CORRECTION: The original story, and headline, made great play on the low hours and low pay on offer with this position. However, this appears to be data entry error in both cases. While the website glassdoor.com still claims the job is for five hours a week, and €4.50 euros an hour, a rapid and very helpful response from the British Embassy has set the facts straight. In reality, and per the HM Govt site, the job is 22.5 hours a week and pays €1538.9 a month. Or, going by our original hourly count, €17.09 an hour. More details of hte vacancy can be found here, while the original article, with inaccuracies struck out, is presented below.
Brexit is set to be one of the most complex tasks the UK has faced for decades, demanding resources and attention from all areas of the economy, all levels of society. With just a few months to go before March 29, 2019, when Britain will either face a “no deal” Brexit – and thus the end of all current agreements with the EU, and made as a member of the EU – or the current plan, supported by Brussels and the UK Prime Minister Theresa, but unlikely to pass a vote in Britain’s Parliament. In short, after a few years of “phony war” things are about to get very real, very fast, and no one knows what to expect.
It’s thus not surprising that the UK Embassy in Ljubljana is seeking to hire new staff to help deal with the challenges ahead from individuals and companies anxious to learn how a deal or no deal Brexit will affect them, so that they can plan ahead, and – going into the future –handle to greater amount of queries, research and admin that will undoubtedly be necessary once the UK leaves the EU.
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However, a closer look at a recent job offer raises more questions that it answers. The position of Consular Policy Officer was posted on glassdoor.com on 1 December. This calls for someone who can serve as liaison with UK nationals and local authorities in Slovenia, to keep them informed of the progress and implementation of the UK-EU Citizens’ Rights agreements. This will focus on providing accurate and timely information online and elsewhere, along with pro-active outreach to UK nationals.
So far, so good, and for UK nationals who live in Slovenia and have been worried about the lack of attention paid to British citizens in Europe throughout the Brexit debate and aftermath, and what leaving the EU could mean with regard to banking, pensions, employment, onward movement, education, family rights and so on, it’s a welcome development to know there’s going to be someone at the Embassy dedicated to understanding the issues, sharing the key points, and looking out for their interests.
It all seemed so simple back then.... the question asked on the Brexit referendum. Photo: Wikipedia
However, looking down the job listing one’s heart begins to sink. While a “deal” Brexit, with a transition, is expected to take several years to implement, the job – which is due to start 04 February 2018 – is not a permanent post, but instead being offered for 12 months.
What’s more, while the new Consular Policy Officer will be based in the Ljubljana office of the Embassy they’re only expected to work five hours week. This seems about enough time to keep up to speed with developments in London and Brussels, deal with any emails on Brexit, and perhaps engage in a little pro-active contact with the community, but far too little to actually grasp the complexity of what’s about to happen, or to provide the attention that individuals and businesses will need in the months and years ahead.
Finally, the job offer, with an application deadline closing 13 December, is five hours a week, so let’s say an easy 20 hours a month. For this the lucky applicant – who is expected to be fluent in English and intermediate Slovene, as well as previous experience or awareness of British and/or local country public sector policy development, among other qualities – will receive a monthly salary of €90, or around €4.5 an hour. This compares to the current hourly minimum wage of €4.84 (Wikipedia).
Those interested in applying for this job can see the full offer here, while those who simply came here to read about Brexit are advised to stock up on popcorn: things are about to get interesting.
All our stories on Brexit and Slovenia can be found here