Unchecked UK Director (maternity cover)
- Flexible location
- £55-60,000 pro rata
- Available as a full time role, or as 0.8 FTE
- Contract (fixed term for 12 months). Employed by the Ecology Trust
- Responsible for: Digital Communications Manager, Campaigns and Research Manager, Press and Media Consultant
- Responsible to: Jon Cracknell, Unchecked UK Advisory Group Chair and Trust Secretary of The Ecology Trust. Additional support is provided by an appointed Advisory Group.
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION
Who we are
Unchecked UK launched in Autumn 2019, and now has a team of five part-time staff, all working from home. To date we have received grants from 14 philanthropic foundations. We are a non-partisan organisation, incubated as a project of The Ecology Trust.
Unchecked UK makes the case for common-sense protections which help keep people safe and allow businesses to thrive.
Over the years, successive UK governments have weakened or removed important standards and protections across public life. Regulatory enforcement capacity has been subjected to swingeing cuts, and government departments have been obliged to constantly try and reduce the UK’s regulatory stock, so as to cut costs for businesses, regardless of environmental or societal costs.
Unchecked UK believes that the deregulation pendulum has swung too far. The impacts of this are being borne by some of most vulnerable people in the UK (those whom regulations are often designed to protect), whether through poor quality food, lax workplace safety rules, a damaged natural environment, or inadequate consumer protections. We believe that the UK, one of the richest countries in the world, should be aiming higher. Our vision is for a United Kingdom where sensible protections are recognised as central to a prosperous, thriving, fair economy and society.
What we do
Unchecked UK aims to change the cultural and political dynamic around regulation. Our focus for 2021 is on workplace protections and the enforcement of tax law. Our work spans four areas:
We produce original and rigorous research to show the extent and impacts of deregulation and the erosion of UK enforcement capacity. We carry out quantitative and qualitative research to demonstrate that there is no enthusiasm for a weakening of protections among the British public.
We are working to generate a new narrative that counters the idea that regulations are ‘burdens’ and establishes strong protections as an integral part of what makes Britain great. We are exploring new ways of talking about public protections which resonate with key voter groups, with a particular focus on engaging and activating individuals who voted Conservative for the first time in 2019.
We run cultural campaigns across our thematic areas of focus in turn, with the aim of raising awareness and securing demonstrable support for strong rules from diverse audiences. Our current focus is on workplace protections and the enforcement of tax rules. As above, our key audience for this work is first-time Conservative voters in so-called ‘Red Wall’ constituencies, a cohort which – our research finds – strongly supports robust, well-enforced rules and standards.
We are building a network of supporting organisations and other partners, and hope to develop further relationships with individuals, community groups, and organisations across the political spectrum, in order to build a broad and diverse movement for strong public protections.
Our goals in 2021-22
Unchecked UK has just completed a strategy review, identifying and refining our strategic priorities over the next few years. Our organisational focus over the duration of this role will be on a) exploring ways to truly drive a new narrative on regulation; b) expanding and broadening our network of partners, in order to drive and support the wider civil society response to damaging deregulation; c) improving our ‘cultural’ campaigning to ensure that we are reaching, and resonating with, non-traditional audiences; d) establishing Unchecked UK as a central voice on this issue with the mainstream media and within political circles. The interim director will oversee and deliver this work.
ABOUT THE ROLE
We are seeking a dynamic and ambitious leader to run Unchecked UK for one year on a maternity cover basis.
You will be leading a small team, providing vision and strategic direction in order to maximise the impact of Unchecked UK’s work, with a particular focus on the following:
- Developing high-level and collaborative external relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including: civil society organisations, politicians, sympathetic businesses, strategic funders, statutory bodies, and journalists.
- Acting as the organisational knowledge-base, and keeping up to speed with policy developments relating to regulation, deregulation and the erosion of UK enforcement capacity in relation to our thematic focus areas (particularly workers’ rights).
- Developing a new positive narrative in support of regulation, building on research insights from Unchecked UK and others, and engaging civil society partners to ensure they are bought-in to this process.
- Establishing Unchecked UK as a high-profile champion for strong public protections in the UK, while showing that those advocating endless deregulation are out of step with public opinion. This will involve regularly representing Unchecked UK in the media.
- Building a network of political (broadly defined) supporters, so as to lay the foundation for UK government policy changes. We are very keen to move beyond the traditional support base for work of this kind.
- Building on and implementing the strategy for our work on tax enforcement and workplace protections, and working with the relevant staff to execute campaigns and research projects on these issues, commissioning high quality research and polling where applicable.
- Liaising with and reporting to funders, and working with the Unchecked UK Advisory Board to develop the governance of the organisation.
Experience and skills
This is an exciting role which requires a mix of skills and experience – including movement and relationship building, narrative development, political acumen, campaigning, and research.
Applicants need to be able to demonstrate their skills and experience in relation to the following:
- Leading teams or large-scale projects, including building and leading coalitions
- At least five years professional strategic communications experience, OR demonstrable experience of driving narrative change via storytelling, campaigning or public affairs
- The ability to quickly grasp a wide range of topics relating to UK regulatory policy and enforcement
- The ability to translate policy detail and statistical data into clear and compelling content
- Strong knowledge of UK political institutions and governance processes, and a track record of influencing and engaging with stakeholders in government, parliament and civil society to influence social change or public policy
- Experience of developing and deploying communications tailored for a range of public and professional audiences, using a range of channels and tactics, and the ability to act as the primary media spokesperson for Unchecked UK
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Educated to at least degree level
- Experiencing of working with and crafting messages for broad political audiences
- Knowledge of the UK regulatory landscape
- An innovative and strategic thinker
- Collaborative leadership style, well-suited to a highly-participatory model of working
- An open-minded, empathetic disposition, well-suited to encouraging an inclusive and empowering organisational ethos
- Confident and driven, with the ability to engage with external stakeholders at all levels of seniority
- An energetic and motivated individual, with the resilience required to steer our growing organisation through challenges and opposition
- Values and principles are aligned with those of Unchecked UK
The salary for this role is £55-60,000, depending on experience. This position is offered on a one-year fixed term, to provide maternity cover for the existing Unchecked UK director. The role is available as a full-time role, or as 0.8 FTE (hours can be flexible). We offer 33 days of paid holiday per year (pro rata), including public holidays. All reasonable expenses will be covered.
The first round of interviews will be held in early April 2021, with the second round held in mid April. We would prefer the successful candidate to start in mid-May, ensuring at least three weeks handover time. The post will conclude in May 2022.
To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter explaining how your skills and experience relate to the person specification to Emma Rose (Unchecked UK director) by close of business on Tuesday 6th April: firstname.lastname@example.org