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General Information for Job Applicants

Equality of Opportunity

We aim to employ a diverse workforce which reflects GB society. Therefore, we are committed to providing equal opportunities for all sectors of the community, irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, religion, sexuality and transgender.

Eligibility

Nationality

Most posts within the Forestry Commission are “Non-reserved” Civil Service posts and are therefore open to anyone who is both eligible to work in the UK and be employed within the Civil Service. “Reserved” Civil Service posts are open only to UK Nationals. You should check whether there are any restrictions on your stay in the UK, your freedom to take or change employment and your eligibility to work within the Civil Service, before you apply for a post.

If you wish to check your eligibility to undertake work in the UK, please look at the information available on the Home Office UK Border Agency website. If you wish to check your eligibility to undertake work within the Civil Service, please look at the nationality requirements page on the Civil Service Recruitment website.

Disclosure and Rehabilitation of Offenders

All new recruits to the Forestry Commission are required under the Government’s Baseline Personal Security Standard to apply for Disclosure vetting for criminal record. For most posts, this will be at “basic” level and you will be required to bear the cost of this yourself – currently £23.00.
New recruits to a post which is focussed on working with children - where there will be regular, substantial or unaccompanied contact with children – will be required to undergo “enhanced” vetting in line with the Forestry Commission’s Child Protection Policy. This ensures that an individual is suitable to work with children. When this is required, it will be arranged and paid for by the Forestry Commission.

If you are successful at interview, you will be told what level of vetting is appropriate for the specific post. Having a criminal record need not be a bar to employment.

Health Standard

If you are successful at interview, you will be asked to complete a health declaration. Should it be necessary, we will seek an opinion from our occupational health advisors as to your suitability for employment in the post. When required, reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure you are not put at a substantial disadvantage by employment arrangements or any physical feature of the workplace.

Qualifications

When qualifications are specified as a requirement, a comparable qualification awarded by a recognised body may satisfy this requirement. Overseas qualifications are only acceptable if the Forestry Commission is satisfied that they are equivalent to the required qualification.

References

Should you be successful at interview, the Forestry Commission will ask your present employer and, where appropriate, any other previous employer or educational institute for information on your experience and suitability for appointment. If you have had only a single employer in the last three years, or are a school leaver, we will also seek a personal reference. For certain posts we may seek references prior to interview.

Conditions of service

Details of the conditions of service associated with the post - for example pay, hours of work, annual leave, etc. - will be made available to you through the course of the application process. Other key conditions of service and important matters which apply generally are detailed below.

Being a Civil Servant

Employees of the Forestry Commission are Civil Servants and are therefore bound by the Civil Service Code of Conduct which forms part of the Terms and Conditions of Employment of all Civil Servants. The Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of Civil Servants and details the core values of the Civil Service: honesty; impartiality; integrity; and objectivity.

Outside Activities

As a Civil Servant, you may not take part in any activity which would, in any way, conflict with the interests of the Forestry Commission, be inconsistent with your official position or interfere with your performance or attendance at work. Subject to these conditions, outside employment and activities is normally allowed, provided you obtain prior written permission. Working for another employer at the same time as the Forestry Commission may bring you into conflict with the Working Time Regulations 1998, requiring you to opt out of the 48 hour working week. Depending on your grade and post, restrictions on involvement in national and local political activities may also apply. Your participation in outside employment or activities will remain subject to review at the discretion of the Forestry Commission. Further information may be obtained from the HR Department.

Pension

New entrants will have the choice to join a Civil Service pension arrangement, choosing between a defined benefits scheme and a money purchase scheme. Should you be appointed, more details about your pension options will be made available to you. Alternatively you can access further information on the Civil Service Pensions website.

If you have had previous employment within the Civil Service which ended with you leaving the service on early retirement or severance terms, you should seek advice from the HR Department as to the effect that re-employment will have on your existing benefits.

Retirement

As an employer we recognise the value our employees place on flexibility. The Forestry Commission provide employees with the option of choosing when they want to retire and draw their pension benefits, i.e. we have no mandatory retirement age. Employees may also have the opportunity to consider a gradual move into retirement via partial retirement.

Flexible Working

The Forestry Commission recognises the importance of helping its employees balance work and home life by offering a range of flexible working arrangements. These include compressed hours; reduced hours; home working; term-time working; annualised hours; etc. We aim to extend opportunities for flexible working as far as possible, within reasonable limits set by the operational needs of the business.

Re-appointment of Former Forestry Commission / Civil Service Employees

Re-appointment enables individuals who were previously Civil Servants by virtue of an appointment on merit through fair and open competition, or by a process approved by the Civil Service Commissioners, to re-enter the Civil Service. Such an arrangement is not an entitlement and will be at the discretion of the Forestry Commission giving due consideration of an individual’s conduct, performance, attendance and reason for leaving their previous Civil Service appointment. It is also critical that the applicant can demonstrate how they meet the competencies required for the new post.

Further advice on re-appointment should be sought from our Human Resources Department.

 

Last updated: 27th October 2015