Employment Terms & Conditions and Staff Benefits
Terms & Conditions
Offers of Employment
Offers of employment with the Refugee Council are subject to the receipt of satisfactory references, occupational health clearance, eligibility to work in the United Kingdom and where applicable an acceptable Disclosure and Barring Service (police) check.
Hours of Work
Full time Refugee Council staff work 35 hours per week, excluding breaks. Part time working hours vary.
With the exception of Executive Director Team posts, all jobs are evaluated according to the Greater London Provincial Council job evaluation scheme to ensure equal pay across the organisation for work of equal value. The starting salary and grade of each job are included in the recruitment information.
Salaries are reviewed each April, in line with national pay agreements and length of service.
A no-smoking policy operates in all Refugee Council buildings.
All full time Refugee Council employees benefit from 28 days’ annual leave, plus any public holidays that fall upon contracted working days. After three years continuous service (as at the 8th January of the given leave year) this entitlement increases to 30 days per annum. Leave allowance is pro rated for staff working part time and for those starting part-way through the year. The annual leave year runs from January to December.
Staff with one year’s service prior to 31st March are entitled to purchase an additional 5 days annual leave (pro-rated for part-time staff).
All appointments are subject to a six-month probationary period before confirmation in post.
You are usually required to give one month’s notice. The Refugee Council is required to give you notice in accordance with the length of your continuous service. You are therefore entitled to one month's notice for up to four years' continuous service. Thereafter the period of notice will increase by one week for each additional year of service up to a maximum of twelve weeks' notice on completion of twelve years' continuous service.
Training & Development
The Refugee Council is committed to the personal development of all its staff through formal and informal learning activities. We support Continuous Professional Development and time to undertake CPD activities is built into roles and rotas whenever possible. This encourages a flexible and creative approach to learning and development.
Staff may access support for relevant part-time academic study. This may be study leave, or an interest-free study loan to help meet course costs.
Employee Assistance Programme
In association with Workplace Options, the Refugee Council provides an Employee Assistance Programme, which is also extended to partners and close family members.
The Refugee Council operates a Group Personal Pension Scheme (GPP) to help staff plan for their retirement. The scheme is in line with Government legislation and you will be automatically enrolled provided you meet the statutory eligibility criteria.
Scheme members are required to pay a defined monthly gross pension contribution of 3 - 5% of gross salary (which will be deducted at source). The Refugee Council will match your contribution up to a maximum of 5% gross salary to the Scheme.
The Refugee Council will not make pension contributions into alternative pension arrangements in lieu of membership of its own scheme
The Refugee Council has a procedural agreement with UNISON. Staff are encouraged to join.
Work Life Balance Policies
The Refugee Council believes that Work Life Balance and Family Friendly policies are beneficial to both the organisation and employees alike. A brief outline of our Family Friendly policies is listed below:
Staff are entitled to request a change in their work pattern.
Staff are entitled to adoption leave and pay, for the purpose of adopting a child.
This policy has been developed in line with ACAS recommendations, consultation with UNISON and in compliance with legal responsibilities and good practice.
As parents, staff are entitled to take unpaid leave, for the purpose of caring for a child.
This policy sets out a father’s/partner’s entitlement to paternity leave and pay, for the purpose of supporting the mother at the time of birth or adoption of their child.
In certain circumstances special leave will be granted, whether the leave will be paid or unpaid. This may include time off for to deal with personal or family emergencies, for bereavement or to undertake public duties.
Staff with one years’ service can request a period of between 1 to 3 months unpaid leave (this is different to Sabbatical Leave – see below).
Time off for Dependants
This policy sets out an employee’s right to take paid and unpaid time off for an emergency involving a dependant.
Working from home
Some posts are suitable for occasional home-working.
Child Care Vouchers
In partnership with ComputerShare, The Refugee Council offers Child Care Vouchers to help meet the costs of childcare. Eligible staff may sacrifice part of their salary to purchase vouchers which are exempt from tax and National Insurance.
The Refugee Council provides its employees with life assurance at two times their salary (some conditions apply).
All staff receive regular supervision and an annual performance appraisal, which assesses past performance and sets objectives for the future.
Interest Free Loans
Interest free loans are available to employees for work-related purposes. These are:
Season Ticket Loan
After the successful completion of the probationary period, staff may apply to the Refugee Council for an interest-free loan for the purchase of a travel season ticket between their home and place of work.
Members of staff may apply for loans for relevant training purposes, or to help finance part-time study.
This is an opportunity given to employees to take unpaid time off for the purposes of research, study, serious self-development or travel. Entitlement will range from a minimum of 6 months to 1 year.
Employees are eligible for a period of sabbatical leave following completion of 3 years’ service.
Employer Sponsored Volunteering
Staff can take up to 14 hours leave a year for voluntary work. This might be assisting another charity, a community project or a vulnerable individual. To give maximum flexibility the annual entitlement can be broken down into 2-hour blocks of time, allowing the option to undertake more regular short volunteering sessions. There is no qualifying service to receive this benefit. Leave will be paid and the volunteering activity would take place during normal working hours. This is pro-rated for part time staff.