UK Ministry of Defence Reviews | Glassdoor

UK Ministry of Defence Reviews

Updated July 12, 2017
190 reviews

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3.5
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UK Ministry of Defence Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon
25 Ratings

190 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexibility, work/life balance, good pension (in 10 reviews)

  • Flexible working, well paid, good people, many high performing personnel who regularly achieve (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • Pay not quite up to private sector levels (in 11 reviews)

  • Time away from family can be hard (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Mod"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Commercial Officer in Bristol, CT
    Current Employee - Commercial Officer in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very flexible employer with lots of opportunity to study and progress

    Cons

    Can be very slow to change


  2. "is a good institution"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Emergency Medical Technician Basic in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Emergency Medical Technician Basic in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    you are always protected happy to serve the country

    Cons

    we always do before complain

    Advice to Management

    united we stand divided we fall


  3. "Working in Defence - Is it for you?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence full-time

    Pros

    Wide number of career options available: admin, engineering, IT, etc. Roles available at apprentice level to direct entry management. It's best to visit the website to fully understand roles available in your local area.

    Cons

    Many sites tend to be "out of town" and require own transport. Civil servant numbers being reduced so job post may transfer to private contractor, or may even close. Pay may not reflect equivalent role in the private sector, although this can be outweighed by the pension benefits


  4. "Depends on what you want"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Bristol, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Bristol, England (UK)
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The work really matters

    People are good to work with

    Very secure jobs

    Civil service pension

    Cons

    Awful processes

    Terrible senior management with little connection to reality

    Significantly lower salaries


  5. "British Army"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Salisbury, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Human Resources Manager in Salisbury, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence full-time

    Pros

    Good pension, good salary in comparison to civilian sector. Travel, diversity.

    Cons

    Long hours sometimes shift work. Away from homw alot. Can be called upon 24hrs a day to deploy anywhere in the world.


  6. "Excellent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - In Service Engineer in Bristol, England (UK)
    Former Employee - In Service Engineer in Bristol, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at UK Ministry of Defence full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Family benefits and flexi time and great people to work with and very exciting and high impact work you get from the customers

    Cons

    Low pay and sometimes filling for work you are not qualified for or not enough people to do the job

    Advice to Management

    Talk to staff more around the office


  7. "You don't know what you've got till it's gone..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Current Employee - Project Manager
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Having worked previously in the private sector since graduation until joining the MOD, I understand what it's like on the 'other side'. The majority of 'lifetime' civil servants spend most their day moaning regarding the 'long' working hours (37 a week with flexi-time above that!) and low pay (21% pension anyone?). Quite frankly I think it's ridiculous, the pay and benefits package is more than equal to the private sector, with only a fraction of the actual pressure/workload and no risk of your job suddenly being removed from beneath you. The MOD offer unrivalled training opportunities (in 8 months I've completed both CIPS and APM - unheard of privately) and plenty of career progression for those who seek it (I received my promotion within 4 months of joining...)

    Would be interesting to see how long some certain civil servants would last in the private sector...

    Cons

    Lots of red tape and some processes can be tedious, but it's public money so only as expected. Career progression does involve an interview/application for each role, but this is very much the same in the private sector for management level posts (another point some CSs don't seem to realise...)

    Advice to Management

    Try to involve yourselves with junior members of the teams, more exposure can only help them in the long run.

    Less focus on the grad scheme - they're not all they think (or are led to think) they're cracked up to be...


  8. "IAS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Andover, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Andover, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Well paid, enjoyable team, excellent working ethos

    Cons

    There are no cons to working with IAS

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you do


  9. "Great potential, great people, poor returns."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Civil Servant in Bristol, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Civil Servant in Bristol, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at UK Ministry of Defence full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As a graduate I was able to see a good amount of the MOD - with one day being on a project delivering new equipment, the next on a training course that's industry recognised and great for the CV.

    With flexi-time and the new ways of working they want to bring in, you can have a good work life balance here assuming your department isn't one of the high-profile or stressful ones.

    Now I have a more permanent position the ability to move around is alot more cumbersome, but if you look hard enough you can normally find something you can fit towards. They are very much about the 'T' shaped employee here but that's also a big weakness because they don't really know what to do with some of the talent, and it's often best to leave after a couple of years and come back as a red-badge or a CS in your twilight years.

    Cons

    The downside to being in the CS of the MOD is that it's government work. It's low pay without any real benefits. Even the 'gold plated' pensions the public think CS have aren't really that much. Your take home is also poor in comparative roles/positions outside Gov until you hit the upper echelons. However, getting up there requires years of waiting for the person in front of you to leave or keel over, or be hushed out the door on a VERS.

    It's also a very traditional organisation where advancement is tied with who you know, not what you know. Alot of "progression" for people are really just side-move after side-move with the same pay but different jobs. You are somewhat encouraged to not stay somewhere too long either, but the problem in that is that alot of projects lose the knowledge and talent they require to be effectively delivered. Upper management is very much a big picture club, meaning that if your technical they are often very averse to let you move upwards as 9 times out of 10 they aren't going to be able to replace you without bringing in a contractor on ten times the pay.

    The MOD still lacks coherent business practices - Project Work is handed out randomly sometimes and the influx of short-term contractors and outgoing of old staff due to VERS can be frustrating. New management strategies are adopted and dropped after being applied inconsistently.

    When you work with contractors getting 5-10 times your monthly salary daily you often wonder why you don't just join them.

    Feudalism is also alive and well here. I know of great middle managers who understand how to get the best of staff, I also know despots and a-hats who couldn't find the exit to a paper bag.

    Advice to Management

    With Micky Bricks gone there's opportunity to consolidate the MOD direction and operations to the point whoever gets in at the general elections will just leave us and our budget be.

    A real opportunity now is to increase pay and start dropping the £200k+ contractors. The reason you can't keep internal talent is because people can't actually afford to live off what they earn. The South East is especially difficult for new buyers due to affluent Bath, cramped Bristol and Millionaire Cotswolds. If pay was more comparable and ahead of inflation - you'd probably keep alot more of your MVP's


  10. "General Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at UK Ministry of Defence full-time

    Pros

    Good pension and general working conditions.

    Cons

    Poorly managed, beuracratic, lack of investment in staff training and development.

    Advice to Management

    Really need to get into the 21st century and cut red tape and endless processes.


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