81558 - HR Business Partner - South West Prisons

£39,868 - £43,535
12 Months
South West
Bristol , Devizes , Portland , Wotton-under-Edge
Full Time, Flexible Working
Human Resources

Overview of the role:    

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is responsible for everything that goes into running the UK’s criminal and civil justice systems, creating the foundations for a safe, fair and prosperous society. We are one of the largest government departments with over 88,000 staff based across England and Wales. We are responsible for 500 courts and tribunals, 122 prisons, the policies underpinning the system and much more.

People Group supports the organisation by enabling its people to be the best that they can be. We are continuously reviewing and enhancing the services we provide to ensure the delivery of high-quality services for our customers. MoJ People Group has over 1,400 committed and capable professionals delivering people services across the Justice family. At the heart of delivering these services are our people.

This role sits within the HMPPS HR Business Partner Team and will support a number of business units across HMPPS either within probation or the prison service.

The post holder will partner 2-4 Governors within the Prison Service or ‘Heads of’ within the Probation Service or equivalent within HQ, dependent on the complexity of the customer groups. At present, HMPPS is moving through a significant transformation under the ‘One HMPPS Programme’ to create a joined-up prison and probation function, the role may therefore flex as the new organisation evolves, with a huge amount of opportunity to be involved in supporting business change.

Working in partnership with senior leaders this role will be responsible for supporting the business to deliver against people priorities. The postholder will operate as an implementer, facilitating access to central services and working alongside the business to execute people initiatives.

The post holder will be required to partner customer groups in various locations and may be called upon to support regional projects across areas of the business.

As a qualified (or aspiring) HR professional, the post holder will use a combination of 
generalist knowledge, personal skills and experience to advise and partner senior leaders on how best to align the people and business priorities.

Responsibilities, Activities & Duties:

The post holder will be required to bring together the people priorities for either their prison and/or probation customer group at a Governor of Head of level. Will support on the underpinning activities to enable; 

•    Strategic partnering: driving people strategies that enable customer groups to deliver their objectives.
•    Solving: Input and data analysis on HR topics to develop effective people solutions 
•    Connecting: Drawing on appropriate Centres of Expertise and shared service support
•    Coaching: Allowing management of people issues and the people agenda

With links to the wider HR specialist functions within the People Group, the post holder will facilitate access to the right services to deliver people initiatives.

Key Delivery Strands:

Change Management
•    Understanding the business and the drivers for change to be able to support the business with the people elements of change implementation. 
•    Support the business through reorganisation, restructures and redeployment.

Resourcing & Retention 
•    Working in partnership with the business and finance to understand the current and predicted workforce picture based on attrition and recruitment forecasting.  
•    Support in the execution of interventions to address resourcing and retention challenges and facilitating access to the right services across the People Group.  
•    Provide support and advice on resourcing vacancies, ensuring compliance with Civil Service Recruitment Principles.

Management & Leadership Capability 
•    To understand the line manager and leadership capabilities within the business unit, support the business to access centrally run learning through the learning and development team and/or helping develop the right learning interventions.
•    Supporting senior leaders with the development of their leadership teams.

Employee Relations
•    Signpost your business area to the casework service to advise on the handling of absence, performance, conduct and grievance cases. 
•    Work with the business to understand the casework picture and support senior leaders to drive action to progress cases withing policy timelines, supporting in the access of advice.
•    Understand the role of the unions and support managers with union engagement related to people activity.

Employee Experience and Staff Engagement
•    Working with the senior leaders to analyse and identify the right people priorities through the annual Civil Service People Survey.  Bringing in other workforce and people data as required to enable the business area to bring together an appropriate engagement delivery plan.
•    Supporting the stakeholder group to implement the right employee engagement interventions, accessing the right support from within the people group drawing on best practise and central offers.

Diversity & Inclusion
•    Ensure diversity and inclusion runs through all people strategies and action plan. 
•    Facilitate access to products and services to help support networks to improve delivery. 

•    Support the business to access the right well-being services for staff, bringing together all that is available through the People Group to provide the right well-being package or service dependent on the need.

Behaviours & Strengths (for Recruitment/Success Profiles):    


Making Effective Decisions
•    Analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions. 
•    Display confidence when making difficult decisions, even if they prove to be unpopular. 
•    Present strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of other options, costs, benefits and risks. 

Managing A Quality Service 
•    Work with stakeholders to set priorities, objectives and timescales. 
•    Identify risks and resolve issues efficiently. 
•    Involve a diverse range of colleagues, stakeholders and delivery partners in developing suggestions for improvements. 

Working Together
•    Actively build and maintain a network of colleagues and contacts to achieve progress on shared objectives. 
•    Self-starter with drive and energy, strong interpersonal skills and a team-centric and collaborative way of working.
•    Create an inclusive working environment where all opinions and challenges are taken into account and bullying, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable. 

Seeing the Bigger Picture 
•    Understand the strategic drivers for your area of work. 
•    Remain alert to emerging issues and trends; align activities to contribute to wider organisational priorities.
•    Understand how the strategies and activities of the team create value and meet the diverse needs of all stakeholders. 

Essential Knowledge, Experience and Skills:    

Essential Criteria

•    Previous experience of working in a HR team and an awareness of the wider Civil Service HR operating model.
•    The ability to confidently build and manage a diverse range of relationships, including with senior stakeholders.
•    Strong experience of delivering in a HR team, with experience of delivering HR plans and supporting others to optimise performance of their staff.
•    Excellent communication skills, both in verbal and written formats.
•    Ability to analyse and understand data and apply analytics to business delivery.

Qualifications:    You will hold a Level 5 Associate Member CIPD or equivalent or willing to work towards.

Security clearance required:    Security clearance will depend on the environment and may include a requirement of CTC, SC, DBS

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.

MoJ candidates who are on a specialist grade, will be able to retain their grade on lateral transfer.

All candidates who are currently in receipt of Mark Time / Pay Protection should ensure they are familiar with the new policy on permanent and temporary promotion which can be found on the employee intranet.

Flexible working hours

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


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.


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 GOV.UK or 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.

Interview dates to be confirmed

06/12/2023, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0345 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com 

Please quote the job reference - 81558.

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Success Profiles will enable a fairer and more inclusive method of recruitment by enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. This flexible approach to recruitment focuses more on finding the right candidate for the specific role. To find out more about Success Profiles to support your application please click here for further guidance.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com) in the first instance

We have provided detail of the assessment stages and areas being assessed to help you prepare for completing your application form, and to advise of what will be assessed following this, if you successfully pass the application stage.

Application form stage assessments

Making Effective Decisions - 250 word limit
Managing a Quality Service - 250 word limit
Working Together - 250 word limit
Seeing the Big Picture - 250 word limit
Statement of Suitability - 500 word limit

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Making Effective Decisions
Managing a Quality Service
Working Together
Seeing the Big Picture
Strengths may also be assessed at interview but these are not shared in advance.

A Great Place to Work for Veterans

The "Making the Civil Service a Great Place to work for veterans" initiative includes a guaranteed interview scheme to those who meet the minimum criteria to provide eligible former members of the Armed Forces with opportunities to secure rewarding jobs. Allowing veterans to continue to serve their country, and to bring highly skilled individuals with a broad range of experience into the Civil Service in an environment, which recognises and values your previous service in the Armed Forces.
For further details about the initiative and eligibility requirements visit : https://www.gov.uk/government/news/making-the-civil-service-a-great-place-to-work-for-veterans

Redeployment Interview Scheme

Civil Service departments are expected to explore redeployment opportunities before making an individual redundant. The MoJ are committed, as part of the Redeployment Interview Scheme, to providing opportunities to those who are 'at risk of redundancy'.

MoJ are able to offer an interview to eligible candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns. Candidate's will not be eligible for the Redeployment Interview Scheme if they are applying on promotion.

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

· UK nationals

· nationals of the Republic of Ireland

· nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

· nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

· individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

· Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-rules

This Vacancy is closed to applications.