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Prison Service: Working Hours

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what hours (a) non-operational and (b) operational prison governors are expected to work; what salary is received by each; and if she will make a statement. (137299)

The Prison Service does not have non-operational prison governors. Operational managers have a pattern of attendance that is unpredictable. It is impossible to construct weekly conditioned hours as limits for normal attendance are variable. However, regard is taken of the working time regulations 48 hours average weekly limit.

Salary rates for operational managers are determined annually by the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB). Current rates from 1 April 2007 are:

£

Grade

Minimum p.a.

Maximum p.a.

Senior manager A

60,442

77,945

Senior manager B

55,528

76,793

Senior manager C

53,357

69,157

Senior manager D

44,589

63,535

Manager E

29,184

43,927

Manager F

26,280

37,262

Manager G

23,434

30,676

A required hours addition is also payable to operational managers E to G at a rate of £5,356 per annum.

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (1) what definition of excessive working hours is used by HM Prison Service; and if she will make a statement; (137301)

(2) what steps she is taking to reduce the culture of long hours in HM Prison Service; what (a) monitoring and (b) controls are in place to support this objective; and if she will make a statement.

Uniformed grades are contractually required to work 39 hours per week, average on a predictable shift cycle. Non-operational governor grades are required to notionally work 41 hours in the London area and 42 elsewhere, including meal breaks. Operational governors work on the basis of being available to respond to emergency situations and therefore are unable to work a set shift cycle. However, working arrangements are set so as to ensure that there is an on-call rota system to ensure hours are spread evenly across available staff. Governors do not work regularly in excess of guidelines set by the Working Time Directive.

In-charge governors are aware of the Working Time Directive and are responsible for monitoring the hours worked by all staff in their establishment.