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Complaints Officer (Interim OEP)

£29,179 - £32,160
Closing date
21 Apr 2021
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Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Complaints Officer (Interim OEP)

£29,179 - £32,160

Full-time, permanent contract (with the potential for flexible working)


Here in Defra, we deal with a vast range of issues that have a profound impact on people’s lives. We are responsible for the environment, our countryside and rural economy, as well as the food and farming sectors. We also provide protection against a wide range of natural threats and hazards.

To support this work, Defra are currently establishing the new Office for Environmental Protection, a public body with the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection and improving the natural environment.

Initially, the Interim OEP will be set up as a division within Defra to provide independent oversight of the government’s environmental progress on a non statutory basis. The OEP will then be legally established and gain its full powers through the Environment Bill in late 2021.

Join as a Complaints Officer, and you’ll have an instrumental role to play in ensuring adherence to environmental laws by assessing complaints about breaches made by public authorities.

In the Interim OEP you will validate complaints submitted to the Interim OEP to determine if they are within the OEP’s remit and produce high quality and clear written assessments explaining and clearly documenting the reasoning behind the decision.

You will also support with the development and transfer of the Interim OEP complaints function to the OEP once the OEP legally exists.

Once the OEP is legally established you will assess complaints against the OEP complaints and enforcement policy and support investigations into any serious complaints identified. You may also lead the investigation of less complex cases, managing the relationship with the relevant public authority and making recommendations on remedies.

a role that calls for excellent communication skills as you manage relationships with the relevant public authorities as well as members of the public who’ve submitted complaints. We’ll need you to make sure they receive updates and that their expectations are managed – you’ll need to link associated cases too so that we can take a joined-up, strategic approach. 

Your experience should include building relationships and communicating professionally with a range of stakeholders, customers and teams. Just as importantly, you’ll need to have experience of using your analytical and decision-making skills to assess information and evidence before determining the best way forward. If you have some knowledge of UK environmental law and regulations, that would be desirable.

Flexible and happy to manage competing deadlines, you’ll be adept at working across a wide range of cases and responding to changing demands.

If you have any questions, please email us at

Successful candidates will initially be employed by Defra in the Interim OEP until the OEP is legally established. Once the OEP is legally established, we intend that the successful candidate’s employment will be transferred over to the OEP on their existing T&Cs and they will become public servants.

The OEP will be a non-departmental public body sponsored by Defra. This means it will operate independently from Defra and will not be part of the UK Civil Service.

Defra values equality and diversity in employment. We are committed to being an organisation in which fairness and equality of opportunity is central to the approach in business and working relationships, and where the organisational culture reflects and supports these values. In Defra you have the right to a working environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation regardless of race, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, sex, gender identity, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, working hours, trade union membership or trade union activity.

Disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria in the job specification are guaranteed an interview.

Closing date: 21st April 2021

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