Activities and objectives

An outline of the activities that support Diversity and Equality at the Met Office and our Diversity objective.

Diversity activities

Diversity declaration

Employee Diversity Declaration was launched in January 2012 with an explanation of why the data was required, what it would be used for and how privacy would be protected. Our employees were invited to complete information on Disability, Race, Religion and Belief and Sexual orientation as fully as they felt comfortable with via Yourself (our HR self service system). We achieved an excellent response rate.

Declaration rates as at 31 January 2012



Religion and Belief

Overall declaration rate


Choose not to declare


No response


Sexual Orientation

(* includes 'choose not to declare')

Employee surveys

Our Employee Attitude Survey (EAS) is carried out annually and forms part of the overall Civil Service People Survey.  Year on year the results on Diversity related questions have improved. Our Directors and Senior Managers are committed to acting on the results of the survey and each year we look at the results by business area and focus on areas for improvement and put into place EAS action plans.

Diversity related questions





Employee overall response rate

I think that the Met Office respects individual differences (e.g. cultures, working styles, backgrounds, ideas, etc.)73%77%81%81%
I am treated fairly at work **81%84%83%
I am treated with respect by the people I work with **87%89%89%

During the past 12 months, have you personally experienced discrimination at work?


During the past 12 months, have you personally experienced bullying or harassment at work?


** New questions in 2011

Diversity training

All employees complete 'Understanding Diversity' training (a half day course) as part of the organisation's induction. Employees are required to refresh this training every three years. Line Managers are required to complete a one day Diversity training course; again this training is to be refreshed every three years.

Harassment Contact Officers (HCOs)

A team of Met Office employees have volunteered and been trained to carry out this important role. The Met Office will not tolerate harassment and bullying of any kind and is committed to creating a work environment free of harassment and bullying, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

HCOs can:

  • provide counselling support to staff who feel they are experiencing harassment or bullying at work;
  • provide guidance and information on the Met Office's procedures for dealing with harassment or bullying at work;
  • support staff as they decide on their preferred course of action;
  • support staff who wish to make a complaint;
  • provide counselling support to staff who have been accused of harassment or bullying.

Our team of HCOs provide confidential and informal counselling support; can help facilitate a solution to a problem of this nature and can help the individual affected to overcome the negative consequences of harassment or bullying.

Work placements on ACRE project

Throughout 2011 and 2012 the Met Office provided work experience for two individuals with a disability, on the international ACRE (Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth) Initiative, who have enjoyed this opportunity to work.

They are providing a very important data digitisation task for ACRE. In the time that they have been working in this capacity, they have been keying a huge amount of twice daily atmospheric pressure observations from numerous weather stations in and around the South China Sea from scanned images of this data in the China Coast Meteorological register held on-line on the NOAA Central Library for the period from 1894 to 1932.

This is not only providing important data for the South China Sea region, but is part of the foundation for ACRE's developing regional data focus with ACRE China - incorporating a new AHRC-funded element under the Chinese Maritime Customs Project at Bristol University which is aiding ACRE's data rescue activities on historical Chinese instrumental weather observations and as part of the ACRE component of the new Met Office MoU with both the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and Beijing Climate Centre (BCC).

British sign language (BSL) classes

Voluntary lunchtime classes take place at our Exeter HQ; with the option to convert that learning to an externally recognised qualification Signature. This provides employees with skills they can use in both their working and private lives to support individuals with hearing impairments.

Diversity objective

Aim: Improving our knowledge of the Met Office workforce

Improving our knowledge of our employees by the diversity declaration data collected; and the benchmarking and analysis we will carry out on that data.

This will enable the Met Office to:

  • have a greater understanding of the diversity of its workforce;
  • understand the impacts on particular groups as the data on groups will be robust;
  • set and measure progress towards Diversity goals.

This will enable employees to:

  • feel confident in disclosing their diversity data due to an improved understanding of the use of the data and the importance of it in significant decision-making.

Last updated: 14 April 2014