Aberdeen University is committed to offering a competitive reward package. In this section employees can explore all benefits available to them. We strive to support working parents, provide work life balance and wellbeing options, help you save with a range of discounts and support your career progression.

We are continually enhancing the benefits we offer to employees and welcome any suggestions that could further expand the rewards we offer. Please send your suggestions to Eva.Borkowska.

Work Life Balance

The University supports work life balance through offering a range of schemes on top of a generous annual leave entitlement.


Information on the University pay structure and pension schemes as well as saving with the local credit union.

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Grampian Credit Union

Grampian Credit Union LogoThe University is in partnership with Grampian Credit Union, which is an independent savings and loans co-operative.

The Credit Union is available to anyone who lives or works in the Grampian area, i.e. Aberdeen city, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Our partnership with Grampian Credit Union means that all members of University of Aberdeen staff can join and save from monthly salary deduction.

Services include:

  • Adult, Junior and Christmas savings accounts – saving from £12.00 per month or more
  • Loans for members, with affordable interest rates – first loans £200 to £5,000
  • Payroll partner loans available - £1,000 repayable in 12 months from salary deduction
  • Access Credit Union accounts online or by phone or email request  – withdrawals direct to your bank
  • Join online, or print membership application from website, or request forms from Credit Union
  • Deposits covered fully by the 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


To find out more about Grampian Credit Union, go to www.grampiancreditunion.co.uk

Information leaflets and membership application are available under Forms list on the Credit Union website, or check Grampian Credit Union Information Leaflet.

250 Union Street
AB10 1TN

Tel: 01224 561506
Email: admin@grampiancreditunion.co.uk

Career Progression

The University supports its employees’ career progression through a variety of initiatives.

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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.


Rewarding staff for their achievements and long service with the University.

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Contribution Awards

The Contributions Procedure applies to all staff at the University and outlines the process to be followed by those wishing to be considered for a contribution award.  

The process for applying for a contribution award has been removed from the annual Promotions exercise. Contribution applications going forward should be submitted in line with the Contributions procedure which now applies to all University staff. 

This form should be submitted by an individual's line manager (following discussion with the individual) to apply for a Contribution Pay Award.  Line managers are expected to regularly consider the contribution of all members of their team and submit applications which meet the criteria as appropriate.  Recommendations that an application be submitted can also be drawn to the line manager’s attention by:

  • Individual members of staff
  • Colleagues wishing to nominate an individual to receive an award

Please note, an application for a contribution award will still be considered should the Head of School/Section not support this.  Please read the Contributions Procedure prior to completing the Contribution Form.

Recommendations for in-year salary increases for members of Professorial/Grade 9 staff are considered through the Professorial and Senior Staff Salary Review process.  Recommendations for Heads of School/Section are submitted for consideration by the Remuneration Committee.

Long Service Awards

The University of Aberdeen recognises continuous long service by providing long service awards to employees with 25, 40 and 50 years of service.

Staff who reach the above years of continuous service receive gift vouchers worth to the value specified below:

  • 25 years - £250 
  • 40 years - £1000
  • 50 years - £1000 (plus a gift to the value of £30)

Rowett Institute:

  • 30 years - £500
  • 40 Years - £750

Celebratory event is arranged annually to recognise staff who have reached the key milestones of 25, 40 and 50 years continuous service with the University of Aberdeen.


Childcare and Family Friendly Policies

Information on schemes supporting employees with the cost of childcare as well as relevant policies for working parents.

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Childcare Vouchers

The University offers two salary sacrifice schemes to help eligible employees with the cost of childcare. These are:

  • Childcare Vouchers Salary Sacrifice Scheme (**applicable to existing members of the scheme only, Scheme is now closed to new applicants due to government review)
  • Nursery Fees Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Both schemes are based on salary sacrifice which enables employees to benefit from Tax and National Insurance savings on their childcare costs. Employees sacrifice part of their gross salary - reduced taxable pay lowers the amount they pay in Tax and National Insurance. Eligibility for salary sacrifice depends on the level of income – salary sacrifice cannot reduce employee’s earnings below the minimum wage.  

With the Childcare Vouchers scheme employees nominate part of their monthly salary payment, in return for Childcare Voucher Credit, allowing you to take up to £55 per week (£243 per month) in Childcare Voucher credit. With Nursery Fees Scheme, the sacrificed salary is paid directly to the Rocking Horse nursery.

CHILDCARE VOUCHERS SCHEME (**applicable to existing members of the scheme only, Scheme is now closed to new applicants due to government review)

If you joined the scheme prior to October 2018, the Childcare Vouchers can be used to pay for any approved or registered childcare, including childminders, nannies, nurseries, breakfast and afterschool clubs, play schemes and summer camps, as well as the care element of boarding schools. The scheme is provided & administered by Edenred

You can keep getting the vouchers if:

  • You have joined the scheme and your wages have been adjusted before the schemes closes in October 2018
  • You stay with the same employer and they continue to run the scheme
  • You do not take an unpaid career break of longer than a year

Please note, the government reviewed this scheme and subsequently closed it to new members in October 2018. All eligible employees can only register for the Tax Free Childcare scheme.

The Tax Free Childcare scheme is not based on salary sacrifice and there is no employer involvement as parents are responsible for confirming their eligibility and setting up their online account. Further information can be found on the government website.


To register, please contact:

Eva Borkowska - HR Partner (Reward & Policy)

Rocking Horse - Nursery Fees Salary Sacrifice Scheme

On 31 August 2015, the Rocking Horse Nursery moved in to a new purpose-built energy efficient building.

It is located on the University's Old Aberdeen campus. Nursery fees for the Rocking Horse Nursery can be salary sacrificed.

The Rocking Horse Nursery 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.

For further information, please visit the Nursery website.

Employers for Childcare

Employers for Childcare is a charity which provides free, impartial and confidential advice to families  on the financial support available as well as other help that they may be entitled to.  This support includes advice to parents, carers and people with disability. 

For further information please go to EmployersForChildcare or refer to this document

Travel to Work

Save on your commute to work through a travel club or cycle to work.

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Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme

The University operates a Cycle to work scheme which allows staff to obtain a bike and/or cycling accessories to use for cycling to work while making tax and National Insurance savings from gross pay. Staff choose their combination of bike and accessories and then rent the equipment through salary sacrifice from the University. By joining the scheme staff can hire a tax-free bike for work, which, for most people, means a saving of between 25% and 39% on a new bike.

The scheme is open for new members for three months typically around April/May/June each year. The Cycle to Work scheme is operated through Cyclescheme and they allow access to a wide range of suppliers, both online and in local shops, a full list can be accessed here. For further information on how the scheme works please visit Cyclescheme.

There are a number of important points staff should consider before deciding to take part in the Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme. Sacrificing part of your salary means you earn less – this might affect your state pension and contribution based state benefits. If you are unsure about whether or not you should participate in the Cycle to Work scheme you should seek your own financial advice.

Most employees will benefit from the Cycle to Work scheme but in some circumstances it may not be advantageous to join.

To be eligible for the scheme staff must have a contract that will match or exceed the duration of the payment phase of the salary sacrifice agreement (12 months). They must have sufficient salary to sacrifice such that any sacrifice made will not take them under the Living Wage arte. They also must agree to the full terms and conditions of the scheme provider.
Commuter travel Club (First Bus)

As an employee of The University of Aberdeen you can sign up to the First Bus Commuter Travel Club which offers 10% off your electronic subscription ticket. This discount cannot be applied to paper tickets.

Please note, this is a voluntary benefit and it is provided by First Bus – registration process and T&C’s are determined by First Bus.

Benefits include:

  • Unlimited bus travel for work or leisure
  • Free to join
  • Cheapest monthly bus tickets
  • Automatic mobile ticket renewal

Please follow the below steps in order to sign up:

  • Visit firstgroup.com/aberdeenctc
  • Register on the First Bus webpage using the form at the bottom
  • Select Aberdeen University as your employer from the dropdown menu
  • Use your University email address to validate access to the scheme
  • First Bus will then send you a link via email. Just click this to complete the online registration and purchase a subscription ticket.
Health and Well-being

The University supports its employees’ well-being through a range of options, including discounted medical insurance and Aberdeen Sport Village membership.

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BUPA medical insurance

The University BUPA scheme allows you to access preferential rates for medical insurance. The scheme operates on a group risk basis and employees can join throughout the year with premiums deducted from your salary each month.

For quotes or specific queries, please email Eva.Borkowska.

Please note, all queries or quote requests will be forwarded to BUPA and cannot be answered/provided by the University staff.

For more information on the scheme please see the

UoA Rewards

UoA Rewards offers a great range of discounts on travel bookings, high street vouchers, gift cards, days out, leisure activities and much more! 

To start enjoying the benefits on offer register or log in to the site at the link below. (The site can be accessed from your desktop, laptop or the browser in your smart device.)


Also accessible via UoA Rewards is our counselling service provided by Care First, offering an enhanced support package to staff with a 24-hour telephone counselling service, as well as face-to-face counselling sessions and an online portal and app.

For more details log into the UoA Rewards site and select ‘Employee Assistance’ from the Benefits menu, or visit the dedicated CareFirst pages.

To ensure staff have the opportunity to engage with the new platforms, we’ve passed on basic staff details to the providers to facilitate welcome emails. If you would like your details to be removed from the platforms or find out more about the data being used please email Kenny Bruce, HR Systems Manager.

When registering on the site the ‘Address Line 2’ of your home address is set as mandatory. We are aware not everyone will have something to populate this section.

To complete registration any character can be entered into this box and amended in the My Account area when registration is complete.

Staff should choose a different password not related to their University password and never enter their University Password into anything other than University hosted services ( abdn.ac.uk ) or ( microsoft.com, live.com, and outlook.com ) for Office 365.