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.

Related information


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.

Related information

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.

Related information

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.

2020 Event 

On 12th February 2020, 23 people celebrated more than 500 years service at the event held in the LInklater Rooms.  Click on the links below to see pictures of the event. 

Celebrating 25 years 

Celebrating 40 years 





Childcare and Family Friendly Policies

Following the government announcement last week, due to the coronavirus outbreak, childcare providers have been closed to the majority of pupils until further notice. The below information provides overview of the options available to staff regarding the different childcare schemes.


  1. The Government Tax Free Childcare – members of this scheme can either make no changes and build up future credit or reduce the cost to nil for the period of closure as the scheme will allow members to re-join. Changes can be done by the account holders on the government website.
  2. Childcare Vouchers – members of this scheme can either make no changes and build up future credit or reduce the cost to a minimum of £1 to retain a membership. Please note, members cannot reduce the cost to nil as they will lose their membership and will not be allowed to re-join as the scheme is closed to new members. Changes can be done by the account holders on the provider’s website
  3. Rocking Horse nursery – the nursery contacted all the parents prior to the closure of the nursery last week. The fees will be recalculated up to the point of closure and any balance/refund due will be  dealt with in April. Any queries can be sent to s.walker.rhn@abdn.ac.uk or rockinghorsenursery@abdn.ac.uk


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

Related information

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.

Please note, the University cover the cost of the salary sacrifice scheme during the period of statutory pay however it does not allow banking of childcare vouchers and requests for refunds. In addition, couples employed by the University are not permitted to switch the childcare vouchers nursery scheme membership for the purpose of financial gain during the statutory pay period of maternity leave.


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.

Please note, the University covers the cost of the salary sacrifice scheme during the period of statutory pay however it does not allow couples employed by the University to switch the nursery scheme membership for the purpose of financial gain during the statutory pay period of maternity leave.

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.

Related information

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.

For any queries regarding the electronic tickets during the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact First Bus directly:

  • From Monday 20th April, customers will be able to contact First Bus by phone between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • First Bus will contine to monitor Twitter 7am until 7pm, Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays, between 9am and 5pm.
  • Our website is always on at www.firstgroup.com 

First Bus has designed their very own Kids Educational Pack to keep your children entertained during the coronavirus lockdown. The pack is designed for children in Primary 1 to Primary 7, your print at home pack can be found here.

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.

Related information

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.