The Free Speech Union is Hiring – Legislative Affairs Director

JOB TITLE:                   Legislative Affairs Director

CONTRACT:                 Part-time employee/contractor – Initially 0.5FTE.

SALARY:                      Subject to experience.

DEPARTMENT:            Legislative Affairs

REPORTS TO:             General Secretary

PURPOSE:                   To oversee the FSU’s parliamentary work – finding MPs and peers to sponsor and amend bills, building support for those bills and amendments (e.g. written and oral briefings given to key decision-makers, placing stories in the press, publishing policy papers), creating networks of MPs and peers, as well as their staff (e.g. by organising dinners and larger social events, as well as WhatsApp groups), liaising with the APPG on free speech, select committees and other parliamentary groups, responding to consultations and inquiries, and building relationships with think tanks and other relevant bodies (e.g. political parties, other pro-free speech organisations like Big Brother Watch and Index on Censorship).

Who are we?

The Free Speech Union is a non-partisan, mass-membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members and campaigns for free speech more widely. Our in-house legal team, working with our casework team, coordinates legal representation for members in difficulty. Our research and briefings arm publishes briefings on where free speech needs to be better protected. Our events arm organises online and in-person events.

In the last year, the FSU has seen sister organisations set up in the US, New Zealand and South Africa, with further expansion is to come. We have an exciting journey ahead and we’re looking for talented individuals to join our organisation.

The role

As we continue to expand our parliamentary work, we are looking for a Legislative Affairs Director. This individual will help to drive our lobbying, campaigning and advocacy work, with a view to strengthening legislative protections of free speech, seeing off legislative challenges to free speech and persuading ministers and senior officials to protect free speech in other ways, e.g. via departmental guidance.

We are looking for an exceptional individual who is committed to free speech and has experience of working with parliamentarians and government officials to influence policy, e.g. by lobbying and campaigning, helping to steer bills through parliament and amending existing bills.

The ideal candidate will have experience of developing and implementing successful campaigns designed to influence policy, producing tangible results. With a good understanding and experience of Westminster’s legislative, regulatory, and governmental framework, as well as a grasp of how the different regional governments of the United Kingdom work, you will understand how to steer parliamentarians and other policy-makers to achieve legislative change. You will also understand how to drive public and media awareness to achieve this.

You will be used to working with a variety of politicians and officials, and will be a confident and effective communicator, whether talking to members of the public, business leaders, senior members of the government, senior officials or the executives of regulatory bodies. Management experience is preferred.

While we are initially looking for someone to work for two-and-a-half days a week, this will probably increase quite quickly as the FSU grows.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Developing strategies for influencing the government and government officials;
  • Overseeing the amendment of bills going through Parliament from start to finish (involves a detailed understanding of the parliamentary process);
  • Writing briefing materials, including briefing papers, and making sure they reach the right people;
  • Preparing witnesses called to give evidence by parliamentary bodies, e.g. a Public Bill Committee;
  • Being an advocate for bills and amendments the FSU is backing;
  • Overseeing submissions to public consultations and inquiries, e.g. by the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Joint Committee on Human Rights;
  • Building a network of pro-free speech parliamentarians and their staff;
  • Helping to put together social events for key government decision-makers;
  • Liaising with think tanks, pro-free speech groups and other relevant bodies seeking to influence public policy;

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Essential
Network of contacts in and around Westminster.
At least two years’ experience of lobbying or similar.
Good writing skills, with an emphasis on correct English spelling, grammar and punctuation, clarity and concision.
Detailed understanding of how the legislative process works in Westminster and the regional governments of the United Kingdom.
Good Microsoft Word and Excel skills.
Agreeable – good interpersonal skills with people at all levels, with a professional and courteous manner.
The ability to work flexible hours which may include weekends or evenings.
Homeworking – must have premises, equipment and systems to enable productive working from home.
Desirable
Post-graduate degree.
Experience of working in government.
Experience in the use of case management systems, e.g. Sales Force.
Knowledge and experience of compliance with all the relevant regulations.

Applicants should send a CV and introductory letter to jobs@freespeechunion.org. The FSU is actively recruiting for this role and may withdraw it at its discretion.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Benefits

  • Employer pension contribution of eight percent.
  • The autonomy and flexibility of working from home (we don’t have a permanent office although we do have access to office spaces when needed).
  • Full access to our learning and development programme.
  • 28 paid holidays per calendar year (pro rata) including public holidays (annual allotment increases with tenure).
  • The chance to get together with the entire FSU team face-to-face, at our away days and events.

Probationary Period

This post is subject to the requirements of a three-month probationary scheme for new staff only.

Review of this Job Description

This job description is intended as an outline of the general areas of activity and will be amended in the light of the changing needs of the organisation. To be reviewed in conjunction with the post holder.

The FSU values diversity. We are an equal opportunity employer and consider qualified applicants without regard to Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage or Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex.