View Vacancy - Community Liaison Officer EO - (51/22 PTA)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Operations and Corporate Services)
Community Liaison

Main purpose of job:

The British High Commission to South Africa oversees the UK Government’s operations in South Africa across the following locations:

  • The British High Commission Pretoria (BHC)
  • The UK Visas & Immigration Office in Pretoria
  • The UK Department for International Trade in Johannesburg (DIT)
  • The British Consulate General Cape Town

The Corporate Services Team, based largely in Pretoria with some staff in the locations above, is responsible for delivering corporate services to support the work of both British diplomatic staff and locally employed staff at all these locations.

The Community Liaison Officer (CLO) will work under the supervision of the Counsellor for Corporate Services and the Deputy High Commissioner, depending on specific tasks. 

The jobholder will help ensure high quality support, service and advice in respect of British diplomatic staff, their families, where they live, the schools and health facilities they use and the community in which they live. The CLO will also help with wider work that: supports overall staff wellbeing, healthcare and welfare; helps deliver social, community and charitable events with staff; and, promotes effective communications on all these topics to staff across the British High Commission Offices.

The CLO will be an integral part of the Corporate Services team and will work closely with colleagues across the breadth of corporate services functions, especially in areas related to supporting Diplomatic staff - notably their arrival to and departure from South Africa, as well as their preparation for arriving and Corporate initiatives that relate to wellbeing, community, staff support and advice and other relevant areas.

The jobholder will work closely with other senior managers, especially on support for British diplomatic staff and their families, as well as wider staff wellbeing.  The CLO will also develop a strong network of important contacts across a wide range of organisations including other Diplomatic Missions;  healthcare establishments;  schools;  community groups and forums;  charities;  Expat communities and other contacts in organisations that work in areas of employee support, wellbeing and advice.

The CLO builds the trust and confidence of staff across the Mission, though the jobholder’s integral position within the Corporate Services team and close work with senior managers means that the role is an advocate of the organisation, its policies, and principles and values.  This means the jobholder needs to be able to communicate, explain and promote sometimes challenging policies or decisions that relate to staff.

The jobholder will need to be willing to occasionally work flexibly to support staff in emergencies and / or events in the evenings and potentially the occasional weekend as well - although the CLO is never ‘on-call’ to staff.  The CLO is expected to travel periodically to the High Commission’s other offices in South Africa.

The CLO will be under pressure frequently with many competing priorities, some of which will be of a personal and stressful nature among staff.  The jobholder therefore needs exceptional self-management and organisational skills to manage the workload and competing demands;  very strong resilience and the ability to communicate with colleagues in challenging situations, demonstrating skill in empathy.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The below roles and responsibilities are general guidelines.  They are not limited to the detail below and are subject to change, potentially significant, without prior consultation if circumstances, structures or priorities alter.

  • Supporting delivery of social, community, charitable and other team events for staff, for example potentially around:  Easter, Christmas, Women’s Day, Youth Day, Heritage Day, Mandela Day, Spring Day, Halloween, Pride Marches / Celebrations among other possibilities.
  • Advice, assistance and support to British diplomatic staff and their families considering postings to South Africa and when they arrive and depart the country, especially ensuring their arrival and settling-in is managed well and supported fully.
  • Gathering / developing and disseminating information and guidance to British diplomatic staff and their families about living in South Africa.
  • Provide a welfare, liaison and engagement role for diplomatic staff and their families.
  • Gather information, produce guidance and provide returns to London on living costs in South Africa for diplomats, and on a range of other areas including, for example, education / schooling, healthcare, local employment and housing among others. 
  • Provide information, support and advice to managers and decision-making committees on diplomatic housing, support to diplomatic staff and their families, and on welfare issues (including welfare matters in crisis planning).
  • Develop and help deliver regular events, initiatives and activities that help new arrivals settle, build the community sense, promote social opportunities and support staff and family engagement.
  • Help deliver effective internal comms to staff, and where applicable, their spouses or partners, through a mix of in-person engagement - eg, all staff meetings, social engagements, meetings with diplomatic families etc.  -  and written comms - eg, newsletters, fact sheets & reports, social media comms, e-mails to staff etc. - which cover living in South Africa, social and community opportunities, education / schooling, health / medical etc.
  • Ensure staff guidance information and advice is readily available to staff and their spouses / partners and is updated regularly and remains accurate.
  • Help contribute to coordination of staff and corporate comms across the British Offices in South Africa, eg, regular notices on staff initiatives, contributing to newsletters or similar publications etc.

There are also potential opportunities to work on other initiatives in the Mission, some of which involve training, learning modules and other development support that is provided in full, related to:

  • Diversity & Inclusion, and workplace culture
  • Mental Health support and Wellbeing initiatives
  • Learning & Development support to staff
  • Championing fairness, respect and the Mission’s values, and being available to discuss these with staff
  • Championing work to promote a workplace that has a zero tolerance towards and tackles proactively bullying, harassment including sexual harassment, and discrimination including gender discrimination

Resources managed (staff and expenditure):

No specific budgets or staff managed directly though the jobholder will need to be able to help ensure good value for money is delivered in the many events & initiatives referenced in the role responsibilities and to support financial processes for making payments promptly for funded activity.

  • Resilience and personal strength
  • Excellence in customer service, support, advice and assistance
  • The highest standards possible of integrity and confidentiality
  • Multi-tasking, dealing with conflicting priorities
  • Time-management and organisational skills
  • Valid Driver’s licence.  The jobholder must be able to drive
  • Administration experience, including excellent computer literacy (notably Microsoft Windows and social media)
  • Networking with external contacts
  • Must be fully Fluent in English, requires exceptional written and verbal English
  • Experience in working with Diplomats or Expat communities or similar fields
  • Experience of financial processes
  • Experience of working in staff support, welfare or other related areas or past work in HR
Changing and Improving, Communicating and Influencing, Developing Self and Others, Making Effective Decisions, Managing a Quality Service, Working Together
14 December 2022
Executive Officer (EO)
36.5 hours
South Africa
British High Commission
R 311,972.32 per annum
3 January 2023

Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):

Full training is provided to the successful applicant for all job-related skills.  The British High Commission also offers a huge range of learning and development opportunities, including financial support through study grants.

Working patterns:  

Flexible hours are possible at times, especially to compensate for evenings or weekends worked, as is some home working.  However, meetings with staff, external contacts, organising and attending events etc. can stretch daytime working hours, limit the opportunity for working from home a lot of the time, or other remote working or fully flexible work patterns and can require some work at evenings and, maybe, occasional weekends.  Travel to the Mission’s offices elsewhere in South Africa is expected occasionally too.

TOIL or Overtime is a potential option to compensate for long or anti-social hours worked.

A mobile phone is provided for official use.

Travel to other offices in South Africa is funded fully.

A company vehicle is available for official drives made to / from meetings etc.

  • Please complete the application form in full as the information provided is used during screening.
  • Please check your application carefully before you submit, as no changes can be made once submitted.
  • The British High Commission will never request any payment or fees to apply for a position.
  • Employees recruited locally by the British High Commission in Pretoria are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law in South Africa.
  • All candidates must be legally able to work and reside in the country of the vacancy with the correct visa/work permit status or demonstrate eligibility to obtain the relevant permit. 
  • The responsibility lies on the successful candidate to:
  • Obtain the relevant permit
  • Pay fees for the permit
  • Make arrangements to relocate
  • Meet the costs to relocate 
  • The British High Commission do not sponsor visas/work permits except where it may be local practice to do so. 
  • Employees who are not liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary may have their salaries reduced by the equivalent local income tax amount.
  • Information about the Civil Service Success Profiles can be found on this link: Please note:  AA=A1, AO=A2, EO=B3, HEO=C4, SEO=C5
  • Reference checking and security clearances will be conducted on successful candidates.
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This opportunity is closed to applications.