Principal Complaints Manager

When breaches of environmental law occur, your team will be the first point of contact

Employer: Defra
Location: Worcester (with options for flexible working)
Salary: Grade 7: £47,549 - £54,728
Closing Date: 21 June 2021
Sector:  Public Sector
Function: Policy & Legislation

When breaches of environmental law occur, your team will be the first point of contact

About us

The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) is a new public body, which will be the cornerstone of the UK’s environmental governance system following our departure from the EU. From climate change to biodiversity loss, we will hold government to account on its environmental commitments. We will also offer independent oversight and advice on environmental law and other matters relating to the natural environment.

Until is it legally established as a Non-Departmental Public Body, the Interim OEP will be a division within The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Initial challenges will include developing the OEP strategy and enforcement policy, producing an independent assessment of progress in relation to the government's 25-Year Environment Plan, and determining how the OEP will form and operate.

About the role
Working alongside one other Complaints Manager and an Investigations Manager, you will be responsible for leading our Complaints, Investigations and Enforcement team. This means overseeing the workload and performance of the team, managing resources flexibly to meet changes in demand. You will also monitor trends within complaints and share your insights to inform the broader monitoring of environmental law.

A key challenge for the team is to triage, manage and investigate complaints about potential serious breaches of environmental law by public authorities. You will assess whether a breach of environmental law has occurred, identify appropriate remedies and negotiate to achieve them. This will include initiating enforcement action in collaboration with OEP lawyers. You will also own and maintain the OEP complaints procedure and processes, and report on performance.

About you

You will have significant experience of interpreting and applying UK environmental law, regulation and policy. This should be matched a proven ability to lead a public-facing or operational service, including the management of people, processes and performance. Capable of analysing a range of evidence to inform decisions and make clear recommendations to senior leadership, you’ll also be able to negotiate effectively to reach agreements and find solutions between different parties. Excellent project management skills are essential.

We aim to support the professional and personal wellbeing of everyone in Defra. Our benefits include generous annual leave, a contributory pension, staff bonuses and recognition, salary sacrifice benefit options, and an employee discount scheme. We also offer flexible working and a variety of learning and development opportunities.