Staff benefits

Annual leave

The leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March each year.

Annual leave entitlement varies in accordance with the grade, with entitlements based on a five day (35 hour) working week:

Scale 1- 4 21 days 147 hours
Scale 5 22 days 154 hours
Scale 6 and above 26 days 182 hours
Service Heads 26 days 182 hours
Chief Officer / Corporate Directors 32 days 224 hours

 

New entrants are entitled to annual leave in proportion to completed actual days worked during the leave year of entry. Employees who are contracted to work less than 35 hours per week will receive annual leave based on the above entitlements which will be pro-rata to the number of hours worked.

All staff who have completed five years continuous service with a public authority will gain an additional five days annual leave with effect from the date of their five year anniversary.

In addition, staff are entitled to two extra-statutory holidays which are allocated to the Christmas holiday period. The exact date is determined by the council each year. In addition, all staff are entitled to two concessionary days, one which can be taken on the day of your choice and one with the Christmas holiday.

Pensions

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.

Here are the pay bands and contribution rates that apply from April 2018.

 

Contribution table 2018/19
If your actual pensionable pay is:You pay a contribution of

£14,100

5.5%

£14,101 to £22,000

5.8%

£22,001 to £35,700

6.5%

£35,701 to £45,200

6.8%

£45,201 to £63,100

8.5%

£63,101 to £89,400

9.9%

£89,401 to £105,200

10.5%

£105,201 to £157,800

11.4%

£157,801 or more

12.5%

 

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.

Child care vouchers

The council has implemented a scheme whereby part of your salary can be exchanged for childcare vouchers to help you with some of the cost incurred with Ofsted registered childcare providers. These providers are exempt from national insurance contributions and income tax and therefore represent a saving for you.

The vouchers can be used flexibly and may be used to pay not only nursery fees but also for other childcare such as after-school clubs, holiday play schemes and childminders.

Relocation

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 & 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

To continue to improve the working relations climate and to contribute to improving the council's service the following have been established since 2005:

  • disabled staff forum
  • black and other ethnic minority forum
  • lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender forum