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Ministry of Defence Guard Service

Volume 741: debated on Monday 20 November 2023

15. What recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of the operational MGS employment contract on applications for promotion in the Ministry of Defence Guard Service. (900165)

Order. Look, I do not need Members making signals to me on taking questions—it is quite obvious that I go from the Government side to the Opposition side.

There is no evidence that the operational MOD Guard Service employment contract has had a material bearing on workflow, recruitment and retention. However, it is not possible to conduct an accurate assessment of the impact that OMEC has had on applications from staff seeking promotion, because of the way applications are filed. That said, the MOD Guard Service is encouraged by the volume of applications received for vacancies through fair and open competition, no doubt encouraged by the fact that OMEC terms and conditions of service remain highly favourable when compared with private sector security companies.

I thank the Minister for his response but, respectfully, I do not find it sufficient. My constituent has provided more than a decade’s service within the Ministry of Defence Guard Service. He reports that he and his contemporaries are disincentivised to apply for promotion, because it would mean switching to the new OMEC contracts from their legacy contracts and an extra six hours’ work a week. Many are leaving. Will the Minister promise to investigate this issue thoroughly?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady. The new way of working was passed through the trade union consultation process, of course, and in terms of pay, pension, leave and sickness benefits and working hours, the MOD Guard Service performs well, as I have said, against private security companies. That is why we appear to be recruiting and retaining well.