§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the present position regarding recruitment to the Civil Service and whether appointments to the permanent establishment are still being made; and what is the nature of short-term contracts and what are the recruitment arrangements for posts in the public services at present.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe)
Recruitment to the Civil Service is a matter for individual departments, although they must comply with certain centrally-prescribed rules; for example that, with limited exceptions, recruitment should be on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. Just under 20,000 people were recruited to permanent posts in the Home Civil Service in the year ending 31 March 1995.
There are five types of short-term temporary appointments in use in the Civil Service. Departments and agencies use these appointments where there is a management need to employ people for a short period rather than make a permanent appointment.
Casual appointments are used only where there is a genuine management need to employ people for a short period rather than make a permanent appointment.
Fixed term appointments are made for a specified period of time, normally less than five years. They are made only where there is a genuine management need to make an appointment of limited duration.
Short Notice, Standby, and Recurring Temporary Appointments involve appointees making themselves available for short periods of work that arise, or have been scheduled. There are varying degrees of length and commitment as to the period of employment between these types of appointment.
There are no centrally-prescribed arrangements for recruitment throughout the public services.