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Civil Servants: Conditions of Employment

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 95963, tabled on 24 November 2022

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion civil service staff are employed (a) on zero hours contracts, (b) on fixed-term contracts, and (c) via employment agencies broken down by Government Department.

Answered on

1 December 2022

The number of civil servants employed on zero hour contracts is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office. Zero hours contracts are not the normal practice within the Civil Service. Departments may use them in very limited circumstances to help meet exceptional or fluctuating demands on the business.

The number of civil servants by department on a fixed-term contract of up to 12 months, including those on casual contracts, is published quarterly by Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of their quarterly public sector employment statistics and is available at:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/publicsectorpersonnel/datasets/publicsectoremploymentreferencetable.

An extract of the relevant data published by ONS is presented at Table 1 below. Information on civil servants on contracts of more than 12 and less than 24 months are not held centrally as these employees are counted as permanent in the statistics, in line with official ONS public sector headcount methodology.

Civil servants are employed by departments and their agencies and not by employment agencies. However, information on the numbers of employment agency staff working at departments are published by individual departments each month for transparency purposes on their gov.uk departmental webpages as part of their Monthly Workforce Management Information.

Table 1: Civil servants on temporary/casual contracts [1] as at June 2022

Department

Headcount

Full-Time equivalent

Attorney General’s departments

200

190

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

70

70

Cabinet Office

10

10

Other Cabinet Office agencies

40

40

Charity Commission

20

20

Competition and Markets Authority

20

20

Defence

20

20

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

50

50

Education

210

200

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

210

200

Estyn

0

0

Export Credits Guarantee Department

10

..

Food Standards Agency

30

30

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

60

60

Health and Social Care

1,820

1,680

HM Land Registry

10

10

HM Revenue and Customs

560

550

HM Treasury

30

30

Chancellor’s other departments

0

0

Home Office

1,220

880

International Trade

0

0

Justice

1,240

1,190

Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

50

40

The National Archives

20

20

National Crime Agency

0

0

Northern Ireland Office

0

0

Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills

20

20

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

150

150

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation

20

20

Office of Rail and Road

..

..

Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland

0

0

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

..

..

Ofwat

10

10

Transport

580

550

UK Statistics Authority

120

110

UK Supreme Court

10

10

Work and Pensions

3,520

3,450

Scottish Government

1,940

1,450

Welsh Government

30

30

TOTAL

12,280

11,080

  1. Temporary or casual employees are those with a fixed term contract of 12 months or less, or employed on a casual basis

  2. Numbers are rounded to the nearest ten, and numbers less than five are represented by “..”. Data not available are represented by “-”.

  3. Department totals include Executive Agencies, Ministerial and Non-Ministerial Departments

Source: Public Sector Employment Statistics, Office for National Statistics

Answered by

Cabinet Office