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Press Relations

Press Officer Judiciary of England and Wales – Maternity Cover. – 42855
£30,845 - £38,373
London

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We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Judiciary of England and Wales Band C Press Office Maternity Cover – 12 months fixed term contract starting asap.

The press office for judges and magistrates is looking for Press Officer (IO) to cover for 12 months’ maternity leave in an enthusiastic and trusted communications team based in normal times at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

It is part of the Judicial Office which is completely independent of the Ministry of Justice and gives valued support to the judiciary across England and Wales. The successful candidate will have access to professional support and expertise through the Government Communication Service training and other services.

The Judicial Office

The Judicial Office is an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Justice. We are a unique branch of the civil service, dedicated to supporting the judiciary and promoting judicial independence, to maintain confidence in the rule of law. We help the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals fulfil their responsibilities to the judiciary, in an ever-evolving justice system. We provide operational support, policy, legal and handling advice through specialist teams. It was established following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, to support the Lord Chief Justice as Head of the Judiciary in his statutory and other leadership and administrative functions.

It delivers a wide range of functions for the senior judiciary and to more than 20,000 judicial officeholders including legal and policy advice, communications, international, training (through the Judicial College), human resources, welfare, library and information services. Through the independent Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, we deal with complaints about the conduct of judicial office-holders. The Judicial Office also provides support to the Chief Coroner and to the Judge Advocate General and supports the Lord Chancellor on certain of his judiciary-related functions.

The Job

This is a full-time post reporting to a senior press officer. You will work with four other press officers on media relations and other communications activity. The Press team is responsible for providing support to the Lord Chief Justice, to heads of division and to the Judiciary across England and Wales, including Tribunals judges and Magistrates. You will be expected to take special responsibility for specialist areas to be allocated depending on experience.

You will have direct and frequent contact with judges including senior judges and their private offices, with other officials across the Judicial Office, and with journalists. The press team deals with many high profile cases and other issues which frequently make the headlines so the environment is often be fast-paced and requires a problem-solving approach. You will need to take part in the out-of-hours duty press officer rota in the evenings and week-ends for which a small allowance is paid. The on-call duties are generally less onerous than for a Government press office.

The successful candidate will:

  • Develop good working relationships with Judicial Office staff, particularly in Private Offices of the Heads of Division.
  • Support senior judges’ private offices and the judges at all levels with advice on media handling including statements, rebuttals, preparation for interviews, and preparation of draft responses or statements pre-empting or reacting to questions.
  • Facilitate accurate and timely coverage of courts and tribunals judgments, decisions and sentencing remarks and publish judges’ written versions where appropriate.
  • Respond professionally and promptly to breaking stories generated by judges or court cases, alerting and consulting senior and other judiciary and officials as appropriate.
  • Be confident handling complex information and explaining it in plain but accurate language.
  • Be comfortable using Twitter and other social media.
  • Be confident speaking to judges of all levels about cases and wider issues.
  • Write accurate, authoritative and literate copy to produce press releases and articles for internal and external use and information for the website.
  • Build relationships with journalists.

Skills & Qualifications

Required:

The successful candidate must:

  • Have at least 12 months’ experience working in a press office or a media environment.
  • Be able to work at times outside regular office hours.
  • Be adept at simplifying complex material while retaining the meaning.

Desirable:

  • Experience of working in the field of justice.

Allowance Details  

Paid for out of hours duties for days and evenings when on call.

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Networks

The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

1-    To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);

2-    To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);

3-    To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.