Diplomatic Service

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 23rd April 2012.

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Photo of Andrew Miller Andrew Miller Chair, Science and Technology Committee, Chair, Science and Technology Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what professional advice is available to diplomats dealing with human resources issues affecting locally engaged staff.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Heads of British diplomatic missions overseas are responsible for the overall management of the staff employed locally and Foreign Office staff posted from London. They and staff working for them have access to a range of advice on human resources issues affecting locally engaged staff. Some embassies and high commissions have dedicated human resources managers, others are supported by regional centres. Central management guidance is available on performance, appraisal, disciplinary procedures, via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) intranet. Small teams of human resources managers based in London also provide ad hoc support and advice on management principles. In addition, all overseas embassies and high commissions have a local legal adviser to advise on compliance with local employment law.

The FCO has a large in-house human resources directorate within which there is a local staff policy section to which posts can turn in order to seek advice. Many of the staff within the human resources directorate have years of experience serving overseas and dealing with issues affecting locally-engaged staff. Equally a large number of FCO staff undertake studies for professional qualifications in human resources, becoming members of the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development. In addition there is a wealth of written guidance on HR issues of particular relevance to locally-engaged staff to which posts can refer

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