Ministry of Justice: Termination of Employment

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 1st December 2022.

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Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many staff left his Department in the period between (a) September 2019 and September 2020, (b) September 2020 and September 2021 and (c) September 2021 and September 2022.

Photo of Mike Freer Mike Freer Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The following table shows the number of payroll staff who have left the Ministry of Justice and executive agencies in the 12 months to the end of September 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Leaving date


1st October 2019 - 30th September 2020


1st October 2020 - 30th September 2021


1st October 2021 - 30th September 2022


Note the majority of leavers are in our executive agencies, notably HMPPS and HMCTS.

In HMPPS, in late 2021, the Ministry of Justice launched a retention tool kit to help Governors to tackle the main drivers of attrition in their prisons. We are using the data from this and enhanced exit interviews to better understand why employees are leaving.

Since April 2022, we have invested in several new initiatives to improve the experience of new joiners and increase retention of our employees in the prison system. These include a new peer-to-peer learning scheme, the introduction of mentors for new employees, a supervision pilot in two prisons, and new leadership training in prisons facing retention challenges.

We made a significant investment in pay for prison staff through the 2022/23 pay award. This delivered an increase in base pay of at least 4% for all staff between bands 2 to 11, alongside further targeted pay rises for our lowest paid staff of up to £3,000, which we hope will help in reducing leaving rates.

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