Staff benefits

Annual leave

The following entitlements are based on a five day (35 hour) working week.

Annual leave entitlement
GradeEntitlement (days)Christmas daysTotal

Grade A-E



28 days

Grade F and above



32 days


No matter the length of service, staff are entitled to three days paid leave (known as Christmas days) which must be taken over the Christmas period. The council decides the dates of these Christmas days.

Staff who have completed five years continuous service with a public authority, will receive an extra four days (28 hours) annual leave.

New entrants are entitled to annual leave in proportion to completed actual days worked during the leave year of entry.

Where staff work less than 35 hours per week, leave entitlements will be pro rata to the number of hours worked.

Buying annual leave

Staff can buy up to five days of additional leave each leave year and pay for this through their salary.

Purchasing annual leave, the ability to work flexibly and special leave entitlements are all part of the council’s strategy to create better work-life balance for all staff.

The additional annual leave will be paid through a deduction from salary with a choice as to how the deduction is made.

This will be by either

  • reducing the annual salary and therefore the reduction will be made over the 12 month period (or the remaining leave year if shorter)
  • through one lump sum.


You will automatically become a member of the council's pension scheme unless you choose to opt out in writing.

The scheme is contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P) and national insurance contributions are accordingly payable at the reduced, contracted out rate. A contracting out certificate is in force.

If you opt not to join the pension scheme you will remain a member of S2P.

Contribution rates and pay bands

Full details of the pay bands and contribution rates are available on the LGPS member’s website

The contribution rates and / or pay bands will be reviewed periodically and may change in the future. This is to maintain the average contribution from employees at 6.5 per cent and to ensure the long term costs of the scheme are managed.

If you decide to join the scheme you should check your payslip to make sure that pension contributions are being deducted. Your contributions are very secure. As the LGPS is set up by Statute, payment of benefits to scheme members is guaranteed by law.

Flexible working

Through its range of family-friendly policies, the council seeks to ensure that employees achieve improved work life balance. These include:

  • reduced hours
  • term time working
  • home working
  • job sharing
  • part-time working
  • career break scheme
  • extended leave scheme.

The policies apply to all posts unless an assessment shows that there would be implications for service delivery.


The council may provide assistance with relocation for posts designated as hard to fill. The scheme is at the discretion of the council and is subject to certain criteria.

Staff loan scheme for annual season ticket

The council gives interest-free season ticket loans to staff who have successfully completed their probationary period. Further information is available on request.

Travel schemes/allowances

The following schemes/allowances are in place. Further information is available on request:

  • cycle to work scheme
  • pool bike scheme
  • travel/car allowances (dependent on specified criteria being met)

Learning and development

The council has achieved Investors in People. It aims to continuously improve on these standards.

Many learning and development opportunities are available for employees through individual appraisal through the performance, development and review scheme and supervision.

Employee assistance programme

The council offers an employee assistance programme that provides confidential counselling support services for both personal and work-related issues to staff.

Staff forums

We want to create a more diverse and inclusive organisation using the talents of all our staff. One of the ways we can support this is through the development of our staff networks. We currently have the following:

  • Race Equality Network
  • TOWER Pride (LGBTQIA+ staff and friends forum)
  • N-Able (disabled staff network)
  • Tower Hamlets Women’s Network