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Policy

Senior Policy Advisers Posts x 4, Judicial & Legal Services Directorate – 52301
£36,049 – £47,591
Multiple Locations

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We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

The Judicial & Legal Services Directorate is recruiting for up to 4 SEO roles which will sit in the Judicial Policy Resourcing and Engagement Division. The Division has 4 teams and covers a wide range of policy issues related to the ways in which judges and magistrates are recruited, remunerated and supported, and supports the Government’s engagement with the judiciary, including the Lord Chancellor’s important relationship with the judiciary. Our work is of central importance to ministers and the Department as we contribute to the Ministry of Justice’s objective of upholding the rule of law and defending the independence of the judiciary. 

Location:

Successful candidates will have the option to be based at one of the following locations:

  1. 102 Petty France, London
  2. 5 Wellington Place, Leeds (occasional travel between Leeds and London may be required post Covid-19)

Ways of Working

At the MoJ we believe and promote alternative ways of working, these roles are available as:

  • Full-time, part-time or the option to job share
  • Flexible working patterns
  • Flexible working arrangements between base locations, MoJ Hubs and home.

At the moment the majority of our staff are currently working from home due to Covid-19

If we receive applications from more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we may hold suitable applicants on a reserve list for 12 months, and future vacancies requiring the same skills and experience could be offered to candidates on the reserve list without a new recruitment campaign.

Job Description overview

As a Senior Policy Advisor these posts offer excellent opportunities to get involved in some of the following activities:

  • Review and shape policies as they apply to the wider judiciary and magistracy from the beginning of development all the way through to implementation;
  • Support the process of public consultation of proposed policies through to helping to progress new legislation through Parliament;
  • Manage and drive judicial engagement with ministers and MoJ senior leaders, working across the department and developing close working relationships with ministerial and judicial private offices.
  • Lead on international judicial policy and litigation matters, working with both internal and external stakeholders;

These are stretching roles that would be a good fit for an experienced and strategic SEO.

The post holders will be a key member of one of 3 teams, who have responsibility for the following:

Magistrates strategy and policy. Magistrates are volunteers who sit as lay judges in the magistrates and family courts and make decisions on a wide range of criminal, civil and family court cases.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Developing a strategic policy response to the abolition of local justice areas and the future leadership and organisational structure of the magistracy and supporting implementation.
  • Advising Ministers and the senior judiciary and securing agreement at the appropriate level.
  • Supporting other magistrates-related policy work, including recruitment and attraction and reviewing the appeals process.

Engagement/International Policy & Legislation

Key responsibilities include:

  • Leading the development and implementation of MoJ’s judicial engagement strategy between the Lord Chancellor, ministers, MoJ senior leaders and the judiciary.
  • Ensuring ministers and MoJ senior leaders are provided with high quality briefings for meetings with senior judiciary.
  • Providing advice to MoJ teams and other departments on judicial engagement, the rule of law, the role of the Lord Chancellor and his statutory responsibilities.
  • Leading engagement with the judiciary and cross-government colleagues on policies relating to the status of retained EU law and retained EU case law.
  • Leading the policy development relating to recruitment of the next UK judge to the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Advising on ad-hoc matters relating to international judicial policy, e.g. international commissions on UK judicial systems from the Council of Europe, United Nations etc.
  • Leading on the government response to litigation where judicial immunity is raised as an issue and any policy development arising out of that litigation.

Judicial Policies Review

  • Play a leading role in the Judicial Policies Review on salaried and fee-paid judges by taking responsibility for a number of workstreams.
  • Support and interpret analysis of existing policies and vulnerability of these to litigation.
  • Analyse and interpret models of alternative framework scenarios to achieve optimum sitting ratios between salaried and fee paid judges
  • Support the wider team and ensure all workstreams are in line with the project management timelines for the review

All 4 posts will require the post holder to work closely with a wide range of colleagues and partners in the justice system, including Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, Judicial Office, the senior judiciary and the magistracy, establishing strong working relationships built on mutual trust. They will be required to lead communication and consultation on various new judicial policies including a future structure of the magistracy, and understand and embody equality and diversity implications of policy work.

The work of the Division is fast moving, varied and interesting including contact with Ministers, who take a genuine interest in our work, senior officials, senior judiciary and other stakeholders. You will also be expected to contribute to the team’s other priorities, working with lawyers, analysts, finance and HMCTS colleagues to ensure that other judicial policy projects are delivered. You will also be expected to get involved in other key aspects of judicial policy work including briefings to ministers and senior officials, answers to parliamentary questions and correspondence.

Skills and Experience

Essential criteria:

  • Excellent written and numerical skills, with experience in using data to inform your work;
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills;
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing;
  • Ability to make sound judgements and provide well-articulated advice;
  • The ability to manage a varied workload, and to identify priorities proactively;
  • Grasp complex issues quickly and manage competing views within policy development.

Desirable criteria:

  • Previous policy experience
  • Prior knowledge of the judiciary or magistracy

Application process

You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework.

Experience

You will be asked to provide a Work History during the application process in order to assess any demonstrable experience, career history and achievements that are relevant to the role.

Behaviours

Please provide examples of how you have met each one of the behaviours listed below (see Annex A for more information):

Delivering at Pace

  • Act promptly to reassess workloads and priorities when there are conflicting demands to maintain performance.
  • Show a positive approach to keeping the whole team’s efforts focused on the top priorities.
  • Promote a culture of following the appropriate procedures to ensure results are achieved on time whilst still enabling innovation.

Communicating and Influencing

  • Communicate in a straightforward, honest, and engaging manner, choosing appropriate styles to maximise understanding and impact.
  • Ensure that important messages are communicated with colleagues and stakeholders respectfully, taking into consideration the diversity of interests.
  • Ensure communication has a clear purpose and considers people’s individual needs.

Seeing the Big Picture

  • Understand the strategic drivers for your area of work.
  • Align activities to contribute to wider organisational priorities.
  • Remain alert to emerging issues and trends which might impact your work area.

Working Together

  • Establish professional relationships with a range of stakeholders.
  • Invest time to develop a common focus and genuine positive team spirit where colleagues feel valued and respect one another.
  • Put in place support for the wellbeing of individuals within the team, including consideration of your own needs.

Leadership

  • Ensure colleagues and stakeholders have a clear understanding of objectives, activities and time-frames.
  • Take into account different individual needs, views, and ideas, championing inclusion and equality of opportunity for all.
  • Consider the impacts of own and team’s activities on stakeholders and end users. Role-model commitment and satisfaction with role.
  • Recognise and praise the achievements of others to drive positivity within the team.
  • Effectively manage conflict, misconduct and non-inclusive behaviour, raising with senior managers where appropriat 

Candidates invited to interview will be required to give a 5-minute presentation at interview. Details of this will be sent to those candidates who are invited for interview.  Please note that interviews will be carried out remotely. During the interview, we will be assessing you on Behaviours and Strengths from the success profiles framework.

Interviews are expected to take place during the week commencing 28 February 2022.

The MoJ is proud to be Level 3 Disability Confident. Disability Confident is the approach through which we offer guaranteed interviews for all people with disabilities meeting the minimum criteria for the advertised role as set out in the job description.

Contact information  

Please do get in touch if you would like to know more about the role or what it is like working in our team.

Alistair Cook – alistair.cook@justice.gov.uk

Additional Information

Working Arrangements & Further Information

The MoJ offers Hybrid Working arrangements where business need allows. This is an informal, non-contractual form of flexible working that blends working from your base location, different MoJ sites and / or from home (please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas). Some roles will not be suitable for Hybrid Working. Similarly, Hybrid Working will not suit everyone’s circumstances. Arrangements will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) and subject to regular review.

For nationally advertised roles, the successful candidate(s) will be appointed to a MoJ office location, which may include their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed on the completion of pre-employment checks.

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.

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.

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 moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on UKor Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

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

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity