Office for Environmental Protrection




Head of Finance and Corporate Services


Reference number: 285231
Salary: £59,341 - £67,252
Job grade: Grade 6
Contract type: Permanent
Working pattern: Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time
Location: Worcester

Job summary
Are you an experienced finance lead looking for a new challenge?

Would you like to lead the finance and corporate services functions at the heart of a new organisation set up to protect and improve the environment?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

The Office for Environmental Protection's (the OEP) mission is to protect and improve the environment. Created by the Environment Act 2021, our role is to hold government and other public bodies to account in England and Northern Ireland. The OEP does this in several ways, including reporting on progress against environmental improvement plans and targets, advising on changes to environmental laws and receiving complaints from the public which can lead to us taking enforcement action.

To find out more about the OEP, what we do, who we are and our current work, visit the OEP website.

This role is based in the OEP’s Chief of Staff directorate which leads our work on business strategy and planning, governance and communications, as well as finance and corporate services, which comprise of HR, IT, procurement and estates.

With a total staff of just over 70, we are a small but growing, friendly and flexible organisation covering both England, Northern Ireland, and environmental matters reserved to the UK government. We offer flexible working arrangements, high profile, dynamic work and the chance to have an impact on improving the environment.

The OEP is a non-departmental public body sponsored by Defra which means it operates independently from Defra and is not part of the UK Civil Service. Our employees are public servants.

Job description
This is an exciting opportunity to help lead and shape a new and growing organisation. To complete building our finance, Human Resources, IT and digital, procurement and estates functions, and lead their delivery to a high standard, that helps deliver our mission to protect and improve the environment.

You will join us at a critical point, as we grow through significant recruitment and procurement, move into our new Worcester office, finalise our People Strategy in response to feedback from our first staff survey and complete our first full year’s annual report and accounts.

The role holder will:

  • Provide effective leadership, advice and support to the Board, CEO and managers across the organisation on all financial and corporate services issues.
  • Ensure that appropriate, robust and compliant policies, systems, guidance and controls are in place and followed for all OEP financial management activities.
  • Provide expert finance support to OEP projects including the financial appraisal of investment options to ensure affordability, best value and assessment of financial risk.
  • Prepare the organisation’s reports and financial statements to support high level decision making by the CEO and Board. This includes the Annual Report and Accounts and supporting an annual assessment to Parliament on the adequacy of funding to the organisation; and leading or contributing to business cases.
  • Provide line management support and guidance for a growing Finance and Corporate Services team and to motivate and inspire corporate services to provide a first class service for the whole OEP.
  • Identify and flag emerging risks, issues, opportunities and trends, taking the necessary corrective action.
  • Ensure that OEP strategic, financial, business and corporate planning and performance reviews are conducted in line with current best practice.
  • Build strong working relationships across the OEP to support deep financial insight and control. Challenge with confidence, credibility and influence at the most senior levels in a considered and professional manner on OEP finance and corporate services matters.
  • Lead the OEP’s financial management relationship with external stakeholders, including other UK and Northern Ireland government departments, auditors and arms-length bodies, influencing discussions over funding requirements and priorities to ensure the best outcome for the OEP.

The above list of job duties is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.


The OEP offers a generous defined benefit, inflation-proof Civil Service Pension which is a valuable part of your total reward package. Upon joining the OEP, staff can opt to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme which, depending on salary, offers a personal contribution rate of between 4.6% and 7.35%, and an employer contribution rate of between 26.6% and 30.3%. There is also the option to join a partnership scheme. Full details and benefits of the options available to you can be found on the Civil Service Pension Portal.

Leave and Flexible Working
The OEP offers 25 days annual leave rising to 30 days over 5 years for all new entrants.

Additional paid leave is available where necessary to cater for a variety of situations including, but not limited to, family-related leave, volunteering days, exam and study leave, public duties and trade union activities. In addition, we offer a generous enhanced maternity leave, parental leave and shared parental leave policy.

The OEP is supportive of flexible working and has a flexible working policy to allow for variations in individuals working hours where this is compatible with business need.

Performance Management and In Year Bonus Scheme
The OEP is committed to promoting a high-performing culture for all employees. Performance and development management is key to developing trusting relationships between managers and employees so that they can be their best and thrive at work. Every individual will have a performance management plan which will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The OEP has a quarterly ‘In-year Bonus Scheme’ where individuals and/ or teams can be recognised for outstanding one-off contributions and achievements.

Learning and Development
The OEP is a learning organisation and strongly supports the continuous professional development of all employees through both personal and work related study. The OEP will pay for one relevant profession membership per employee to support continuous professional development.

Every employee has access to five days learning and development each year to support professional development. This could be through Civil Service Learning mandatory and voluntary learning, corporate inductions, staff events and welcome days as well as relevant professional qualifications and specific courses.

Staff Wellbeing
Staff wellbeing is extremely important and the OEP strives to provide access to numerous resources to aid the wellbeing of its employees. Current initiatives include: 

  • Access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) providing free and confidential 24/7 telephone advice and guidance to support employees with both personal and employment issues. This may include personal wellbeing, career development or legal matters such as landlord/tenant disputes.
  • Access to an Occupational Health Service to provide a range of support service to help with the way you feel at work.
  • Access to trained Mental Health First Aiders and wider Defra Group mental health first aid network and resources.
  • Free access to Headspace, a mindfulness, meditation and sleep app. 
  • Access to a Financial Wellbeing Portal.
  • Free eye tests and a contribution to glasses/lenses if required for VDU use.

Salary Sacrifice, Discounts and SmartTech Benefits
All employees have access to the STaR, Reward Gateway an online platform providing access to hundreds of discounts, offers and cashback options with well-known retailers. They offer a SmartTech scheme, a Cash Heathcare plan and numerous other benefits and services.

All OEP roles are based in Worcester and/or Northern Ireland. This role will be based in Worcester.

All GB employees will be contractually based at the Worcester office. The OEP supports a blended working model and will support a combination of office and home working which will be dependent on business need and individual circumstances. GB based employees are expected to attend the office in Worcester for 40-60% of the week. If GB based, travel and subsistence will not be paid for travel to the office.

Criminal Record Check
In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service or Access NI on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention.

Closing date: Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 29 May 2023.