such documentation will be subject to General Data Protection Regulations.

Complaints will be investigated internally by the designated responsible person who will advise the Master and the Clerk of the findings of the investigation. If the matter relates to the conduct of any or a combination of the designated responsible person, the Clerk or the Master, a Committee of three Past Masters will be created to undertake the investigation. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential and the Company will ensure that he/she is protected from any additional harm arising from the act of making the complaint.

A record will be kept by the designated responsible person (who is chosen to adjudicate) of all complaints, investigations and outcomes, with the specific details anonymized to protect confidentiality. This record will be subject to General Data Protection Regulations.

Sanctions and Disciplinary Measures

Any Member or Officer who has been found to have caused harm or distress to a fellow Member or Officer under the terms of this policy is liable to any of the following sanctions:

  • a verbal warning (3 to 6 months on record);
  • a written warning (max. 6 months on record for a first warning and maximum 12 months for a second);
  • temporary suspension from the Company (max. 6 months);
  • permanent suspension from the Company.

The nature of the sanction will depend on the gravity and extent of the harm caused. Record of warnings will be deleted on expiry.

Right of Appeal

To the Chair of the Past Masters or the Master (as appropriate).

Implementation of the Policy/Monitoring and Evaluation

The Company will ensure that this policy is widely disseminated to all relevant persons. It will be included on the Members’ section of the Company website. All new Members must be made familiar with the content of this policy and know where to find it on the website.

The Company recognizes the importance of monitoring this policy and will ensure that it anonymously collects statistics and data as to how it has been implemented and whether it is effective.

Data Protection Policy

The Company has a Data Protection Policy which should be displayed in the website.