Staff Benefits and Wellbeing

We recognise that our people are essential to our success and as such we value our staff hugely. We hope that our approach to Reward, Benefits and Wellbeing is one way that demonstrates this.

We are an institution built upon strong values: We are Transformative, Collaborative, Empowering, Professional, Creative and Inclusive. We want to recruit and retain individuals who share our values and common purpose and who can inspire others to flourish and to thrive.

We actively build a 'Wellbeing-first' approach into our day-to-day activities and practice, supported by our comprehensive Wellbeing framework.

We are a 'university within a university' — a place where individuals continually learn, develop and grow.

Join, grow and thrive with the University of Suffolk.

Julie Burton - Director of People and Organisational Development

We offer a generous entitlement of 25 days (plus 8 Bank Holidays) pro rata for staff Bands 1-4 inclusive and 30 days (plus 8 Bank Holidays) pro rata for staff on Bands 5 and above.

In addition to this, we also have a 'close-down' period between Christmas and New Year - a period of time where no staff are required to work. This is in addition to the standard leave entitlement.

NEW: The University offers a discretionary one day of paid birthday leave (per annum) for each employee for the purpose of celebrating their birthday. This discretionary leave is in addition to the employee’s standard University annual leave entitlement and is subject to service conditions.

You can receive generous discounts at a number of amenities around the University, including:

  • 10% at the Paddy & Scott's and CoffeeLink which are located on the waterfront
  • 20% at the Grazing Sheep (Wednesday to Friday only)
  • 10% across all food and drink at Mix café and bar
  • Discounted membership prices at various Ipswich Fit sites where you can get unlimited access to gyms, swimming lanes, fitness classes and discounted racket sports
  • Discounted membership at Adastral Park Leisure and Sports
  • Free parking on weekends 
  • Access to sign up to a Totum card where you’ll enjoy discounts on numerous brands at a small cost

We offer up to a 100% fee waiver for staff approved to study a UoS undergraduate or postgraduate course* as agreed following PDP and appraisal. The offer is subject to conditions. Information can be provided upon requests to those not currently employed at the University. 

We also work closely with specialist internal and external providers to design programmes and short courses which meet specific learning and development requirements.

  • Academic Leadership
  • Management Development, e.g., ILM Level 3
  • Research and Scholarly Activity
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Health and Safety
  • Equality and Diversity

*subject to conditions set out in the Support for Academic Staff and Professional Qualifications Policy.

Our Agile Working Framework currently empowers 97% of our workforce to work in an agile way.

We trust our staff to work in the best location for the activity being undertaken; but connection to colleagues and campus is essential - therefore all roles will require a regular on-campus presence. 'Shades of agility' will vary between departments as required by the type of activity/role and the need to ensure a connected and thriving campus for students and staff. Line managers will provide clarity on this.

Flexible Working

The University has a Flexible Working Policy designed to enable all staff to manage their work commitments and to ensure a sustainable work-life balance. Examples of flexible working patterns include part time working, annualised hours, term-time working, staggered hours, compressed hours, job sharing.

Family Friendly Policies


The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is our contributory pension scheme.

You’ll pay 6.1% of your salary into USS – but the cost to your take-home pay may be less. This is because you get tax relief on your pension contributions. For more on tax relief visit a pensions overview or watch an overview of pension tax. Your employer will pay in 14.5% towards your benefits and running USS.

For USS members, we operate a salary sacrifice scheme, which is a simple and risk-free way to deliver savings to the majority of staff and the University by reducing the amount of National Insurance (NI) Contributions paid from salary.

Contribution rates are determined by the scheme administrators following periodic re-evaluation.

Electric Vehicle Lease Car

The Tusker Car Benefit Scheme is the salary sacrifice car benefit provided to all eligible employees.

The University of Suffolk has partnered with the award-winning provider Tusker to enable our staff access to affordable electric cars to promote a greener and more environmentally friendly way to travel.

Staff Cycle Scheme

We are partnered with Cyclescheme which is an employee benefit that saves you 26-40% on a bike and accessories. Payments are taken tax efficiently from your salary. Cyclescheme is a self-service, high impact employee benefit that gets staff cycling with big savings!

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

We have an EAP service which is open to staff and their immediate family members (definition applies). The EAP service is a confidential employee benefit designed to help staff deal with personal and professional problems that could be affecting their home life or work life, health, and general wellbeing.

The service provides emotional support through counselling (face to face, online or via telephone) and helpline services with qualified and trained experts on a range of issues relating to wellbeing, health and lifestyle, legal and financial support, family support plus so much more. Staff can find out more information from the People and Organisational Development Team.

Wellbeing Group

We have a group consisting of academic and professional service staff who contributes to our health and wellbeing strategy.  There are several wellbeing initiatives which derive from this group including a yearly health promotion programme and key objectives each year to enhance how we support and nurture our health and wellbeing within our community and beyond.    

A Trainer-Friendly Employer

We want to empower our People to build in exercise to daily life – for example walking to work, nipping out for a lunchtime walk or getting to different parts of campus to collaborate with colleagues/peers. It is time to think of different ways of doing things, from going for a walking team meeting to connecting with your team outdoors for ‘creative thinking’ time. We believe building physical activity into the working day will improve physical and mental health/wellbeing. And so to make that easier, we encourage all of our People to wear their most comfortable trainers to make this a reality! University of Suffolk is trainer-friendly! 

Providing opportunities to support your physical, mental, social and spiritual health

Here are some opportunities we provide: 

  • Staff Pool Bicycle Initiative - opportunities for staff to have free use of bicycles for travelling in and around Ipswich whilst on University business.  This initiative supports our bid to reduce carbon, cost, calories and to encourage physical activity whilst at work
  • Staff Networks -  We currently have LGBTQ+ Network, Disability Network, Menopause Group, Anti-Racism Collective.
  • Annual Team Step Challenge - a three-week step challenge to encourage movement whilst at work and study.

Mindful Employer

To further show our commitment to our people’s wellbeing, we have proudly signed the Mindful Employer Charter.

Mindful Employer Charter logo on white background with blue writing and a large tick

Every year, we hold our Stars of Suffolk staff awards event to celebrate everything that we have achieved over the past academic year and to recognise our people and the contributions they have made.