Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - Chair

Body: Health and Safety Executive
Appointing Department: Department for Work and Pensions
Sector: Regulation
Location: Nationwide
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £84,000 Per Annum
Time Requirements: 3 days per week


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Sarah Newton appointed as new Chair of HSE
The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed Sarah Newton as Chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Board.

The appointment commences on 1 August 2020 and is a 5 year posting. She will replace Martin Temple at the conclusion of his term.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said:

“I’m pleased to welcome Sarah to this important role and look forward to working with her.”

“Her insight and experience will be huge assets as we work to safely resume everyday life across the country, helping to build confidence within business and workers as we get Britain back into work.”

“I would also like to thank Martin for his dedication throughout his service over the last five years.”

Sarah Newton said:

“As we move out of the nationwide lockdown and learn to live with Covid 19, the role of the HSE has never been more critical. I am looking forward to working with the HSE non executive and executive leadership team, tackling the challenges, building on the strengths of the organisation and working in partnership with employers, unions, trade associations, professional bodies, academics and others, enabling Great Britain to work safely and well.”

About Sarah Newton

Sarah has thirty years’ experience of strategic planning, leadership and change management, dealing with complex issues across the business, voluntary and governmental sectors. She has considerable experience of building partnerships between diverse people and organisations to deliver shared aims. She has served on a wide range of boards and is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.

Between 2010 and 2019 she was an MP and served for 3 years as a Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee before becoming a Minister in the Home Office and latterly at the Department of Work and Pensions, where she had the honour of working with the HSE and leading the Health and Work unit. Amongst other responsibilities while at the Home Office she led work on tackling modern slavery, human trafficking and human exploitation.

Before entering the House of Commons, she was Director of the International Longevity Centre – UK, Age Concern England and American Express Europe. She also served as a Councillor in the London Borough of Merton.

Sarah was educated at Falmouth Comprehensive School and Kings College London. Sarah won a Rotary International postgraduate scholarship in the USA.

Sarah is married with 3 children.

Date: 31/07/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    20th May 2020 Please note that this date is only indicative at this stage and could be subject to change.

  • Final Interview Date

    26th June 2020 Please note that this date is only indicative at this stage and could be subject to change.

  • Announcement

    31/07/2020 at 09:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a Crown Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It is responsible for the prevention of workplace illness, injury and death across the UK.

DWP is seeking a Chair with a range of established skills and competences to help set HSE’s strategic direction to 2025 and beyond, drive regulatory excellence and oversee the organisation’s governance arrangements.

We are therefore looking for candidates who can bring experience from other national and/or international organisations with challenges on a similarly large scale to those facing HSE.

The HSE Board is responsible for:

•Setting and delivering HSE’s strategic aims and objectives within the agreed policy and resources framework agreed with Ministers.

•Overseeing the budget and ensuring HSE complies with the rules for the use of public money.
•Ensuring that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on governance, risk management and internal control.

•Appointing the Chief Executive Officer, setting their performance objectives and remuneration (with Ministerial consent).

The Chair is expected to attend and preside over eight Board meetings a year, which take place at HSE’s headquarters in Bootle, Merseyside or in the regions or devolved administrations and involve an overnight stay. One meeting per year takes the form of a two-day strategic planning event. Other duties involve representing HSE with various stakeholders and meeting HSE staff located around GB, which can involve extensive travel.

The Chair is at the helm of an organisation that is expanding in both scope and scale over the next few years. We are now seeking a candidate with excellent leadership skills to fill this challenging role. The successful candidate will be collaborative, persuasive and have the ability to engage productively and effectively with a very broad range of key stakeholders as HSE continues to develop and influence the health and safety agenda.

Key responsibilities include:

•Providing strong and effective leadership to the Board, keeping it focused on HSE’s mission, vision and strategic direction within a policy and resources framework agreed with the Ministers;

•Supporting and motivating the Executive team, acting as a confidant, mentor and wise counsel whilst also holding them to account for agreed delivery objectives and sound financial management;

•Ensuring HSE has a constructive working relationship with Ministers and officials in the sponsoring body, the Department for Work and Pensions, with other Ministers and key stakeholders including Whitehall, industry, business and employee organisations;

•Ensuring collective behaviours and high standards of regularity and propriety are delivered, in line with relevant guidance, including ensuring formal and rigorous annual evaluation of the Board’s performance, and that of its committees, with independent input at least every three years;

•Demonstrating commitment to the Seven Principles of Public life set out by the Committee on Standards in Public Life.


Person Specification

Essential Criteria

•Ability to Chair a multi-faceted organisation and demonstrate its independence and impartiality;

•Ability to support and challenge the organisation during a period of significant growth;

•Collaborative and effective leadership skills with the ability to quickly understand the strategic issues facing HSE together with a sound understanding of the policy, political and environment context within which the organisation operates;

•Excellent stakeholder management and communication skills with the ability to manage relationships with political stakeholders and Secretaries of State alongside industry and business leaders;

•Knowledge, understanding and experience of complex organisations and industry;

•Ability to fulfil the role with professional integrity, exemplifying the highest standards of behaviour in public life

Desirable Criteria

•Experience of a relevant regulatory and/or safety environment


How to Apply

In order for us to progress your application please submit the following completed documentation:

Please ensure your full name is clearly stated at the top of your CV and supporting statement.

1. A CV (maximum 2-3 pages) with your education and professional qualifications and full employment history.

2. An accompanying Supporting Statement (maximum 2 pages) – this is your opportunity to demonstrate    how you meet each of the criteria set out in this information pack. The initial sift is based on this information so it is important to fully address the criteria. You should aim to provide specific examples that demonstrate how your knowledge and experience matches each of the criteria, and which describe what your role was in achieving a specific result.

3. Personal Information Form. Most of the information requested is not seen by the panel assessing your application (though the panel may consider your declaration of interests).

4. Diversity Monitoring Form. Collecting and analysing candidate data will help us improve our diversity strategy. It will allow us to run more successful recruitment exercises in the future and ensure that competitions are fair for all. This form is not part of the selection process and will be treated in strictest confidence. It will be kept separate from your application and not be seen by the selection panel.

Please email your application by 23:00 on 10/05/2020 to:

If you are unable to apply by email you may send your application by post to:

Carmela Keogh, ALB Public Appointments Team, Department for Work and Pensions | Private Pensions and Stewardship | 1st Floor, Caxton House | Tothill Street | SW1H 9NA.

Personal Information Form (HSE Chair)
Diversity Form (HSE Chair)
HSE Candidate Pack
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