Katie Walters-Jones has worked her way up through the prison service with Serco, piloting and implementing flexible work patterns along way.
Developing a new prison, four days a week
As Deputy Director of new-build HMP Fosse Way, Leicester, Katie’s current role is unlike anything she has ever faced. While this brand new Category C prison is under construction, Katie is part of a team that is recruiting 564 staff, preparing to transfer 1715 prisoners and negotiating rehabilitation and resettlement opportunities within the local community.
What makes it even more remarkable is that she is managing her role within a four day working week, so that she can be there for her 8-year-old daughter, 100 miles away at home in Chepstow.
"When the position of Temporary Deputy Director came up at HMP & YOI Doncaster in 2021, I explained to my boss it was a dream job for me, but I wasn’t prepared to just be a weekend mum. It was agreed I could work on site four days a week – the first time this had been tried."
Katie Walters-Jones, Deputy Director, HMP Fosse Way
A history of work life balance at Serco
Katie says that Serco has shown her flexibility throughout her career. “I went for my first managerial appointment in 2014 when I was pregnant. I was given the job despite being about to take a year off on maternity leave."
“When the position of Temporary Deputy Director came up at HMP & YOI Doncaster in 2021, I explained to my boss it was a dream job for me, but I wasn’t prepared to just be a weekend mum. It was agreed I could work on site four days a week – the first time this had been tried."
Building a flexible working culture in Leicester
It’s not just Katie who is benefiting from flexible working at the new prison in Leicester. The Director is introducing the option for condensing the statuary working week into four days for the whole staffing structure in the new prison, wherever it is practical.
I see flexibility as key to keeping and developing the most capable people. Serco extended that opportunity to me. I’m excited to be part of a management team that is now sharing the same opportunity with hundreds of colleagues.
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