New voluntary benefits and temporary initiatives available to staff


February 17th, 2021

In 2021 the HR team are introducing two new voluntary benefits schemes and two temporary initiatives to assist staff in managing the impact of Covid-19 and their wellbeing.

This includes:

• Two new voluntary benefits schemes which will bring additional choice to the current range of voluntary benefits
• Two temporary initiatives designed as short-term measures to assist staff in managing the impact of Covid-19 and their own wellbeing whilst also supporting the cost savings that the University has identified for 20/21.

Details of all the schemes are outlined below:

Voluntary Benefits – two new schemes will bring additional choice to our current range of voluntary benefits.

  • Annual Leave Purchase – The Annual Leave Purchase scheme will be available from the Summer of 2021, more details of this scheme and how to apply will be available in the coming months.
  • Car Leasing – The Car Leasing  scheme will open in the Spring of 2021 and is an optional benefit enabling staff to lease a car through easy monthly payroll deductions. In line with our sustainability goals, we have partnered with Tusker to ensure that a range of vehicles, including electronic and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), are available and that vehicles must have an emission of less than 124g/km C02 to be eligible. For information prior to the scheme opening in spring 2021 to enable staff to consider the scheme should they wish to do so, an overview of the salary sacrifice details, and eligibility criteria, is available here.

Temporary initiatives – These two schemes were designed in partnership with our campus trade unions and are short-term measures to assist staff in managing the impact of Covid-19 and their own wellbeing whilst also supporting the cost savings that the University has identified for 20/21.

  • Temporary Reduction in Hours Scheme – Staff can apply up until July 2021 to request to reduce their hours on a temporary basis. More details can be found here.
  • Temporary Unpaid Leave Scheme – Staff can apply up until July 2021 to request to take a period of temporary unpaid leave without it creating a break in service. More details on this scheme can be found here.

For both schemes requests should be made to your line manager to enable operational impact to be appropriately considered.

These two temporary schemes are designed to provide additional options for staff who may feel that they would benefit from a temporary reduction in hours or a period of temporary unpaid leave to help manage their personal circumstances.

It is important to highlight that the launch of these schemes is not intended to change the approach and flexibility that managers have been applying for staff throughout the Covid-19 period.

The University continues to encourage staff and managers to adopt flexibility in working patterns/ working hours during the current lockdown, in particular for those staff with caring/childcare responsibilities.

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