Monitoring Environmental Law Officer (Interim OEP)

£35,895 - £40,613
29 Mar 2021
19 Apr 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Monitoring Environmental Law Officer (Interim OEP)

£35,895 - £40,613

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 the Interim OEP as a Senior Monitoring Environmental Law Officer, and you’ll be instrumental in creating the framework that will enable us to advise the government and scrutinise the implementation of environmental law by all public authorities.

Once the OEP is legally established, you’ll monitor and report on the implementation of environmental law by the government and other public bodies. You’ll also advise ministers on proposed changes to the law, or other matters related to the natural environment.

You can expect to take responsibility for one or more of the themes the OEP is monitoring annually – air quality legislation, for example – and that will see you gathering information, evidence and potentially commissioning specialist expertise to ensure your findings are evidence-based. As well as that, we’ll need you to provide objective scrutiny of environmental legislation, to publish the findings and arrange for relevant reports to go before Parliament. Ultimately, you’ll be advising the government on the successful application of environmental law.

You should have experience of developing, implementing or assessing the impact and effectiveness of environmental law. In particular, we’ll want to see a proven ability to impartially analyse evidence and draw sound conclusions, to deliver complex advice clearly and to manage risk.

You should be able to understand and assess environmental law, its practical implementation and the likely impacts of any proposed changes to legislation. You’ll be skilled in exploring alternatives with a view to determining what is most likely to achieve policy objectives and environmental improvement. Project management skills are essential, and you’ll be a confident communicator who can work well with colleagues and stakeholders alike.

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.

If you have any questions, please email us at

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: 19th April 21