Looking After Our People: The Prison Service Employee Package – GOV.UK

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Updated 12 August 2022

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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/looking-after-our-people-the-prison-service-employee-package/looking-after-our-people-the-prison-service-employee-package
Working in the Prison Service offers a unique challenge – that’s why we are committed to ensuring that anyone joining the service is equipped with the right skills, and the right level of support from their 1st day in the job and throughout their career with us. This section provides an overview of what training and support you will receive when joining us, along with options to develop your career further.
All Prison Officers now join us as an Apprentice. This involves two weeks of initial training, comprised of face-to-face learning within their establishment and digitalised knowledge-based learning which can be accessed remotely. During the first two weeks in a prison, you can expect to visit the different departments to observe a variety of activities. You’ll meet your line manager and colleagues and learn about security, including the management and use of keys. The digital learning allows you to choose your own equipment and learning environment and enables you to utilise emerging learning tech including podcasts, TedTalks, e-learning, videos and much more. Devices are available for those who do not have access or prefer to use their own equipment.
Upon completion of initial training, an Officer Apprentice will complete a further eight weeks of learning at one of our learning venues and depending on location, this may be residential. During the eight weeks, you can expect to undertake a variety of learning subjects which will include security training, first aid and use of force. You will also be taught the importance of communication during a number of interpersonal skills sessions.
The Custody & Detention Apprenticeship has transformed the way in which we train, support, mentor and guide our Prison Officers. It has now been implemented nationally across England and Wales. This apprenticeship offers standardised, high quality training alongside individualised levels of support from dedicated Apprenticeship Coaches and learning support managers. Officer Apprentices are guided through their entire learning journey, up to 18 months, by their Apprentice Coach and their establishment line manager.
We all learn every day at work and many staff at the Ministry of Justice choose to formalise that through qualifications. Apprenticeships are high-quality programmes of learning that are directly related to your area of work.  They help staff gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their current role and plan their career path.
The huge variety of qualifications cover the main Civil Service professions, as well as leadership and management. Apprenticeships run from entry-level, right up to Master’s equivalent, meaning there is an option for every member of staff, of any age and any level of experience. Learners are required to spend 20% of their contracted hours working on their apprenticeship. Depending on the programme structure, business need and learner preference, this could be 1 day per week, smaller chunks of time throughout the week or block release.
Information on the wide range of apprenticeships on offer can be found on the HMPPS staff intranet.
We are committed to ensuring that all Prison Service employees have access to additional training & learning, in addition to our formal apprenticeships, to aid in professional development. There are a wide range of courses available to all employees, both operational and non-operational – with a mixture of face-to-face and virtual learning on offer. There are also specific courses available for those who work with children in the YCS, or with women in the female estate.
Learning and development help us to excel in role, fulfil our potential and our personal goals, and supports the Ministry of Justice to achieve its objectives. Some people may want development to perform in their current role, some may want to focus on development to progress. Everyone’s development is important.
We encourage everyone to complete a personal growth map, which helps us to reflect on our own development, how we might achieve our goals and what else might be useful to develop our capability. A template for this can be found on the MyLearning website (current employees only).
As well as formal learning opportunities, many of which can be found via the Civil Service Learning website and mylearning, there are many other ways to learn. The Ministry of Justice advocates the 70:20:10 model of learning, which acknowledges that most learning will come from on-the-job experience. The model concept centres around:
Application and evaluation of learning are also important. This doesn’t need to be onerous and could include a short conversation with your line manager before and after the learning activity to capture expectations, outcomes, and opportunities to share learning.
Eligibility will vary – and a full list of courses available is available on the ‘MyLearning’ platform, accessible through the staff intranet.
At a number of prisons, we have already introduced New Colleague Mentor roles and Buddy Scheme(s), which aim to support new and existing colleagues by helping to ensure they feel welcomed, supported, capable and confident in their roles as they join us, and through their early journey with us, setting them in good stead for their careers in the prison service. Through providing a supportive environment where our colleagues are able to flourish, we support the cultivation of prison environments that are decent, safe, secure, hopeful and rehabilitative for our prisoners.
The role of the New Colleague Mentor is primarily designed to be a supportive contact throughout onboarding, ensuring new colleagues have a quality onboarding experience and to ease transition into our prison environments. They will further support new colleagues to settle into their work environment and to work with new colleagues to help build confidence, resilience and harness a culture of positivity. A new colleague mentor will provide ongoing support and advice primarily during the first year on the job.
As part of their role, New Colleague Mentors will take a lead in implementing, embedding and maintaining a local Buddy Scheme within each prison, which will provide a peer-to-peer support community, primarily targeted at new colleagues to offer informal support. It will help to ease any first day anxiety and ensure that new colleagues feels that their wellbeing is being invested in. It also enables new colleagues to understand HMPPS’s culture, goals, and the team dynamics within their prison.
There are a range of options available for all staff to develop their skills and career in the Prison Service, and we support staff throughout to build their knowledge and experience, to help them grow in their current role or to progress a career with us. This can include:
As an agency of the Ministry of Justice, career options do not stop with the Prison Service; we work alongside the Probation Service so offer career opportunities across the organisation as well the prospect of diversifying a career into other parts of the MoJ.
The Prison Service offers opportunities for long and varied careers, in both operational and non-operational roles. A detailed, interactive careers pathway framework which showcases this has been developed to allow all employees to see the career options and jobs available to them across not just prisons, but probation and HQ. The framework includes:
MoJ People Group will be launching the career pathways in Autumn 2022 and a link will be available through the staff intranet.
As part of the Promotional Assessment Process, candidates are asked to complete a Development Portfolio which is formed of three parts – ‘Leading Me’, ‘Leading Others’, ‘Leading HMPPS’ – and includes a range of exercises, reflective practice and reading. The Development Portfolio has replaced the Workbook and forms the first step in development and readiness for assessment (for Custodial Manager, Head of Function and Dep Governor grades). Candidates are advised to complete the Development Portfolio 6-12 months ahead of an assessment and with their line manager’s support, which helps them prepare for promotion. The Development Portfolio is now also assessed as part of the overall Assessment Centre rating and is a comprehensive developmental tool enabling staff members to develop their skills, strengths and abilities in a structured manner. It also encourages and enables a continuous path of learning and development ahead of and beyond the assessment.
For some, the move from OSG to prison officer can seem daunting. For others, it’s always been a planned step in their career journey.  As part of our commitment to staff development, we have made it simpler and faster than ever before for OSGs to become prison officers and youth justice workers. With all the training, support and teamwork that staff need, this scheme offers the chance to use previous experience to take the next step in your career.
We believe our OSGs make some of our best prison officers and youth justice workers due to their unique exposure to the custodial setting and the insight they have gained from working alongside our existing prison officers. For further information on this scheme, please speak to your line manager.
We believe that a career in the Prison Service should not be limited to just one type of role and are keen to support those who wish to progress their careers in specialist roles across the service. These specialisms, which are available at a variety of grades, will allow staff to further their career and open opportunities for them across the wider organisation.
The specialisms we offer are both challenging and varied, with opportunities available across a range of different functions such as working with children in the Youth Custody Service, working in assessment, care in custody and teamwork (suicide prevention) as a Band 3 Officer or in dog handling (in both patrol and search functions) as a Band 4 Supervising Officer in the adult estate. For further information on these specialisms, please speak to your line manager.
No two prisons are the same, and the experience gained by a member of staff at a Category A high security prison will vary considerably to their experience at a Category D open prison, for example. Subject to business need, we encourage all staff to build experience through transferring establishments to aid professional development and to widen their skill set.
Further information on all of the above is available through the staff intranet. If you are a new recruit you will have access to this on joining the service.
Running through the core of the Prison Service & HMPPS as a whole is a commitment to fairness, equality and inclusivity in everything that we do. As an organisation, we are absolutely committed to rooting out discrimination and ensuring that the Prison Service is an inclusive place to work for all. This section showcases some of the brilliant work that has been done across HMPPS/MoJ to achieve and maintain our core values.
Our values (outlined below) are important to us – they reflect the reasons we do what we do and inspire us to do our best for one another and for those we manage. They remind us that the work we do really matters They unite us in our common purpose.
Our vision is for HMPPS to work together to protect the public and help people lead law-abiding and positive lives. This vision is supported by four principles:
HMPPS, as part of MoJ, is striving to build a world class organisation that is open and inclusive and truly values the diversity of its workforce, regardless of social background, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, beliefs, disabilities or long-term illness or caring responsibilities.
HMPPS published a roadmap in May 2021 that set out how we will work to achieve our ambitions of being a diverse and inclusive organisation.
The new Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Roadmap outlines priorities and work that will be delivered in 2021 to 2022 to make prisons, probation and youth custody services diverse and inclusive for staff and those in our care.
It outlines how all parts of the organisation will take a whole system approach to strengthen processes and support people to speak out against unacceptable behaviour and discrimination.
The roadmap sets out action across the range of priorities, which are to:
For further information, and to access the roadmap, please visit the staff intranet.
We all deserve to work in an environment that allows us to be our best and that makes us proud to be part of the Prison Service. Despite this, we all know that unacceptable behaviour – discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation – can happen in any workplace.
There is no place for any form of unacceptable behaviour in the Prison Service. Such behaviour is contrary to our core values and will not be tolerated.
To help improve our working environment, we have launched the Tackling Unacceptable Behaviours Unit (TUBU). There are four strands of work in TUBU some of which will continue to mature and develop over the coming weeks and months.
The HMPPS Race Action Programme (RAP), which builds on the MoJ Race Action Plan, will tackle racial discrimination and disproportionality across HMPPS, creating a diverse and inclusive workforce which gives all colleagues an opportunity to be their best. Prisoners, children and people on probation are also an important focus for this ambitious programme which will tackle disparity in outcomes in order to reduce reoffending and enhance rehabilitative practices.
Over the next two years the RAP will deliver a range of new initiatives which have been grouped into the following five core priority projects:
More information on the programme is available on the staff intranet.
Since 2018, the Championing Women in the Workplace project has been looking at the experiences of women working in HMPPS and how we might appropriately support them.
To help with the support, a dedicated team have brought together policies related to women working in HMPPS and external links which people may find helpful. These can all be accessed through the staff intranet.
The Prison Service recognises that its employees should be consulted on issues which affect them if they are to be fully committed to the organisation, and that they will want to participate in major decisions concerning issues which may affect their working lives. Our recognised unions are outlined below, with NTUS acting as the Secretariat for five constituent unions:
Prison Officers Association (POA) – cover OSGs, Prison Officer Bands 3 to 5, Operational Managers bands 7 to 8)
NTUS (PCS, Prospect, GMB, Unite, FDA) – cover the following grades:
Prison Governor’s Association (PGA) – covering Bands 7-12
The Probation Service (as part of HMPPS) have three additional recognised trade unions representing different staff groups:
National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) and UNISON: Pay Bands 2-6
MoJ Diversity Champions (currently made up of representatives for age, carers, disability, faith and belief, gender and parenting, LGBT+, race, social mobility, wellbeing, smarter working and honours and rewards) play an important role in helping drive forward and embed equality, diversity and inclusion as a core part of our business delivery and in how we support our people.
This underpins the work to deliver our priorities as set out in the MoJ Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan.
Their role contributes to creating a workplace culture that best supports our people, builds diverse teams, promotes equality of opportunity and allows all to feel included, welcome, safe and valued, regardless of their background or identity. This in turn supports the delivery of fair and accessible services to all those who use them.
We want to build an inclusive environment for all our staff, residents and service users. There are a number of Staff Networks which all staff are encouraged to join, a small selection of which are included below:
There are a number of other networks available to staff to support protected characteristics, and more details about these are available through the staff intranet.
We aim to create a work environment that supports employee health and wellbeing and empowers us to look after our health. We are at our most productive and fully engaged at work when we are healthy, happy and able to be ourselves. The Prison Service recognises the benefits of having a healthy and committed workforce.
As Prison Service employees, staff have full access to our staff OH service. Full guidance is provided on the HMPPS intranet on how to make an OH referral via a secure portal and tips for managers on what information to provide to get the most out of the referral. Our new Post Incident Care Policy contains practical information for all employees, so they are clear on the safe actions to take to address post incident trauma.
The roles and responsibilities are outlined from a range of stakeholders including senior leaders, managers, health and safety, human resources, peer support groups, Staff Support Leads, Chaplaincy, trade unions, OH and EAP.
An OH Workplace Wellbeing Platform hosted by HMPPS OH provider (Optima Health) was launched at the end of 2021 providing both workplace health and general health advice. The platform also signposts to EAP and offers guidance from a range of issues that can affect everybody from menopause, to financial management to coping with the Ukraine crisis and Covid-19 recovery.
We recognise that working in prisons can often be challenging. We offer a range of services to support staff wellbeing, which include:
Reflective Sessions – Regular Reflective Sessions are available to staff to ensure that this work does not impact on their personal life or emotional wellbeing.
Post Incident Care Policy – This provides guidance to support all employees who are at risk of and have been affected by traumatic workplace events.
Workplace Wellbeing Platform – HMPPS (workplacewellbeing.com) access your occupational health and wellbeing services, plus explore plenty of resources to support overall health and wellbeing, plus access to interactive Chatbot and a mobile App.
Wellbeing Health Promotions – Staff can access health assessments via HMPPS Health Conditions Support Service Line (Diabetes, Asthma, Heart issues) 9am – 4pm on 0330 0084336.
Access to Physiotherapy – Accessed via a line manager referral on the OH Portal. Access to Post Covid Syndrome Support via a line manager referral. CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy via OH services line manager referral.
Access to EAP Support Services – Helpline 0800 019 8988 PAM Assist counselling, advice via the helpline.
Trauma Support – Access a TriM practitioner in Prisons. TriM is a trauma-focused peer support system, designed to help people who have experienced a traumatic or potentially traumatic event.
Staff also have access to the following services to further support their wellbeing:
Care Teams, who are an invaluable source of staff support present in all public sector prisons to signpost to services that may be beneficial.  Trained to provide support to any member of staff involved in an incident within the prison or when conducting official duties ie: attending Coroners Court, care teams also offer a discreet and confidential support on a range of wellbeing or personal issues, and for those on long term sickness absence.
Mental Health Allies, who are a staff-led group of volunteers, trained to be a source of information and confidential support for staff and managers.  Raising mental health awareness and challenging associated stigmas, they encourage self-help and seeking appropriate professional help. Allies aim to create a better culture of openness around mental health issues in our workplace.
Chaplaincy, which offers pastoral support to staff who may have suffered a loss or bereavement, want to talk in confidence about relationship issues, work experiences or any other concerns. Chaplaincy also offers support particularly following traumatic events or incidents at work.
We do not underestimate the challenges faced by everyone working in prisons. We will not tolerate any violence against staff – who must be able to expect a safe and decent work environment. Prisoners who are violent towards our colleagues will face the full consequences of their actions and will be dealt with swiftly and effectively. Serious assaults in prisons are referred to the police under the Crime in Prison Referral Agreement. The agreement aims to ensure that acts of criminality that occur in prisons are properly addressed within the criminal justice system. It establishes a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each partner agency. A new Crime in Prisons Taskforce will improve the way evidence is collected and can lead to prosecutions for those involved.
We are committed to making prisons a safe place to work and providing prison officers with the right support, training and tools to empower them to do their jobs. To protect colleagues and prisoners in very serious assaults, we are rolling out PAVA – a synthetic pepper spray – for use by prison officers where there is serious violence or an imminent or perceived risk of it.  PAVA is part of a wider personal safety package to provide our front-line colleagues with a range of skills to resolve and de-escalate incidents.
We also continue to support the effective use of 6,000 Body Worn Video Cameras across the estate. These cameras can be used to gather vital evidence to secure convictions for prisoners who seriously assault our colleagues or other prisoners.
The Prison Service is party to the Crime in Prison Referral Agreement. This is a multi-agency agreement between Prisons, the National Chiefs Police Council and the Crown Prosecution Service. The agreement aims to ensure that acts of criminality that occur in prisons are properly addressed within the criminal justice system, where prisons determine that internal disciplinary procedures are insufficient, and the circumstances indicate that a criminal prosecution is appropriate. It establishes a common understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each partner agency and aims to achieve an improved and consistent performance in the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed in prisons.
We recognise the importance of leadership – which is vital to ensuring our staff are properly supported in the workplace. This section gives an overview of the schemes we have in place to develop our leaders, alongside a selection of options available to you to make the Prison Service a family friendly & flexible place to work.
The Prison Service is committed to delivering its business need more effectively by creating modern workplaces that enable flexible working in line with the business need. We recognise that flexible working can be a useful tool to improve employees’ work-life balance and wellbeing, so offer flexible working opportunities to all staff, regardless of their length of service. We encourage all requests to be considered as appropriate, including:
Note: approvals for flexible working applications are taken at a local level, subject to business requirements.
We support parents by offering a range of generous family leave benefits, including:
The HMPPS Leadership Code sets out eight standards of what good leadership looks like in the organisation. We are committed, through training and support, to ensuring all of our leaders exhibit these standards and values in their line management of staff.
The leadership development team’s vision is for an MoJ where leaders inspire; talent is nurtured; diversity is celebrated; and everyone is enabled to make a difference. HMPPS’s strategic objectives are to ensure that:
Throughout 2022/23 the Leadership, Talent and Capability team will design, develop and curate a variety of leadership learning for staff which will ensure people of all grades, backgrounds, abilities and identities are equipped to become leaders of the future. Our offer includes:
Further information on some of these schemes is below:
Spark: ‘Spark’ is a fast-track talent scheme which enables existing staff with high potential to accelerate through the grades, developing the skills and leadership behaviours of individuals who have potential to become leaders of the future.
Leadership School: Every one of us has the potential to be a great leader. That’s why each year we inspire and develop our employees through two Leadership Schools. Participants hear from international experts in leadership, have time to identify and reflect on their own leadership style and focus on what leadership behaviours they excel at and role model, as well as explore those that they’d like to unleash to enhance their impact.
Aspiring Leaders: Following an HMPPS Aspiring Leaders pilot, the MoJ Leadership, Talent and Capability Team are reviewing the approach to the delivery of this learning in order to meet the potential large-scale demand.
Thrive: Thrive is a coaching programme specifically for leaders (B5+) from an Ethnic Minority group and was created in response to the Lammy Review. Interested leaders complete an application form and are then matched with a qualified coach. Coaching relationships typically last for between three and six months.
Luminate: Luminate is an exciting sponsorship approach for ethnic minority G6 and 7s (equivalent to Band 9-11 in prison and Band A-D in probation) colleagues across the MoJ family. It has been developed in response to the Race Action Plan and aims to increase ethnic minority representation in senior civil servant (SCS) roles in MoJ and retain talent. Individuals who register for the approach will be matched with an SCS sponsor, who over the course of the relationship will introduce the individual to networks and contacts, advocate for the individual, remove barriers, and provide stretch assignments, unlock opportunities and encourage the individual to pursue and take up a SCS role.
Justice Leaders Scheme: We are developing a Justice Leaders Scheme which will recruit 20 individuals who can fulfil leadership roles across the whole of HMPPS, injecting operational leadership expertise across prisons, probation and YCS.  This ‘one HMPPS’ approach creates a more dynamic and mobile leadership cadre, supporting the retention of senior operational leaders by creating a varied and interesting career path.
At the core of the MoJ approach to performance management are honest and open conversations between staff members and their line managers. These important conversations occur every eight weeks and provide the opportunity to discuss objectives/goals, aspirations, development, strengths, wellbeing and any barriers to performance. Performance management is supported by the regular use of recognition and reward, which is covered in the ‘valuing your work’ section.
If you would like to access further information about any of the above, please speak to your line manager or visit the staff intranet.
We recognise the brilliant job that our staff do on a day-to-day basis – there are a number of benefits available to you which go beyond pay which we hope recognise this. This section provides an overview of those benefits, which we hope staff make use of.
Similar to other public sector workforces such as the Police, teachers or the NHS, Prison Service pay is determined through an annual pay round process, whereby recommendations are made for Government by an independent Pay Review Body. Recommendations from the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) are informed by evidence submitted by the Government and recognised Trade Unions. The Pay Review Body takes into account factors such as inflation and the cost of living, the job market and pay among comparators, and Government affordability. They also conduct their own research with the Prison workforce. Prison Service pay is reviewed annually, and a new pay award is announced by the Government each year.
There are great opportunities for salary progression in the prison service. Staff who meet the required performance and capability standards are eligible to progress within their pay band, meaning an annual increase to their salary. For example. within 3 years, a Prison Officer on the 2022/23 national pay rate (£28,880) will be earning £30,410.
We routinely reward our people, regardless of grade, working pattern or protected characteristics. The Recognition and Reward policy provides the opportunity to recognise colleagues individually or as a team for their exceptional contributions. Rewards can be in the form of cash bonuses, electronic vouchers and gifts via an employee rewards portal. By visiting www.MoJemployeerewards.com, employees can be rewarded with products including e-vouchers for their favourite retailers to gifts, such as experience days and gift hampers. Employees can also be awarded e-vouchers through the Edenred ‘mylifestyle’ portal, which they are registered on when they join the prison service.
Prison Service employees have access to a large number of employee discounts, which include deals on shopping, bills/broadband, travel, and entertainment. All employees can access discounts at retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Curry’s, Hotels.com and many others. Everything can be accessed in one place at www.MoJemployeerewards.com. The 3 main types of discount are: E-vouchers/reloadable cards, online discount code and Cashback (a discount which is applied after you have bought something online). Through our employee benefits provider, Xexec, each year HMPPS employees can choose a free gift through the www.MoJemployeerewards.com platform. Previous free gifts have included subscription boxes, baking kits, 6 months’ supply of Vitamin D, a free monthly drink from Café Nero and a free audio book or movie download.
Prison Service employees are members of the Civil Service Pension ’Alpha’ Scheme, which is a Defined Benefit (this means staff will be provided with annual estimates of the benefits they could receive on reaching pension age) scheme which provides a secure pension for life with no investment uncertainties (as there are with other occupational schemes). Public sector schemes are still among the best occupational pension schemes available. The contribution you make into the scheme is one of the lowest of the public sector schemes (currently around 5.4% of your pay), and we as the employer make a significant contribution into the pension (currently 27% of your pay). Staff can also top up the pension they build through Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s) or by making additional payments into the scheme.
Employees have the option to take a tax-free lump sum on retiring. The scheme also offers a package of benefits, if the unthinkable happens, payable to an employee’s widow/dependents, including a tax-free lump sum payment. Details of the Civil Service Pension scheme can be found on the following link: Home – Civil Service Pension Scheme.
We believe in creating a workplace environment that supports our wellbeing and empowers us to look after our health. HMPPS recognises that employees may be absent from work due to ill-health from time to time during the course of their employment. During such absences, it is essential to provide employees with all possible help and support to encourage a swift recovery and return to work, so reducing any adverse effect on services.
Sick pay entitlements vary across different business groups and they depend on whether staff are on pre-modernised or modernised Terms and Conditions. For example, staff new to MoJ, on modernised Terms and Conditions are as follows:
Entitlements vary, for example they are different in the Probation Service. For more information, please speak to your line manager.
Those new to the Prison Service are entitled to 25 days’ annual holiday (rising to 30 days after 10 years’ service) and paid time off for public holidays and 1 extra privilege day. Due to the 24/7 nature of operational roles, staff in these posts are expected to work on some public and bank holidays. Any that they do work, however, will be added to their annual leave entitlement.
Staff may occasionally be asked, or can volunteer, to work additional hours to support a prison’s regime, or to maintain a safe, decent, and secure environment for staff and prisoners. When staff are required to work more than their conditioned hours, they can normally opt between being remunerated with pay (payment plus), or by being compensated with TOIL (time off in lieu) which works much the same as flexi-time arrangements, in that the additional hours can be banked and redeemed at a later date (with time away from work).
Staff can accumulate TOIL with a view to taking the hours back at a time that is mutually convenient to both themselves and the prison. Hours banked using the TOIL facility do not expire, and subject to availability can be gained or taken at any time of year.
Prison Service employees have access to the Blue Light Card scheme, which is a discount service for the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces, providing members with thousands of discounts online and on the high street. For just £4.99, members of the Blue Light community can register for 2-years access to more than 15,000 discounts from large national retailers to local businesses across categories such as holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones, and many more. Further information is available here: Welcome to Blue Light Card
Employees who need to undertake business travel whilst working in the Prison Service can claim some, or all, additional travel costs as outlined in our policies. For example, to attend a training course, a meeting, or to carry out duties at a different location or establishment. Our aim is to provide a suitable means to reimburse employees who have incurred additional costs on travel and subsistence.
For more information on rates, please refer to the HMPPS intranet.
The Prison Service is part of the property rental deposit loan scheme, which allows employees to borrow some of their salary upfront in order to pay for rental deposits, which is then repayable from salary payments over up to a year. Further information can be accessed here: Thousands of tenants set to benefit from deposit loans – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you are in a role that places you in a higher risk of contracting a disease like flu, then you will be eligible for a free vaccination on site which is arranged through a dedicated immunisation nurse. Alternatively, all Prison Service employees will be eligible to claim up to £16 towards the cost of an annual flu vaccine when booked at a local pharmacy.
As a Prison Service employee, you will have access to a free onsite gym at your establishment, where available.
We are part of the cycle to work scheme, which can save employees 26-40% on a bike and accessories. You pay nothing upfront, and payments are taken, tax efficiently, from your monthly salary.
Employees who regularly use Display Screen Equipment will be eligible for a free eye test at Specsavers. Information about the application process can be found on myHub by searching ‘Eyecare (Prison, HQ and Probation Service staff)’.
Whilst this document hopefully provides a useful overview of our current offer for those working in the Prison Service, we are committed to ensuring that we remain a great place to work into the future. To achieve this, the department is working hard to develop further initiatives that enhance this offer. Below is just a selection of the work that is currently underway to achieve this.
The People Plan – Valuing People Inside and Out sets out our direction for the three years from November 2019 to 2022.
Our People Plan…12 Months On (published in January 2021) looked at the progress made since December 2019, despite the significant impact of Covid.
Stemming from these aims will be a refreshed version of the HMPPS People Plan, due to be published in early 2023 which will sit under the umbrella of the MoJ People Strategy but will speak directly to our people and agency specific issues.
More widely, the MoJ is currently developing five high level workforce development objectives for agencies across the MoJ to use as overarching aims. The ambition is for MoJ and its agencies to provide:
We are developing plans to support ease of voluntary level transfer for Band 3 prison officers to different establishments on an annual basis. Having this will not only allow employees to learn and develop new skills, but it also allows them the opportunity to gain an insightful experience that will equip them with the confidence to do their job. Further information on this will follow shortly.
We understand how important chances to develop are. We are therefore exploring options to increase the frequency of assessments at some grades (for those who wish to progress to Custodial Manager) from once to twice per year from June 2023.
Further information on this will be communicated to staff in due course.
Under Transforming Delivery in Prisons (TDiP), which forms part of HMPPS, the focus is to stabilise our workforce – the new OSG to prison officer progressive route will review the prior knowledge, skills and behaviour of an OSG who has passed their probationary period. As part of the review, TDiP will review the OSG journey in terms of the role feeling valued, how they fit into their own role as well as improving the current experience of OSGs progressing.
We know that focusing on OSG to Prison Officer is naturally a supportive and progressive move – however, as part of the work of TDiP we are also focused on retention of a ‘career OSG’ and the development opportunities that may be available. The benefits will see staff moving into new roles as part of promotional activity (i.e., Band 2 OSG to Band 3 prison officer) and this will support with prison expansion and the need for more Prison Officers.
Coaching is an opportunity to form a short (up to six month) relationship with a coach to focus on a particular challenge or topic. This could include personal impact, career development, change management and performance enhancement. The principle of coaching is to help the learner to identify and commit to actions that they will take to enhance their skills and experience.
A coaching and mentoring strategy for leaders at all levels is currently being developed that will create an internal MoJ coaching pool of qualified and supervised coaches. This will increase the accessibility of coaching as this is proven to be a successful, popular and impactful learning method. External executive coaching for senior leaders is available through our learning portal – Government Campus.
As part of innovating our services, OH (HMPPS) are developing a digital tool to enable employees to gain fast track virtual physiotherapy intervention, which bridges the gap between onset of musculoskeletal symptoms and the need for face-to-face physiotherapy.
With regular succinct, concise comms that attract employee attention at all levels to our OH and EAP services, the exposure to wellbeing, maintaining mental and physical wellbeing will be constantly front-facing and embed much deeper. Through our digital services we want to offer another avenue of accessing rapid health advice and support and to instil confidence in employees that such methods can also be effective; that not everything has to be face to face. To promote health literacy by means of high-quality wellbeing platforms, the ambition is to benefit staff in that they will, over time, become much more proactive in reaching out for support and guidance via our services as well as their own primary health care provider (GP).
Under the new ‘shaping a new employee offer’ programme, MoJ aims to modernise working arrangements by introducing even more family friendly and flexible ways of working underpinned by a new rostering tool. This will support MoJ to achieve its ambitions, which include:
We are working on launching a Green Car lease scheme, whereby employees can save money on tax and National Insurance Contributions on electric and ultra-low emission vehicles. Employees will save a significant amount of money on a new car and the total monthly deduction would cover motor insurance, tax, MOTs, breakdown cover, tyres and servicing.
We are also working with our suppliers to provide a smart teach benefit. This will allow employees to gain access to the latest Smart Tech via monthly salary deductions.
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