83317- Senior Policy Advisers – Civil and Family Legal Aid Policy, Access to Justice (up to 4 posts available)

The national salary range is £39,868 - £43,535. London salary range is £45,824 - £50,039. Your salary will be dependent on your base location
4
12 Months
London, Yorkshire and the Humber
Leeds , London
102 PETTY FRANCE (MOJ) LONDON, SW1H 9AJ, 5 WELLINGTON PLACE LEEDS, LS1 4AP
SEO
SEO
Permanent
Full Time, Part Time, Part Time/Job Share, Flexible Working
Policy

SEO

Access to Justice

The Access to Justice Directorate is recruiting permanently for 4 Senior Policy Advisers (SEOs) to join the civil and family legal aid policy team. This campaign is being run externally and so is open to all who consider themselves suitable for the roles and meet the eligibility criteria in the wider advert within Civil Service Jobs.

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

In order for Policy Group to meet its evolving business needs all Policy Group staff are expected to attend their base location (102 Petty France or 5 Wellington Place Leeds) at least 2 days a week.  This hybrid working arrangement is not contractual and as a result staff could be asked to attend their base location more frequently.

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.

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 competition.

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

Salary

New entrants to the Civil Service will be expected to join on the minimum of the pay range. 

If you are already a civil servant and are successful in an external recruitment competition for a role with us, your starting pay will be the better of:

  • promotion terms or transfer terms, as appropriate; or
  • pay on appointment arrangements (minimum of pay range)

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ)

MoJ is the largest government department, employing over 90,000 people with a budget of approximately £10 billion. Each year, millions of people use our services across the UK - including at 500 courts and tribunals, and 133 prisons in England and Wales.

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

The Work of the Access to Justice Directorate

As a core part of the MoJ’s Policy Group, the Access to Justice Directorate is a great place to work and consists of six individual Deputy Director-led policy Divisions including: Civil Justice and Law; Death Management, Inquests and Coroners; Dispute Resolution; Legal Support and Fees; Courts, Tribunals and Transparency; and Legal Aid. We also have a central team that provides the overall Directorate wide corporate business support.

As a Directorate we develop policy and deliver services to ensure that every person has equal opportunity to seek justice. We help ensure that people get the right support at the right time, providing them with the appropriate means to endorse their rights and entitlements.

We pursue fairer outcomes and strive to prevent problems from escalating. To deliver a system which is fair, accessible and resilient, we work collaboratively with others and respond to the diverse needs of users. We proactively engage with economic and societal changes and technological advances, taking an innovative and evidence-based approach to deliver access to justice for all.

Legal Aid Division

Legal aid is the provision of assistance to people who are unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. The Legal Aid Policy team seeks to ensure that those in need of advice and representation can access quality provision, even if they lack the financial means to do so. This ensures the justice system works fairly for all involved.

We seek to deliver high quality and sustainable provision. To facilitate delivery of this, we work closely with stakeholders and operational partners to identify and meet the varying and changing needs of users. Legal aid policy is a dynamic and fast-paced policy area that requires us to adapt to changing needs. To do this, we work on a daily basis with lawyers, analysts, finance and other policy teams, particularly Legal Support, Dispute Resolution, Legal Services and Criminal, Civil and Family Justice Policy teams, as well as with operational colleagues in the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), to shape, develop and improve the legal aid system. 

The team

We are a friendly and highly motivated team who look out for each other and therefore maintain a high level of resilience even when the pressure is on. The legal aid division cuts across a wide range of departmental and cross-government policy areas, making a role in legal aid a great opportunity to better understand the wider strategic context.

The legal aid policy team is made up of six teams, each led by a Grade 7: Criminal Legal Aid Fees Policy, Criminal Legal Aid Strategy and Planning, Means Test Review, Cross Cutting team, Civil Legal Aid Reform, and Civil and Family Legal Aid Policy. There are two Grade 6s, one leading on criminal legal aid and the other leading on civil and eligibility, and there are two joint Deputy Directors, Lizzie Checkley and Claire Cooper.

Senior Policy Adviser in the Civil and Family Legal Aid Policy team - the role

This is a high-profile role supporting the development and delivery of the department’s policy on civil legal aid. This role will need to work closely with multiple leads across MoJ, the Legal Aid Agency, legal professions as well as a multitude of justice organisations. The role will offer the successful candidate experience of driving forward strategy and policy development at pace and engaging and collaborating throughout. The post-holder will be involved in a number of substantial work streams.

General responsibilities for the post holder will include:

  • Assisting on designing and developing policy proposals to deliver commitments announced in the Legal Support Action Plan, working closely with counterparts in the Legal Support Policy Team to agree recommendations for ministerial consideration.
  • Working closely with Legal Aid Agency, Analytical Services, and Finance colleagues to develop a joined-up strategy to tackle the growing issue of market sustainability within civil legal aid, ensuring strategic alignment with the ongoing review of the legal aid means tests and the wider Legal Support Programme.
  • Contributing to the legal aid policy team’s work to prepare for the next Spending Review, working closely with the Finance Strategy and Planning team and the Strategy Unit.
  • Influencing the development and maintaining of relationship management with key stakeholders including service providers, service users, justice organisations and academic research.
  • Building relationships with key teams in other government departments to ensure legal aid policy is appropriately taken into account in their policy development.
  • Acting as a strong leader within the Legal Aid Policy Team and on behalf of the Access to Justice Directorate, contributing towards making Legal Aid Policy a great place to work.

Successful candidates will be allocated to either the civil, family, and reform sub-teams, with the possibility of moving across teams depending on business needs.

Line management responsibilities

This is a high-profile, intellectually demanding role in which the successful applicants will be very visible to Ministers and senior officials. 

Skills and Experience

Essential:

The postholder will be able to demonstrate:

  • Strong policy development and implementation skills, including the ability to develop policy proposals that are robust and defensible.
  • Inclusive leadership skills, including the ability to lead a small, diverse and geographically dispersed team from different backgrounds across a number of deliverables.
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills, with the ability to build confidence and maintain relationships across Government and externally.
  • How to bring strategic thinking to complex policy and delivery challenges, exercising sound judgement and bringing together a wide perspective of views.
  • Strong and clear communication skills, providing clear, evidenced advice and briefing, both written and oral, on complex policy areas to senior stakeholders and Ministers.
  • The ability to use project and portfolio management skills in a fluid environment where priorities may need to change quickly.

Desirable:

  • Knowledge of legal aid, civil or family policy and/or government means testing frameworks.
  • Knowledge of Parliament and Parliamentary processes.

Candidates applying from HMPPS should note that the Ministry of Justice does not have the same conditions of employment as HMPPS. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the terms and conditions they will adopt should they be successful.

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.

Application process

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

Experience

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

You will also be asked to upload a Statement of Suitability of no more than 750 words stating what you would bring to the role, with reference to the Skills and Experience, evidence of demonstrating the required behaviours listed above.

Behaviours

During the application process you will be asked to provide an example of how you have met the following behaviours (see Annex A for more information):

  • Delivering at pace
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Making effective decisions
  • Leadership

Please also refer to the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717275/CS_Behaviours_2018.pdf

Should we receive a large number of applications, we will sift primarily on the lead behaviour of Delivering at pace. Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview, testing behaviours.

Candidates invited to Interview

Please note that interviews will be carried out remotely.

During the panel interview, you will be asked behaviour-based questions to explore in detail what you are capable of.

Interviews are expected to take place in February 2024.

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. Kerenssa Kay (kerenssa.kay@justice.gov.uk), Head of Civil and Family Legal Aid.

Annex A - The STAR method

Using the STAR method can help you give examples of relevant experience that you have. It allows you to set the scene, show what you did, and how you did it, and explain the overall outcome.

Situation - Describe the situation you found yourself in. You must describe a specific event or situation. Be sure to give enough detail for the job holder to understand.

  • Where are you?
  • Who was there with you?
  • What had happened?

Task - The job holder will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation you found yourself in.

  • What was the task that you had to complete and why?
  • What did you have to achieve?

Actions - What did you do? The job holder will be looking for information on what you did, how you did it and why. Keep the focus on you. What specific steps did you take and what was your contribution? Remember to include how you did it, and the behaviours you used. Try to use “I” rather than “we” to explain your actions that lead to the result. Be careful not to take credit for something that you did not do.

Results - Don’t be shy about taking credit for your behaviour. Quote specific facts and figures. Explain how the outcome benefitted the organisation or your area. Make the outcomes easily understandable.

  • What results did the actions produce?
  • What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your goals?
  • Was it a successful outcome? If not, what did you learn from the experience?

Keep the situation and task parts brief. Concentrate on the action and the result. If the result was not entirely successful describe what you learned from this and what you would do differently next time. Make sure you focus on your strengths.

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.

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 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.

Interviews are expected to take place in February 2024.

12/02/2024, 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 - 83317.

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. Kerenssa Kay (kerenssa.kay@justice.gov.uk), Head of Civil and Family Legal Aid.

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

Behaviours
Delivering at Pace - 250 word limit
Seeing the Big Picture - 250 word limit
Making Effective Decisions - 250 word limit
Leadership - 250 word limit
Experience
CV
Statement of Suitability - 750 word limit
A sift based on the lead behaviour, Delivering at Pace, may be held if a large number of applications are received. If a large number of applications remain after the initial sift, your application will be progressed to a full sift, where all behaviours will then be considered.

Interview stage assessments

There is 1 interview stage for this vacancy.
Behaviours
Delivering at Pace
Seeing the Big Picture
Making Effective Decisions
Leadership

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.

The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.

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.