Natural England: Staff:Written question - 176216

(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 08 October 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Natural England: Staff
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff have transferred from Natural England to his Department in each month from July 2016 to September 2018; what the reasons were for each of those transfers; and if he will make a statement.
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 16 October 2018

Since July 2016, Natural England (NE) have transferred or seconded 463 staff to Defra and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

In January 2017 60 NE staff were moved to Defra under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations 2006 (TUPE). These transfers fulfilled roles in finance, communications, human resources and IT as part of the Corporate Services Transformation Programme.

As of 1 October NE have also transferred 331 staff to the RPA under TUPE as part of the Countryside Stewardship Improvement programme and the Countryside Stewardship & Environmental Stewardship Transition.

Since 2016 NE have also seconded 22 staff to Defra and the RPA. Reasons for these individual secondments include building on existing partner relationships, to develop identified specific skills and knowledge that will be of clear benefit to NE on return and building relationships with key stakeholders to encourage cross-network or departmental working.

Most recently a further 50 NE staff have been successful in secondment opportunities to Defra EU Exit roles on two year secondments as part of a Defra group initiative. In deciding the best candidates for secondment, consideration was given to minimise the potential impact on NE’s Key Performance Indicators. Secondees’ substantive roles which are not deemed a high priority have been left unfilled, and work reallocated or stopped for now. These secondments will be individually developmental and add new expertise and fresh perspectives to the EU Exit work, whilst helping NE balance its budget for 2018/19.

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