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Working for us

Current vacancies, our employment structure, the benefits of working for us and the code of conduct our employees must follow.
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We employ food safety experts across the country including scientists, front line inspectors, enforcement experts, policy delivery teams, economists, lawyers, and administrators. They all work together to make sure that the food we buy and eat is safe and what it says it is.  

Working for us brings a range of benefits, with generous leave allowances and a commitment to work life balance. 

We believe that diversity should underpin everything we do as an organisation, and are keen for our workforce to reflect the wide range of communities we serve. We also operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for appointment.

We have offices in London, York, Belfast and Cardiff.

Current vacancies

Inspection Team Leader - North (HEO)
Closing date: Sunday 30 January 2022

Disclosure Officer (HEO)
Closing date: Tuesday 1 February 2022

Enforcement Delivery Manager (North, East, Wales & West) x 2 (Grade 7)
Closing date: Tuesday 1 February 2022

Planning & Performance Support Officer (Apprentice) (EO)
Closing date: Wednesday 2 February 2022

Dietary Health Placement Student (AO)
Closing date: Sunday 6 February 2022

Trainee Official Auxiliary – East of England x 8 (EO)
Closing date: Sunday 6 February 2022

Trainee Official Auxiliary – North of England x 6 (EO)
Closing date: Sunday 6 February 2022

Trainee Official Auxiliary – Wales and West of England x 4 (EO)
Closing date: Sunday 6 February 2022

Senior Content Manager (SEO)
Closing date: Sunday 13 February 2022

Pay and grading structure

We have 6 grades outside the Senior Civil Service:

  • Administrative Officer (AO)
  • Executive Officer and equivalents (EO)
  • Higher Executive Officer and equivalents (HEO)
  • Senior Executive Officer and equivalents (SEO)
  • Grade 7 (G7)
  • Grade 6 (G6)

We have two pay scales, one for staff based in London and a national scale for all other staff. We also have an in-year award scheme for one-off exceptional personal or team achievements.

Our HR policies are inclusive to all

The Food Standards Agency is an inclusive employer. Our HR policies are fully inclusive of all staff regardless of age, working-pattern, disability or long term health conditions, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender identity, expression or reassignment, or relationship status; marriage (including equal/same sex marriage) and civil partnership.

Working hours, probation and annual leave

Normal working hours are 37 hours per week. We operate flexible working hours which allows employees to adjust their working day to suit individual needs. We also accommodate staff who wish to work from home, part-time or job share, subject to business needs. Other flexible working arrangements can be considered.


All staff joining us are required to serve a probation period of eight months, unless they join from another Government Department.

Annual leave

Annual leave allowance for new starters starts at 25 days, plus nine days’ public and privilege holidays, and rises to 30 days with length of service.


Parental leave

Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of up to 3 weeks full pay.

Learning and development

We as an organisation are fully committed to the learning and development of our staff and as part of our team you can look forward to quality training and development opportunities. We believe in helping all our people to make the most of their talents and realise their full potential - that's why we provide everyone with the opportunity to develop further, offering formal development opportunities in addition to on-the-job training. There will be the opportunity to undertake development to meet the needs of the job and for some personal development.


The Civil Service offers the choice of an attractive occupational pension or stakeholder pension, giving flexibility and choice. Details of the pensions available can be found on the Civil Service website.

Additional benefits

As an FSA employee you can access a wide range of financial benefits. For example:

  • the FSA employee discount scheme
  • eye care scheme
  • advances of salary for season tickets
  • Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme
  • Microsoft home user programme
  • First Bus travel scheme
  • payment of professional subscriptions
  • full pay, followed by half pay, up to the maximum allowed by the relevant occupational sick pay scheme

We also offer a number of non-pay benefits, for example:

  • five days learning and development per year – including access to the varied learning resources
  • programmes and support offered by Civil Service Learning
  • time off to deal with emergencies, unexpected situations and certain other unplanned special circumstances
  • paid special leave to participate in non-statutory volunteering activities and public service duties such as an armed forces reservist
  • opportunities for flexible working
  • an in-year award scheme for one-off exceptional personal or team achievements
  • a dedicated Employee Assistance Programme where you can get access to counselling support, general advice and information and debt and financial advice
  • the option to join a trade union

In addition, as a civil servant you can also join or get benefits from a number of other organisations such as Civil Service Insurance Society, Charity for Civil Servants, CS healthcare and HASSRA.

Conflicting interests

All staff working for us are required to apply for approval before becoming associated with any kind of private business interest related to the food industry. If you are associated with any private business of this nature, you are requested to notify your interest in it, and how much time you expect to devote to it. We may then consider whether there would be any conflict with official duties if you are offered and accept the appointment.

This applies to purely financial interests as well as interest where you are involved in managing the business. You should tell us if you have an indirect association of this kind, for example through a partner or family member with whom you are in close contact.

There are also rules about taking up employment for staff who leave the FSA and the Civil Service. These apply generally to the Senior Civil Servants, but also other staff in particular circumstances.

The Civil Service code

All of our employees must adhere to the Civil Service code, which sets the core values and standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.