Politically-restricted posts policy

Policy overview

This policy: 

  • provides details of politically-restricted posts which are subject to restrictions (PoRPs) 
  • includes the process to challenge a post designated as politically restricted to avoid perceived bias 
  • incorporates advice for employees standing for election 
  • only applies to post holders of PoRPs 

All employees must be politically neutral, as per the Code of Conduct

Executive directors will follow the procedures in this policy to ensure all appropriate posts are listed. 

Legal background 

By law, we must maintain and publish a list of posts which are "politically restricted".  

Individuals holding politically-restricted posts cannot have an active political role.  

This restriction: 

  • applies either inside or outside the workplace 
  • forbids post holders from holding or standing for elected office 

It also prevents postholders from: 

  • participating in political activities 
  • publicly expressing support for a political party  
  • undertaking other activities such as canvassing for a candidate 
  • speaking to the public at large  
  • publishing any work suggesting they support a political party 

Employees covered by this legislation are not barred from membership of political parties. This only prevents participation in political activity. 

Responsibilities 

The chief executive as the head of paid services is responsible for dealing with appeals from staff designated as holding a sensitive post. 

Executive directors and assistant director level posts are responsible for: 

  • determining whether a new or changed post in their service is politically restricted. This applies to all posts up to head of service level 
  • notifying potential candidates or officers of the effect on their conditions of service 
  • ensuring that the head of HR is informed of changes to the list 
  • keeping copies of any correspondence to the officer and head of HR 

Head of HR is responsible for: 

  • holding the official copy of the list on behalf of the chief executive. They must keep the list up to date 
  • publishing the list and dealing with requests to inspect it on behalf of the chief executive 
  • registering appeals from officers, giving an opinion and recording the details and outcomes of appeals 
  • reviewing and revising the policy 
  • ensuring that the status of all people and posts is recorded on the relevant HR systems