We offer a package of attractive terms and conditions, optional benefits and special offers, including:

Childcare
Childcare Vouchers

The University has a Childcare Voucher scheme, which is a tax-saving initiative for staff. The Childcare Voucher scheme can save you money on any kind of registered childcare including childminders, nannies, nurseries, breakfast and after school clubs, play schemes and summer camps, as well as the care element of boarding schools.

The provider of our scheme is Edenred. The scheme they offer is completely paperless and hassle free.

Childcare Vouchers are offered through a salary sacrifice scheme. This means that it is a voluntary benefit scheme, whereby you are allowed to nominate part of your monthly salary payment, in return for Childcare Voucher Credit.

The amount you will save will depend on how much tax and national insurance you pay. We advise that you make use of the Savings Calculator on the HMRC website to see exactly how much you will save, in addition to reading the frequently asked questions information sheet for some financial illustrations.

The amount of your salary that you nominate as part of this scheme will not be subject to Tax and National Insurance deductions, allowing you to take up to £55 per week (£243 per month) in Childcare Voucher credit and you will receive tax and national insurance exemption on any value taken up to this amount.

In order to qualify for this scheme:

  • You must have a formal contract of employment with the University
  • You must be the parent, or have parental responsibility, for a child under 15 years of age (16 or under if child(ren) is registered disabled).
  • Your childcare provider must be state registered and willing to register with Edenred.

The Edenred website contains detailed information on everything you need to understand before agreeing to join the scheme. We recommend that you read all the information carefully before registering for the scheme.

Click here to register and enter the Scheme ID: UNIV2982

Contacts

To register, please contact:

Itohan Aivboraye - HR Adviser

Useful Links

Rocking Horse Nursery

On campus nursery facilities available to staff through salary sacrifice.

The Rocking Horse Nursery is located within the Old Aberdeen campus and is an independent nursery registered with the Scottish Care Inspectorate. It was setup in 1989 under the terms of a Trust to provide nursery facilities primarily for the students and staff of the University of Aberdeen. The Trust is a non-profit making body and the Nursery is self-supporting. There are places for 78 children at any one time.

Visit their website for more information.

Employee Advantages

Employee Advantages offers exclusive, significant discounts from the UK's most popular retailers and service providers. You can save at least £565.00 a year using Employee Advantages, without changing your normal shopping habits.

No need to set up an account - we've done this for you - simply login with your University e-mail address (joe.bloggs@abdn.ac.uk) and the password 'Aberdeen'. Remember to use a capital 'A'!

In order to authenticate your login details, Employee Advantages will send an email to you requesting you to change your password. When you change your password your login will be validated and you will be able to access the site.

Employee Advantages Helpline: 0845 600 6479

Grampian Credit Union

GCRThe University is in partnership with Grampian Credit Union, which is an independent savings and loans co-operative. The Credit Union is available to people living and working in Aberdeen and the Grampian area, and provides affordable and ethical financial services.

Our partnership with Grampian Credit Union means that all members of University of Aberdeen staff now have the opportunity to join and access the range of financial services and products it offers.  Regular savings and loan payments to the Credit Union can be made through deductions taken directly from your salary each month.

Services include:

  • Adult, Junior and Christmas savings accounts – saving from £10.00 per month or more
  • Loans for members, with affordable interest rates – first loans £200 to £5,000
  • Current Accounts with full banking service – can arrange Direct Debit and Standing Order payments
  • Access accounts on-line or by phone – withdrawals direct to your bank
  • Membership application and payroll deduction forms available to print from website
  • Deposits covered fully by Financial Services Compensation Scheme

Grampian Credit Union is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.  Firm reference number 213701

Contacts:

To find out more about Grampian Credit Union, go to the homepage at web:

http://www.grampiancreditunion.co.uk/ or check Grampian Credit Union information leaflet

224-226 Holburn Street
Aberdeen
Tel: +44(0)1224 576990
Email admin@grampiancreditunion.co.uk

Travel

For more information on Car/van hire, bike to work salary sacrifice scheme and many more visit the Travel page.

You will need to login to read more information about Travel

Tuition Fees - for Staff

Staff under contract of employment with the University wishing to undertake studies at the University may be entitled to full or partial payment of their tuition fees from their Department or Section. This is conditional on meeting certain criteria and obtaining permission from the Head of College. The Staff Tuition Fees Policy sets out the full details and conditions of this.

Staff wishing to request assistance with their tuition fees can complete and submit a Staff Tuition Fees application form, once they have consulted the policy and secured the relevant School and College level approvals.

Purchase of Annual Leave Scheme
Overview

The Purchase of Annual Leave Scheme has been introduced as a benefit for staff to increase the degree of flexibility in planned time off. The scheme allows staff to buy additional annual leave, building on existing provision for a variety of different leave arrangements such as family friendly and unpaid leave.

Additional leave is treated as a salary sacrifice arrangement. Staff agree to reduce their salary and the University will provide up to 2 weeks additional leave subject to operational requirements.

Scheme Details and Forms

The following guidance document outlines the scheme:

If you wish to apply to purchase additional annual leave, please complete the form below:

You have the opportunity to make one request per annual leave year and the form should be submitted to your line manager by the following dates:

  • 30 September, for up to 2 weeks leave in the next leave year OR
  • 31 March, for up to 1 week of leave in the remainder of the leave year

N.B. For staff who work part time this would be pro-rata e.g. if you work 3 days per week then 1 week = 3 days

Guidance for Managers

*Managers should consider requests for additional leave fairly and consistently. Managers should consider the requirements and key objectives of the role held by the staff member, and whether the additional leave may impact on the ability to deliver them. The specific arrangements will need to be reviewed on a case by case basis. It may be appropriate to consider adjustments to timescales or workload where specific pre-determined objectives are deemed to be unachievable as a result of additional leave being taken. Managers would then need to consider whether such a delay or adjustment is practical for the Department.

Please note, additional leave should not be covered by overtime or others working additional hours.

Requests should only be declined where business reasons mean that the request cannot be accommodated. If, after due consideration, a request has to be turned down, the reasons for doing so should be given to the member of staff.

It is recommended that forms are approved promptly after receipt to ensure that submission deadlines are not missed

FAQs

What is purchase of Annual Leave and am I eligible to apply for it?

This is a scheme which is available to all staff and which allows them to buy additional annual leave. Staff agree to reduce their salary and the University will provide up to 2 weeks additional leave each year, subject to the operational requirements of the University which must remain the priority. The additional leave purchased is paid for through a reduction in salary equivalent to the salary for the number of days leave being taken; each day being considered based on 1/260th of a year. If the full 2 weeks are purchased, this is approximately 4% of gross annual salary.

How do I buy annual leave?

Complete the Purchase of Additional Leave form and ideally submit it to your line manager one month prior to the start of the annual leave year or by end February for requests from 1 April.

Note that by completing and submitting the request for additional leave form that, if approved, this form (together with contractual provision) also constitutes your consent to any applicable salary adjustment.

How will the salary sacrifice work?

View this example of salary sacrifice for Purchase of Annual Leave Scheme which explains the process.

Do I have to request 2 weeks or 1 week?

No, you can request to take anything from 1 day to 2 weeks additional leave in the full leave year and from 1 day to 1 week in the half leave year (max 10 days for full-time staff, pro-rata for part-time / part-year staff, ie if you work 4 days per week = max 8 days).

Do I have to take all of the extra days at once?

No, you can take them any time you wish to, subject to the usual approval arrangements.

When can I submit my application?
Applications should ideally be submitted to your line manager no later than one month before the start of each leave year i.e. by 31 August or by 28 February for requests effective from 1 April.

The cut-off date for applications is 30 September or 31 March for applications effective from 1 April.

My holiday year starts in February, when can I submit my application?

Applications should ideally be submitted to your line manager no later than one month before the start of each leave year i.e.  by end December or by 30 June for requests effective from 1 August.

The cut-off date for applications is 31 January or 31 July for applications effective from 1 August.

Who approves my application?

Approval of additional annual leave is at the discretion of the relevant Line Manager and is subject to the operational needs of the University. Your line manager will assess the operational feasibility of granting the request. This will include a full assessment of whether or not the additional annual leave can be accommodated within the employee’s annual leave year, taking into account the operational needs of the department.

What if my application for leave is refused?

There is no automatic right to additional annual leave, however every application will be fully considered on its merits.

When can I start taking the leave?

Additional annual leave should be applied for and taken in the line with the normal annual leave procedures and the days taken recorded and authorised in the normal way.

The additional annual leave can be taken at any time during the leave year (or half year) and does not have to be taken as a single block. The additional part of the leave is taken first.

What if I change my mind?

Once an agreement has been entered into it will be valid for the relevant leave year. An employee can only withdraw from the scheme during the year in exceptional circumstances as per HMRC guidelines.

How will I know what my reduced salary will be?

On receipt of an approved Purchase of Additional Leave Form, HR will notify you of your revised monthly salary.

If I purchase less than 2 weeks leave at the beginning of the leave year can I apply for further additional leave in the second half of the leave year?

No you can only request one amount of additional leave in any leave year.

When will the salary reduction start?

The total salary is reduced until the end of the leave period by the proportion for the number of days being taken. The monthly salary is then adjusted accordingly to spread the cost of the additional leave agreed in September over the year from October (or from April over the half year in instances of additional leave purchased at end March). By reducing salary, the amount of tax and National Insurance paid also reduces. At the end of the leave period salary is no longer reduced by this amount.

Will it affect my pension?

Employees who are members of either USS or UASLAS who purchase additional leave must continue to make pension contributions based upon the gross amount of pensionable pay they receive; ie contributions must be maintained at the original level throughout the year. This will maintain your pension record as normal.

Additional leave is not pensionable in LGPS, STSS or NHS so members of these schemes will lose the equivalent days of pensionable service and only pay contributions on the reduced salary. There may be the facility with each of these schemes to voluntarily purchase additional pension. If you are interested in this option please contact the Pensions Office.

Over what period of time can I take the additional leave?

You have to take it during the leave year i.e. by the end of the following September, (or end of January if your leave year starts in February).

Does a request carry on from year to year?

No, a separate request must be made for each leave year no later than one month prior to the relevant leave year, ie by end August.

What if I don’t take all the additional annual leave?

If having purchased additional annual leave you fail to take it before the end of the relevant leave year the leave will be lost, with no reimbursement. Managers and employees must ensure the additional leave can be accommodated prior to the manager’s approval. Only in exceptional circumstances will leave be carried over.

What happens if I am ill during my additional leave?

Normal arrangements for sickness during annual leave will apply to the purchased annual leave.

What happens if I leave?

Employees leaving the University will be reimbursed any outstanding additional annual leave purchased and payments will be recovered in line with contractual provision if the employee has taken in excess of their purchased additional annual leave and contractual leave entitlement.

Will the cost of the additional leave be taken off in a lump sum?

No, where an employee requests to purchase additional annual leave, this will result in a reduction to monthly salary for the whole leave year. Where leave is requested in March this will result in a reduction to monthly salary for the remainder of the leave year ie 6 months. The cost of the additional annual leave will be calculated by:

  • Deducting the cost of the additional annual leave from the annual salary;

  • Dividing the adjusted annual salary by 12 to give a revised monthly salary (or by 6 from April)

How does the scheme apply to staff who work part time/part year?

As with normal annual leave, part-time / part-year worker’s purchased additional annual leave will be pro-rata (ie if you work 3 days per week, you can purchase up to 6 of your days).

An employee should note that by completing and submitting Purchase of Additional Form that, if approved, this form also constitutes their consent to any applicable salary adjustment.

What happens if my salary changes during a leave year?

In the event that an employee’s salary changes during a leave year, the agreed additional annual leave purchase amount will remain unchanged.

I am on maternity leave, can I purchase additional leave?

No. Unless you were already participating in Purchase of Annual Leave Scheme when you started your maternity leave, you will not be able to join the scheme until after you return.

Any additional leave purchased prior to commencing your maternity leave can be taken, subject to the necessary approvals, as normal, usually at the beginning or end of a period of maternity leave. Whilst on maternity leave you will continue to have your pay reduced in line with the arrangements under the Scheme, unless doing so would reduce your pay below the statutory minimum, in which case the University will fund the additional leave until such time as your pay, with the reduction, is above the statutory minimum.

You will be eligible to purchase additional leave on your return to work following your maternity leave, subject to the normal rules of the scheme.

Will this affect my state benefits?

As taking additional leave involves reducing salaries, staff should be aware that if their salary falls below the Lower Earnings Limit, their entitlement to state benefits (such as state pension, statutory maternity pay, etc.) will be affected.

Staff should consider this before deciding to take additional leave. Any queries should be raised with the Payroll Office.