BNU Employee Benefits Booklet

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BNU BENEFITS We value our people as our greatest asset. At BNU, we reward and recognise them to create a culture where they thrive. We offer a wide range of health, wellbeing and financial benefits,along with encouraging our people to make a positive difference to the environment and local community.




All new employees are invited to attend an induction, which is an opportunity to an overview of the University strategy and plans, to meet the Vice-Chancellor, other members of the University Executive Team (UET), and a chance for you to meet other colleagues new to the University.

Discounts available through the TOTUM card include 10 percent off at Co-op, ASOS, and Oasis, to 20 percent off at National Express and up to 25 percent discount on long haul travel tickets through STA Travel. To see the overall range of benefits go to

School and Department inductions help employees get up to speed with their new roles, and e-learning modules explain more about important things including health & safety, equality, diversity, inclusion, and data protection.

TOTUM cards can be purchased online at or through the app and ensure you apply using Bucks Students’ Union as the organisation, and not Buckinghamshire New University.

BNU INDUCTION BUDDY All new employees are teamed up with a buddy with whom they meet regularly to provide support in their first year at BNU, and help them settle into their new role.


FREE TRAVEL BETWEEN CAMPUSES In partnership with Bucks Students’ Union, we offer all employees a free, door-todoor bus service for students and staff between the High Wycombe and Uxbridge Campuses uxbridgehome/campuslink

All employees are automatically members of the Staff Association which arranges informal opportunities for colleagues to get together throughout the year and meet others across the University. Employees can also apply for Staff Association grants to help meet the cost of events that are open to everyone across the University.


CYCLE2WORK SCHEME All employees are encouraged to enjoy the health benefits of cycling to work. Secure, covered bicycle shelters, lockers and showers are available at High Wycombe and Uxbridge Campuses for walkers, runners and cyclists. We offer a cycle to work scheme at the University, and further details are available on our internal site BEN, under HR Rewards & Benefits.

SE ASON TICKET LOAN The University offers interest free season ticket loan for rail and bus travel to work for employees. For further information this can be found on our internal site BEN, under Payroll.

CAR PARKING BNU offers three different car parking permits:

Purple Permits These are available for BNU employees if your home address during the week is outside the two mile radius of the High Wycombe or Uxbridge campus (as appropriate).

Green permits These are free of charge to BNU employees and associates. Green permit holders may park at Hughenden Avenue car park any time and car parks A,C and D between the hours of 5:00pm and 8:00am (the following morning), weekends and all days during August.


Black & white permits Are free of charge to BNU employees who are not eligible for any other parking permit. A black & white permit holder may park in car parks in High Wycombe and Uxbridge campuses Monday to Friday between the hours of 5pm and 8am (the next day), and Saturday and Sunday at any time. Please contact parkingpermits@bnu. for a car parking permit application form or if you would like further information please read more on our internal site BEN, under HR.



The University car club, in partnership with Commonwheels, provides a pool car free of charge for the use of employees during business hours and easy access hire vehicles for employees and students outside business hours. The club is free to join, and employees and students can become members simply by applying online after which a licence check is completed and smartcard issued, which is used to access the cars. The cars can then be booked online or by phone, at short notice.

The University runs regular staff surveys to seek feedback about your experiences of working at BNU, turning the knowledge into action for positive change with the aim of making BNU a great place to work.

The club operates a simple system. Between the hours of 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, the BNU car can be used free of charge for business use by University employees. At any time outside these hours, the cars will be based on the High Wycombe campus and can be hired by employees and students aged 18+ for personal use. Full details can be found on uk or via email.

HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT We have generous annual leave benefits at BNU, with a minimum of 30 days for professional service employees and up to 35 days for academics (excluding bank holidays and pro rata for part time employees). In addition the University is closed for most employees between three and five days depending on where Christmas and New Year’s Day falls.




The majority of University staff are eligible to join one of two main defined benefits pension schemes:

The employee rate of contribution will be between 7.4 percent and 11.7 percent of pensionable earnings and deducted from salaries each month. The University contributes 23.68 percent of your pensionable earnings. Academic staff will be contractually enrolled into this scheme.

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for professional service employees.

The Teacher’s Pension Scheme (TPS) for academic employees.

Both schemes offer life cover, provisions for ill-health retirement and guaranteed retirement and family benefits. Please note membership in the applicable scheme may be automatic unless you elect to opt-out. The University also offers the option for staff to join a defined contribution pension scheme: •

The Scottish Widows – Defined Contribution pension scheme.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME The employee’s rate of contribution will be between 5.5 and 12.5 percent of pensionable earnings, which is deducted from salaries each month. The University contribute 17.3 percent of an employee’s pensionable earnings. We also offer the option to pay half your normal contributions in return for half your normal pension, known as 50/50, designed to help members stay in the scheme when times are financially tough. Non-academic professional and support staff under the age of 75 will be contractually enrolled into this scheme. Atypical workers will be enrolled into the pension scheme if their contract is greater than three months and they meet the required earnings threshold. Further information can be found at buckscc.


Further information can be found at

SCOT TISH WIDOWS DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PENSION SCHEME The level of employer contribution for this scheme is 3% for 2020/21. The minimum level of employee Contribution is 5%, however an employee can decide to pay enhanced contributions, and in order to do this they need to advise HR of the percentage or fixed rate they wish to pay.

DYNAMIC WORKING BNU currently has dynamic working which is a flexible arrangement. We recognize that many of our employees have other roles that sit alongside their work and we encourage balance between lives at work and home. We respect our employees and trust them to be able to self-manage their work. These arrangements are agreed locally based on the function and business needs of each area. Please refer to our FAQs on BEN for further information.




GATEWAY GYM Our on site Gateway Gym is fully equipped and is available at discounted rates for our employees. Fully qualified, experienced fitness coaches are on hand to assist and develop personalised training programmes. The Gateway gym also offers free sports and recreation sessions for staff.

EYE TESTS Free eye tests and a contribution towards the cost of glasses are available to staff whose role involves working with computers.

FLU JABS Employees can request a flu jab either via the NHS (if eligible) or through their local pharmacy. All employees can claim the cost of a flu jab through expenses (if applicable).

FINANCIAL WELLBEING BNU currently offers all its employees financial wellbeing sessions twice a year, free of charge, from financial planning experts, Evelyn Partners. These sessions include webinars or one to one sessions with an advisor. Evelyn Partners has gained in depth knowledge of university related pension schemes and have built a substantial amount of experience; assisting all levels of colleagues to meet their financial goals. Whether that may be protecting your finances, managing debt or investing.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMME The University offers a free and confidential 24/7 Employee Assistance Helpline through Care First. The helpline offers advice on work-life balance, relationships, childcare information, advice on managing debt, how to cope with stress, and financial and legal advice. They also offer counselling to employees - this can be online, on the phone or face to face. You can read about the support available on BEN.

THE SANCTUARY The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy provides a prayer/quiet room (The Sanctuary) at each campus for quiet reflection, meditation and prayer for those of any faith or none.




We believe that Continuing Professional Development is paramount for our people’s success.

All substantive BNU employees participate in both the probation and performance development review (PDR) processes, whereby you have the opportunity to discuss and record your learning & development needs and career aspirations with your line manager. BNU offers a range of development opportunities, from formal training courses, conferences and apprenticeships to coaching & mentoring, work shadowing as well as fully funded access to a broad portfolio of eLearning modules which includes mandatory training, aimed to support your continued professional development. In addition, employees have access to part-time qualifications offered here at BNU, including teaching qualifications and Research Degrees, for which a fee waiver applies.




We are committed to recognising and rewarding our people, and to thanking them for their efforts and hard work.

Our Employee Recognition Scheme encourages colleagues to say thank you to those whom have gone over and above in their roles and champion the BNU Values. We also celebrate our people’s achievements and successes at events throughout the year, including the annual BNU Impact Awards at which we recognise excellence across our University community.

HIGHFIVE In 2020 we decided to make recognition even more accessible, visible and impactful. With the changes in working practices and the need for visibility of what great things colleagues are doing across the University, we moved our recognition scheme online using the Highfive recognition and reward application. Highfive is an App-based solution through which you can search for and recognise a colleague against one of our core values of Dynamic, Responsible, Inclusive, Visionary and Empowering (D.R.I.V.E.) via the HighFive App on your smartphone. To download the secure App for our University, simply click on the appropriate App store icon and you will be taken to the HighFive application. More information on Highfive and how to activate the app can be found on our BEN Recognition page.






VIVUP – LIFESTYLE SAVINGS Enjoy a little extra support affording life’s essentials. Whether you’re looking to update your home and garden, shrink your supermarket shopping bill or keep your family entertained for less, save money on the things that matter. Vivup is our bespoke employee benefits platform that offers a wide range of discounts at a number of retailers. To access these savings, register or sign up via For more information on how to register please visit this BEN article.




Buckinghamshire New University is the first UK University to achieve a Gold award in a scheme which recognises sustainable and ethical businesses, as a ‘visible testimony of its excellence’in corporate social responsibility (CSR), following an independent assessment by an accreditation panel. It was rated across four areas: environment; philanthropy; community and workplace.

We are proud to achieve our target to reduce the carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2020. The University has pledged to go carbon net zero by 2030 - 20 years ahead of the Government’s target - as part of a Love Our Planet day across its campuses.

VOLUNTARY WORK The University is committed to supporting its people to do Voluntary Work within the local community or for charities. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop their skills and experience, and build on our relationships with the local community. Employees receive two days each year for voluntary work. For more information please refer to our Employee Handbook and the volunteering page on BEN.


High Wycombe Campus Queen Alexandra Road High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP11 2JZ Aylesbury Campus 59 Walton Street Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP21 7QG Uxbridge Campus 106 Oxford Road Uxbridge Middlesex UB8 1NA


Telephone: 01494 522 141 Email:

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This publication was produced by Buckinghamshire New University. © Buckinghamshire New University.

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