Benefits of working at SKDC

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your council working for you

Benefits of working at SKDC

Unlocking our


Everyone benefits!

Our job here at South Kesteven District Council is to provide quality, value for money services to our residents. But the happiness of all our teams is also hugely important. We believe our staff are vital to the success of this council so when it comes to you - the people who give their time and energy to making SKDC a great place to work - our package of benefits is designed with this principle firmly at the forefront of our minds. Our benefits package has been developed to help us attract, motivate and retain the best people and includes everything from flexible working arrangements and supporting working parents to health check sessions during staff well being weeks. But that’s not all we offer. We recognise that, whatever job you do or whatever level you’re at, you need to strike a balance between your work life and your home life. So we’ve created a range of initiatives to help you do just that. They’ve been developed to support you throughout your career.


To ensure everyone is aware of the choices and benefits available we are providing employees with the following information. If you would like any additional information why not take a look at our Intranet or you can contact a member of the People and Organisational Development team on 01476 406136 or email who are always happy to help.




Working arrangements

It is important that we work in the right place at the right time for our customers. We also recognise that our employees want to work more flexibly to achieve a better balance between their jobs and the rest of their lives. We realise that for good business reasons it makes sense to try to accommodate requests. The benefits of doing so range from increased motivation, productivity and retention, to better customer service and considerable reductions in costs and CO2. Here at South Kesteven District Council we support flexibility in managing working time. It is beneficial both for employees, the teams they work in and the council as a whole to have a range of flexible working alternatives. These include a flexible hours scheme. n Available to all eligible employees n Variable start and finish times n Core times between 10am and 12noon and 2pm and 4pm n Lunch break of a minimum of 30 minutes


Working arrangements Flexible working arrangements are available on request. n Compressed hours - full time hours are compressed into less than the normal number of working days, leading to a longer working day. n Part time working - working hours are anything less than the 37 hours normal working week. n Working from home - will be considered taking into account individual performance, job content and purpose. We have a policy that allows for both occasional and more formalised home-working. n Other options for flexible working will be considered on a case by case basis. n Agile working where staff are able to work at council locations across the district.




Time off As well as highly competitive salaries, we also offer our staff extremely generous paid holidays Here is a breakdown on your entitlement: Annual leave - Full time - annual leave for most staff is 25 days, which increases by five days after five year's Local Government service. Annual Leave - Part time - annual leave is calculated on a pro-rata basis in proportion to the full time equivalent. Carry Over Leave - up to 5 days of your annual leave allocation, from one leave year to the next by agreement. Emergency Leave - the council has a policy to allow staff to request a day's leave at short notice. This leave is unpaid.


Compassionate leave - up to 5 day's compassionate leave is available where staff members have to make bereavement arrangements for family members. Time off for public duties - if you are required to undertake jury service or service on public bodies, you will be given paid time off to attend up to a stated minimum. This does not include attending court for matters unrelated to work.




Working Parents

Work plus family is a complicated equation but we are here to try and make certain times in your life a little easier. Maternity Leave and Pay - operates alongside the Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) Scheme. All pregnant women, regardless of length of service, are entitled to paid time off for ante-natal care and 52 weeks maternity leave, commencing no earlier than 11 weeks before the week the baby is due. Levels of maternity pay are dependent upon earnings and length of continuous local government service. For example, an employee with one year's service at 11 weeks before the expected week of childbirth will receive 6 weeks pay at 90% of weekly pay, then 12 weeks pay at 50% of weekly pay plus lower rate SMP, then 21 weeks at lower rate SMP. The remaining 13 weeks are unpaid.


Working Parents Adoption Leave and Pay - is based on the principles of the maternity scheme. The council will apply the statutory scheme. Maternity Support Leave/Paternity Leave - up to one week's maternity support leave at full pay is available to the father of a child, partner or nominated carer of an expectant mother at, or around the time of birth or care for adopted child/support the adopter. If you have more than 26 weeks' service with South Kesteven, you will be eligible for a second consecutive week's paternity leave, paid at the rate for Statutory Paternity Pay. To qualify for a second week, you must fulfil the criteria set out in the scheme. Parental Leave - of up to 18 weeks for parents of children under the age of five years (or under 18 in certain circumstances) is available during the year, to care for a child up to their 5th birthday or 18th birthday where the child qualifies for Disability Living Allowance. Up to four weeks unpaid parental leave may be taken each year, in blocks of one week. Staff are required to give notice and agree the timing of parental leave with their manager.


Childcare vouchers Working and raising a family is not always easy because there are all sorts of costs involved in looking after children, not least of which is childcare. If you have a child under the age of 16 years, you could benefit from reduced childcare costs, (including day nurseries, child minders, crĂŠches, nannies, au pairs, out of school clubs, holiday schemes, activity clubs and qualifying childcare offered by schools). Childcare vouchers are an employee benefit available to all eligible working parents. For employees they're nontaxable and exempt from National Insurance. Childcare vouchers are the recognised payment method for registered carers. You can exchange part of your salary for childcare vouchers to pay for registered childcare. In doing this you will save on the current level of tax and national insurance on the amount you exchange for vouchers. We currently operate a childcare voucher scheme through Computershare voucher services and further details are available on the "HR page" of the Intranet. 13

Employee Engagement Employee Forum Employees have the opportunity to represent their colleagues on the Employee Forum which has been set up to consult on policies and procedures and get staff views on topics such as training and wellbeing. Staff Awards - nominations are requested from staff to recognise colleagues for outstanding achievement against a number of categories linked to the council's values and behaviours. Awards ceremonies are held to celebrate the winners of the awards. Staff Newsletter Our weekly newsletter - Evolve, is produced to keep staff updated on what's happening at SK from major projects to staff movements and compliments received.


Praise and Grumble We are keen for employees to get involved and let us have their ideas and views. One of the ways of enabling this is via the Praise and Grumble page on the Unlocking our Potential page of the Intranet. Here you can tell us about a compliment, a grumble or a suggestion. The Management Team have made a pledge to staff and are committed to ensuring that staff have the opportunity to get involved, put forward their views and ideas and communicate directly with senior managers. They are also committed to ensuring that team meetings and 121 meetings take place regularly and follow a consistent approach.




Health and Wellbeing We take the health and well being of our staff seriously and in addition to the services that we routinely provide (such as Occupational Health), we have run well being weeks to provide a range of activities for Staff including healthy eating, relaxation, yoga, health checks, healthy walks and taster sessions for physical fitness. We are rolling out a well being framework to offer a range of activities and benefits for all staff which builds on the work that we have undertaken to date. We would welcome your input into what you would like to see to support your health and well being so please let us know by e-mailing with your ideas! Health Cash Plan We offer a health cash plan to staff with a range of levels of cover. The cash plan allows you to claim cash reimbursements for routine and emergency healthcare such as dental, optical and physiotherapy treatments.


Health and Wellbeing Cycle to Work Scheme We operate a Cycle to Work scheme which enables staff to purchase a bike for journeys to work and pay it back over 12 months from their pay. It is a salary sacrifice scheme which is non-taxable and exempt from National Insurance. Showers, lockers and cycle shelters are available for staff who make use of the scheme. Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) We recognise the demands placed upon staff both in their personal and working lives. To help employees deal with these demands, the council offers an Employee Assistance Programme currently through First Assist. First Assist is a free confidential service available to you, which provides 24 hours, 365 days a year support and information on a range of personal and work related issues and problems such as: n Coping with change n Emotional problems n Family and relationship problems 18

n Substance and alcohol misuse n Financial problems n Health issues First Assist offers a free counselling service. Further information is available on the council's Intranet or from the People & OD team who can be contacted on 01476 406136.

Sick Pay Scheme Subject to service requirements we operate a sickness payment scheme. Further details are provided in your principal statement of particulars and on the HR page of the Intranet. Occupational Health Services Occupational Health Services (OHS) is an independent and confidential service. The role of the service is to: n Offer advice and guidance when an employee returns to work following illness, injury or surgery n Offer support at work for people with special medical needs e.g. ongoing health problems. 19

In addition the service also provides: n Follow up on referrals to Occupational Health after work related illness and injury n Referral to Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for health and personal worries, stress, bereavement, addictions (alcohol, drugs, etc.)

Consultation is by appointment only and by management referral. The Occupational Health Service does not provide treatment or diagnosis for general health conditions, which remain the responsibility of your General Practitioner. Eye testing - if you are a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) User who has problems with your vision you may arrange to have a vision screening test and you will be reimbursed the costs of this. If corrective spectacles are required specifically for DSE use then you will also be entitled to a contribution of ÂŁ45 towards the cost of a pair of spectacles.




Learning and Development We are committed to ensuring we have a competent highly skilled workforce which is able to support the organisation to achieve our corporate priorities now and in the future. We want to provide a variety of learning and development for our staff. These opportunities will build on existing skills and knowledge, helping staff to achieve the council's priorities as well as individual targets and career aspirations. Performance and Development Review Scheme We have re-launched our performance development and review process to link in with the Behavioural Framework. It is designed to help staff understand how they contribute to the council's goals and priorities, the setting and achievement of objectives, as well as providing a means for identifying learning opportunities to support staff development. All staff will also have regular 1:2:1s - at least every three months.


Leadership and Management Development Behind every successful business are great leaders. Behind every productive department there is a good manager. And inside every organisation there's a wealth of talent. With our leadership and management development programmes and coaching circles, we aim to build on our most valuable resource - our people. Helping to develop our people Great leadership and management have been proven to have a major impact on employee motivation and retention as well as financial performance. However leading effectively can be difficult, especially when you're dealing each day with multiple issues varying from financial restraints, through remote working to cultural diversity. We will do all we can to provide our leaders and managers with the right development they need to drive our organization forward in these challenging times. Right to request time off to learn and develop You can request time off to undertake learning that will help you to be more productive and effective at work or to address a particular skills need. This will need to be approved by your manager. 23

Learning and Development Working in line with the Unlocking our Potential framework we continually strive to improve our people management and development practices and processes.




Financial Benefits

Pension Scheme - the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is statutorily funded. As such, staff can trust that it is secure, because its benefits are defined and set out in law. The LGPS is contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P) and must, in general, provide benefits at least as good as most members would have received, had they been members of S2P. Benefits provided by the LGPS include: n A pension which is currently based on your final pay (although from 2014 this will be based on a career re-valued average) n An optional tax-free lump sum when you retire n The ability to increase your pension by paying extra contributions n Voluntary retirements from age 60 n Retirement from age 55 with the council's consent n An ill health pension from any age n Redundancy cover from age 55 n A death in service lump sum of three times final pay n A widow's widower's, civil partner's or co-habiting partner's pension


Financial Benefits

n Children's pensions: and n The index linking of benefits to ensure that they keep pace with inflation Further information on the LGPS is available at In addition, as a member of the LGPS, your contributions will attract tax relief at the time they are deducted from your pay and, up to State pension age, you will also pay lower National Insurance contributions on earnings between the Lower and Upper Earnings Limits, unless you have opted to pay the married woman'/widow's reduced rate of National Insurance. The pension contribution rate is dependent on your pay and is currently between 5.5% and 7.5%. The council's contribution rate for individual pensions in 2013/14 is 21.1%. The Pension Scheme Administrators (Mouchel) send out an Annual Benefit Statement to everyone in the pension scheme, which gives an update on the pension benefits each year, as well as a projection of benefits to age 65. There is also a section on this statement related to the estimated State Pension Scheme benefits. 27

Flexible Retirement - the LGPS regulations allow immediate payment of pensions benefits, at the employers' consent, where a scheme member from age 55 reduces his/her hours or moves to a lower grade. Further details of our local criteria are in the pension policy. Further information on the LGPS is available at Car Parking - We currently provide free parking facilities for our employees during working hours at various locations throughout the district. Parking is provided in the main centres of Grantham, Stamford and Bourne. Payment of Professional Fees We will pay relevant professional fees where it is a requirement of the job to have membership of a professional body. Staff discounts Staff can sign up to the Network Benefits scheme. It has lots of discounts and special offers. There are also a range of discounts available at local retailers including mobile phone contracts, leisure club membership, entertainment and clothes stores. Personal Access to Internet There are a number of PC's in the staff area that you can use during break periods for personal use. 28

South Kesteven District Council Council Offices St. Peter's Hill Grantham Lincolnshire NG31 6PZ


t: 01476 40 60 80 e: w:

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