Senior Press Officer Judiciary of England and Wales – 62262
£41,747 – £47,591
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 Office press office is looking for an experienced Senior Press Officer (SIO) to add to an enthusiastic and trusted communications team based at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Judicial Office is independent of the Ministry of Justice and provides a trusted service to judges and magistrates across England and Wales. The candidate will be joining a multi-disciplinary comms team and be able to access professional support and expertise.
For candidates within the Civil Service this post is available on level transfer or on promotion.
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 (LCJ) 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 a number of specialist teams.
The judicial Office 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 office holders 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 officeholders. 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.
Reporting to the Head of News, you will work with five other press officers to assist with media relations and related communications activity. The Press team are responsible for providing support to the Lord Chief Justice, heads of division, judges and magistrates. You will be expected to take special responsibility for particular areas, such as Civil Law or Immigration Tribunals, which will be confirmed at a later stage.
You will have direct and frequent contact with judges and with the media and take part in the out-of-hours duty press officer rota. (These out of hours duties are much less onerous than for a
Government press office and a small allowance is paid). The press team deal with high-profile cases which often make the headlines and the environment can be fast paced and require a calm approach. The successful candidate will:
- Develop good working relationships with Judicial Office staff, particularly in Private Offices of the LCJ and the Heads of Division.
- Support senior judges and the judges at all levels with advice on media handling including statements, rebuttals, preparation for interviews, and preparation of draft responses or statements both pre-empting and reacting to media questions.
- Facilitate accurate and timely coverage of courts and tribunals judgments and decisions and publish written versions where appropriate.
- Respond professionally and promptly to breaking stories generated by judges or court cases during office hours and when on duty; alerting and consulting senior and other judiciary and officials as appropriate.
- Write accurate, authoritative and concise copy to produce press statements and to assist judges to produce summaries of judgments, articles for internal and external use and information for the website.
- Post relevant information on Twitter and other social media channels.
- Build relationships with key journalists.
Skills & Qualifications
The successful candidate must:
- Have at least two years’ experience as a Press Officer or working in a media newsroom.
- Be able to work in a fast-paced environment.
- Be adept at simplifying complex material while retaining the meaning.
- Confident speaking to senior stakeholders.
Experience of working in the field of justice
Making Effective Decisions
Seeing the Big Picture
Communicating and Influencing
Applicants will also be required to complete a CV and Statement of Suitability, and asked to deliver a short presentation at interview.
£41,747 - £47,591
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.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
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.
The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.
The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.
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.
- 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
- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Mojfirstname.lastname@example.org);
- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing team (email@example.com);
- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)
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.