Defra Reviews | Glassdoor

Defra Reviews

Updated Feb 4, 2020

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3.6
78%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
Defra Permanent Secretary Tamara Finkelstein (no image)
Tamara Finkelstein
3 Ratings
Pros
  • "An employer who truly values flexible working and allowing the employee to work around their own needs(in 17 reviews)

  • "Calm, interesting issues, good work-life balance(in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "Senior management do not give appropriate amounts of responsibility to those who deserve it, very hierarchical(in 4 reviews)

  • "Brexit dominates senior management(in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Defra"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate Strategy Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Defra full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good working culture. Great office space in London. Friendly people

    Cons

    Can be quite a quiet office

    Defra2020-02-03
  2. "Fine if you like the civil service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Policy Advisor in London, England

    I worked at Defra part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of flexibility about working patterns and locations, good pay for public sector, staff generally friendly, opportunities for career progression if you work out how to 'play the game', potential for interesting and rewarding work

    Cons

    Debra has expanded massively since the Brexit referendum and hasn't coped well with the influx of people, many have been assigned roles that don't fit their skills. The hotdesking feels a bit soullless. And all the disadvantages of large civil service organisations: having to be neutral about the topics you're working on, huge bureaucracy, constant sense of others scheming their way up career ladders.

    Continue reading
    Defra2020-02-05
  3. "Friendly place where you can do lots of different jobs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Organizational Development Specialist in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Defra full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    People are largely driven by their contribution to society's benefit. Lots of different jobs on offer

    Cons

    It is chaotic and wasteful

    Defra2020-01-03
  4. "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Policy Advisor in York, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Defra full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Nice people, nice culture, very flexible approach to home working

    Cons

    Sometimes slow to get decisions made and lack of individual accountability

    Defra2019-12-05
  5. "Very nice place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Assistant in London, England

    I have been working at Defra full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Incredible people Great work-life balance Average salary

    Cons

    Sometimes it is slow to get things done

    Defra2019-11-11
  6. "Interesting and varied work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Executive Officer in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Defra full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Get to work on hugely important issues. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    Low pay. Lots of office politics.

    Continue reading
    Defra2019-11-01
  7. "Comfortable"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Policy Adviser in York, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Defra full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexi working Good employment benefits Busy environment

    Cons

    Current political climate Still a little bias toward northern workers

    Defra2019-10-23
  8. Helpful (4)

    "Not recommended"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ICT Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Defra full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible working hours, home working

    Cons

    Defra recently created a single ICT team by merging hundreds of staff from agencies that are part of the broader Defra network of organisations. These include ICT staff from the environment agency, rural payments agency, natural England and others. The culture is biased towards environment agency staff who have promoted out of all proportion to other staff, often regardless of ability. The culture is autocratic and staff are fearful of speaking out and are choosing to leave instead. There is serious inequality and career progression is based upon whether your face fits rather than ability. It comes as no surprise that so many are leaving and there is a serious recruitment and retention problem.

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    Defra2019-08-26
  9. Helpful (1)

    "You don't have to be patient to work here but it helps"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Bristol, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Defra full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexible working, open management, supportive

    Cons

    Overworked, you will be doing more than you signed on to do. Firefighting issues stifles a lot of good work. Brexit dominates senior management.

    Continue reading
    Defra2019-07-09
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Not the worst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Policy 

    I worked at Defra full-time

    Pros

    Flexible, interesting policy area, dynamic policy formulation in some parts

    Cons

    Slow to act on tech. Some senior leaders will go out of their way to block progression based on personal dislike rather than abilities

    Defra2019-07-08

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