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Benefits and Recruitment

Benefits Package:

Application and the Recruitment Process

Benefits Package

Local Government Pension Scheme

The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is a nationwide, career average pension scheme and is a valuable part of the pay and reward package for employees working in local government. The LGPS gives you:

  • Secure benefits – the scheme provides you with a future income, independent of share prices and stock market fluctuations.
  • Tax-efficient savings and lower National Insurance contributions for most people under State Pension Age.
  • Financial security for your family, with immediate life cover and a pension for your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children in the event of your death in service.
  • And your employer pays in too – the scheme is provided by your employer who meets the balance of the cost of providing your benefits in the LGPS

For information on the scheme including the conditions of membership and main scheme benefits, please see the Brief Guide to the Local Government Pension Scheme.

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Hours of Work and Flexible Working Arrangements

Our workforce is vital to our success hence the working arrangements that we offer are intended to allow you and your manager to best match your personal needs with the needs of the organisation. We aim to enable you to find a positive balance between your work and home life. We believe that this benefits you and the organisation as a whole, as it leads to a more focused, happier and healthier workforce. Your normal hours of work will be as per your contract of employment. We also offer various alternative working arrangements, such as part time working, term time only contracts, home-working, compressed working hours (e.g. 9 day fortnights) or job sharing. If you would like any of these alternative arrangements to be considered, please mention this in your

application. If your personal circumstances change during your employment and you wish to change your working arrangements, you can apply to do so.
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Flexible Working Hours System (flexi-time)

The County Council aims to offer staff a reasonable work-life balance and to this end has introduced a discretionary flexible working hour's scheme that many staff are eligible to participate in. The 'flexi-time' scheme enables employees to start and finish the working day at times which best suit service delivery, client expectations and, subject to the needs of the service, the individual.
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Training and Development

We are committed to providing all employees with training and development opportunities that are appropriate to their personal needs and those of the organisation as a whole. Involving yourself in ongoing learning throughout your career is an essential part of the job, and one that will be supported by your manager and the Development and Training team. Financial assistance and other support are available for employees undertaking training relevant to organisational needs. We also offer employees undertaking approved courses paid pre-examination leave to revise.
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Salary Payment and Progression

Subject to continuing satisfactory performance and six months employment in the grade, incremental salary increases are paid on 1st April every year for most groups of staff, until the maximum of the salary scale is reached. In exceptional circumstances, individuals can be awarded accelerated increments to recognise special merit or ability. Additionally, there is a nationally negotiated pay award, payable from the 1st April each year. For most posts, salaries are paid into your bank or building society on the 28th day of each month.
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Annual Leave

The leave year runs from 1st April to 31st March. You will be entitled to 25 days paid annual leave, in addition to general public holidays. This includes two extra statutory days leave, which are ‘fixed’ following certain public holidays for employees at some operational units. Your annual leave entitlement increases to 30 days after 5 years’ continuous service. Holiday entitlement for part-time staff is calculated pro-rata to the full year entitlement. Employees who join the Authority directly from another employer can have their previous level of annual leave entitlement preserved, up to a maximum of 30 days. This is subject to the receipt of written confirmation of your annual leave entitlement from your previous employer. Employees who benefit from this provision cannot exceed 30 days* annual leave in total at any stage of their employment, subject to the purchase of extra annual leave. Therefore, if you reach five years continuous local government service, then 30 days would be your total entitlement. The annual leave entitlement for workers leaving or joining an authority is proportionate to their complete service during the leave year.
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* Annual Leave for Youth and Community Workers is 30 days, in addition to statutory and general public holidays; workers who immediately prior to the commencement of the leave year have five or more years’ continuous local authority and/or youth and community work service are entitled to 35 days annual leave.
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Annual Leave Purchase Scheme

As part of the Council’s commitment to improving employee’s work-life balance, the scheme gives most employees the option to request to purchase up to an additional three weeks (pro-rata for part-time employees) additional annual leave in any year. Purchased annual leave is paid for by deductions from monthly pay spread over a period of up to twelve months. By reducing your salary, the amount of tax and National Insurance (NI) you pay will also reduce.

Example: For an employee earning £13,874 p.a. purchasing an additional week’s annual leave, the monthly deduction from their salary would be £22 within the current holiday year.
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Time Off and Other Leave

You will not normally be expected to work overtime. However, when it is required, time off in lieu is usually granted instead of overtime payments. Example: if you work an extra four hours to meet a deadline, you might agree with your supervisor to leave earlier one day to reclaim the four extra hours.

Special leave is available to provide you with time off in the event of serious family illness, bereavement, or family or domestic crises. Unpaid Parental leave is available to allow you to spend more time with your children while they are young and to relieve some of the stresses of working and caring. Maternity leave or adoption leave provide up to 52 weeks leave. Paternity leave (ordinary and additional) can be taken to support the mother of a newborn baby, look after the baby or support a partner who is adopting a child. Employees who do not qualify for paternity leave may instead be eligible for maternity support leave. Members of the Reserved Forces and the Territorial Army are granted two weeks’ additional paid leave for attendance at summer camp. Retained Fire-fighters are granted paid leave to undertake their duties, subject to prior approval.

From 1st April 2012, employees' are required to take three additional days leave (pro rata for part time employees) that will be unpaid. Deductions from monthly pay are spread over a period of up to twelve months.
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Health and Well Being

We take the health of our employees seriously and among other pro-active measures, have an Occupational Health Service whose work is centred on promoting well being, advising on reducing the impact of work on health and offering free information programmes to eligible staff. We also provide a free and confidential staff counselling service. In addition to providing statutory sick pay, we offer a more generous occupational sick pay scheme. You can access the occupational sick pay scheme after you have worked for us for six months. Entitlement increases with each complete year of service up to a maximum of six months at 90% pay and six months at half pay after five years’ service.
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Childcare Voucher Scheme

If you have children, you can save money by using our Childcare Voucher scheme to help towards your childcare costs. You can use vouchers to pay your (registered) carers and setting up a scheme enables staff and the Council to both save money as the vouchers are tax and National Insurance (NI) exempt up to £55 a week or £243 per month.
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Bike to Work Scheme

Employees can benefit from a tax incentive aimed at encouraging employees to cycle to work. Typical savings through this salary sacrifice scheme for an average tax-payer are between 38 - 45 per cent. The scheme allows staff to benefit from a long term loan of a bike of their choice, and commuting equipment such as lights or locks, for up to a value of £1,000. The certificates are tax and national insurance exempt, check out www.cyclescheme.co.uk/6ae07 for further information.
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Relationships with Trade Unions

The County Council believes that having positive relationships with recognised trade unions is an essential component of a successful organisation. Although you are under no obligation to be a member of a trade union you are free to join any union of your choice. The Council recognises a number of trade unions and consults with them on a wide range of employment issues.
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Equality and Diversity

The Council is committed to equality for all, irrespective of age, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, marital status or pregnancy and maternity. Employees can join the Network for Cultural Diversity, Disability Equality Group or Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Staff Network, which provide advice and mutual support to their members, and meet regularly. The groups also offer advice to the Council, channelled through individual and management groups, which relates to many areas including service deployment, policy issues or the recruitment and retention of BME employees, those with a disability or those from the LGBT Community.
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Relocation, Removal and Disturbance Allowances

A scheme of allowances is available to provide financial assistance to an eligible employee, following approval by the Head of Service/Director, who needs to move home as a result of accepting an appointment. The scheme provides help towards removal expenses, legal fees, estate agents’ fees, disturbance expenses and additional accommodation costs. Please ask for further details.

Staff Travel Plan and Car Parking Arrangements

The staff travel plan offers employees and visitors improved transport choice and reduces the need to travel, helping reduce congestion, improve air quality and promote sustainable travel. Travel choices offered may include bus, train, bicycles, walking, motorcycles and car sharing, to reduce reliance on single occupancy car travel for commuter journeys and business travel.

At County Hall Campus (including Wildwood and Countryside Centre), there are parking restrictions in terms of the number of spaces available to staff. However, there are designated parking spaces for car sharers, a short-stay area for staff only attending meetings and a visitors’ car park. Based on the parking restrictions and to support the Staff Travel Plan, all staff are encouraged to drive to work in a car on their own for no more than three days a week and consider either changing their travel choice (as described as above) or alternative working arrangements such as home-working, managing their diary to work at other locations or compressed working hours for the other days.
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Criminal Records Checks and Safeguarding

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for employment, the Council complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

Worcestershire County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people, and vulnerable adults, and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
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References

If you apply for a job with the council, you will need to give the names and addresses of two referees, one of whom must be your current or most recent employer, or work experience provider. Some applicants may not be able to provide this, for example those who are applying to join us straight from education. In these cases, at least one of the references should be sought from a person in a position of responsibility, who has knowledge of you, as the applicant. This could be a tutor or lecturer. The second referee can be anyone who can comment on your suitability for the job you are applying for, including a previous employer. As they are invariably complimentary, personal or character references from family members are not acceptable. Any offer of employment made to you will be dependent on whether we receive references that are satisfactory for our purposes from the two people you nominate. We will contact your referees only if we offer you the job and not before.
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Additional Information and Comments

If there is any information that is not contained within this document, or you have other questions or queries, please contact the Central Recruitment Team on 01905 765765. Alternatively, you can e-mail: jobs@worcestershire.gov.uk. If you are not satisfied with the answer you should take it up with Patrick Birch, Director of Resources, Telephone (01905) 766200 or write to him at County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP. If you are still not satisfied you can contact the Chief Executive.
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Making your Application

The following advice is designed to assist you with your application and to explain the process that we will use to select the most suitable applicant for the post:
 
  • Read the job information very carefully before completing the application form
  • The job description lists the main duties of the post and the person specification describes the skills, knowledge and experience, and, if relevant, qualifications that we are looking for
  • When completing your application form, think carefully about why you want the job and what experience and skills you have to offer. These may be from previous employment (paid/voluntary/domestic), study, or general interests and life experience. Please remember that it is not sufficient to merely repeat what is in the person specification – you must give clear examples of how you meet each requirement
  • We cannot guess or make assumptions about your knowledge, skills or experience therefore, the information that you provide on your application form will be the only basis on which we can decide whether or not you will be selected for interview
  • We aim to be an equal opportunity employer and require the same range of information from all candidates. This is why we ask you to submit a standard application form and do not accept either a CV or testimonials
  • The application form includes a monitoring form. This is included to enable the County Council to monitor the effectiveness of its policies relating to equality and diversity. All monitoring forms are treated confidentially and are not used in the selection process
  • Any information that you provide relating to any disability will only be used to consider adjustments that might be needed to give you equal consideration to other applicants
  • If you have any unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, you must complete the section of the application form headed “Convictions” with particular care. Criminal records will only be taken into account for recruitment purposes when a conviction is relevant. If the nature of the work demands it, you may be asked to disclose  unfiltered convictions which are “spent” under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 -  see note below. For further information regarding filtering please see: www.gov.uk/government/publications/filtering-rules-for-criminal-record-check-certificates. Having an unspent conviction will not necessarily bar you from employment. This will depend on the circumstances and background to the offence, and the nature of the job that you are applying for.
 
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, a conviction will become “spent” (i.e. treated as if it had never occurred) when the individual has not committed another serious offence after a certain period of time. Rehabilitation periods vary according to the type and length of conviction originally incurred. For more information (including the rehabilitation periods for offences covered by the Act), please see the Government's guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-guidance-on-the-rehabilitation-of-offenders-act-1974 .

 

The Recruitment Process

  • Before returning your application form, please ensure that all sections are fully completed and that you have signed the declaration. If additional space is needed to complete your application, please continue on a maximum of one A4 sheet
  • Please ensure you submit your application on or before the closing date. Internet applications will be accepted up until midnight on the closing date. Postal applications will be accepted first post the morning after the closing date. Any applications posted/delivered by hand to reception will be date stamped and will be accepted as per postal applications. Any forms that arrive after these deadlines will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances
  • Once received by the short-listing panel, all applications forms will be carefully reviewed and considered against the criteria laid down in the person specification
  • If you are unsuccessful at short-listing stage, you will be informed in writing, usually within 2 weeks of the closing date
  • If you are invited to interview, you will be required to bring documentation that proves that you are entitled to work in the United Kingdom. Specific details will be included in the letter inviting you to interview. The Council is obliged to carry out these basic checks before taking on new employees, as it is a criminal offence to employ anyone who does not have this entitlement
  • Dependant upon the post applied for there maybe further interview stages. The interview process may also include tests which are an additional tool used to assist us in making a decision on candidate’s suitability
  • If you are the successful applicant you will be made an offer of employment subject to medical clearance and the receipt of references that are satisfactory for our purposes
  • Some posts are also subject to other checks, such as from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or of your qualifications. You will need to bear this in mind if you are currently employed and need to resign from your post.
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Starting your job

  • If you are not presently employed by Worcestershire County Council, your appointment will be subject to a probationary period of six months.
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Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • CycleScheme
    Get a tax-free bike, which for most people means they save about 40% of the cost.  

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This page was last reviewed 1 August 2014 at 13:09.
The page is next due for review 28 January 2016.