Employee reward and benefits

The University aims to encourage, support and recognise the excellent performance and behaviours of our employees.

We also aim to offer a range of benefits which make us stand out from our competitors to attract new, and retain existing, employees who can help us achieve the University's goals.

Annual leave

The annual leave years runs from 1 August to 31 July.

Entitlement is based on grade and length of service. 

The basic annual leave entitlement is as follows (part-time employees receive a pro-rata entitlement):

1-6 152.25 hours / 21 days
7-8 181.25 hours / 25 days
9+ 217.5 hours / 30 days

In addition, employees who have been employed for more than one annual leave year receive a long-service entitlement:

Length of serviceAdditional entitlement
One full annual leave year 7.25 hours / 1 day
Three full annual leave years 21.75 hours / 3 additional days (in total)
Five full annual leave years 36.25 / 5 additional days (in total)

Statutory and customary days

In addition to annual leave the University has five customary days (at Easter and Christmas) and eight statutory leave days (bank holidays) each year.  These are also pro-rata'd for part-time staff.

Reason1 August 2018 - 31 July 20191 August 2019 - 31 July 2020
Summer bank holiday Monday 27 August 2018 Monday 26 August 2019 
Customary Monday 24 December 2018 Tuesday 24 December 2019 
Christmas Day bank holiday Tuesday 25 December 2018 Wednesday 25 December 2019 
Boxing Day bank holiday Wednesday 26 December 2018 Thursday 26 December 2019 
Customary Thursday 27 December 2018 Friday 27 December 2019 
Customary Friday 28 December 2018 Monday 30 December 2019 
Customary Monday 31 December 2018 Tuesday 31 December 2019 
New Year bank holiday Tuesday 1 January 2019 Wednesday 1 January 2020 
Good Friday Friday 19 April 2019 Friday 10 April 2020 
Easter Monday Monday 22 April 2019 Monday 13 April 2020 
Customary Tuesday 23 April 2019 Tuesday 14 April 2020 
Early May bank holiday Monday 6 May 2019 Monday 4 May 2020 
Spring bank holiday Monday 27 May 2019 Monday 25 May 2020 

My Sustain Rewards

My Sustain Rewards gives University of Bradford employees access to a range of discount vouchers and special offers on high-street shopping, restaurants, cinema, travel and day to day shopping. There are many ways to save through the scheme whether you like to shop in-store or online covering various areas of interest; from retail, leisure and fitness to entertainment, transport and holidays.

Such discounts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 5% off grocery shopping at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and 7% off Iceland and M&S.
  • 8% off home technology at Currys and PC World.
  • Up to 10% off eating out at popular chains including Cafe Rouge, Pizza Express, Zizzi, Nando’s and Pizza Hut.
  • Up to 10% off DIY at B&Q, Homebase and Wilkinson’s.
  • Up to 20% off shopping at national leading retailers including Argos, Boots, BHS, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Matalan, H Samuel, Goldsmiths and many more household brands.
  • Up to 50% off days out and attractions at theme parks including SEALIFE, Chessington, Legoland and Thorpe Park.
  • Up to 10% off package holidays through our travel club on the ‘Discount holidays’ link. The discount can include bookings with all the top tour operators such as Virgin holidays, Kuoni, Thomas Cook, Thomsons or First Choice.

Save from Salary

The University offers a Save from Salary scheme which allows you to save money direct from your monthly salary to a bank account of your choice.

Give as you earn

Give as you earn allows you to set-up tax free donations every month to a registered charity.  Complete a Give as You Earn donation instruction form on HR ServiceNow to start making donations.


Metro season ticket - Mcard (bus and train)

The University operates a scheme for staff to purchase a Mcard with a discount off the normal cost of an annual MetroCard and pay for it in 12 easy instalments directly out of your pay.

Metro have agreed this discount with the University in recognition of our efforts to promote sustainable travel choices and our commitment to developing and maintaining a travel plan.

Northern Rail season ticket (train)

With an annual season ticket you get 12 weeks free travel which can be used on any train operators service between your two chosen stations. The University will purchase the ticket for you and deductions are made direct from your salary in nine monthly instalments. 

Fancy trying the train to commute to work - apply for a Northern Rail Offer between your two chosen stations.

First Bus Corporate Travel Club (bus)

A season ticket loan scheme giving you all the cost savings of an annual ticket along with simplicity of a monthly direct debit payment.

The cost of a First Bus Bradford pass is currently £540 - spread out monthly by direct debit. Call 0845 601 8020 to take advantage of this offer.



The Simply Cash Plan allows you to claim money back towards your healthcare costs including: 

  • 100% cash back on dental and optical bills, up to your annual limits
  • 50% cash back for a range of recognised therapies, including physiotherapy and chiropractic, up to annual limits
  • Up to four resident children, under 18 covered for free

Your premium can be deducted direct from your salary.

For further information see Simply Cash Plan or contact Simplyhealth customer services on 0800 056 0366 or our Account Manager, Andrew Stringer on 07714 091 798.

Sovereign Health Care

The Sovereign Health Care cash plan offers tax free cash back towards a range of everyday essential health care costs including:

  • Dental treatment
  • Glasses/contact lenses
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropody
  • Reflexology
  • Hospital stays
  • Maternity/adoption
  • Hospital consultant fees
  • Health screening

Your premium can be deducted direct from your salary.

For more information contact the Sovereign Health Care team on 0800 369 8873.


The University Nursery was established in April 1992 and offers childcare to University of Bradford employees and students. 

It provides excellent early years care and education for children from 12 weeks to 5 years. Rated ‘GOOD’ by Ofsted it offers an inclusive and diverse learning environment which is led by a team of fully qualified staff members.

The University Nursery fees are deducted from your Gross Salary which means you save on income tax and national insurance contributions, making the most of your salary.


The university has an on-site leisure and sports facility - Unique fitness & Lifestyle - offering discounted membership to all employees.

Car parking

The University offers on-site car parking at a competitive price.  You will need to apply for a car parking permit annually.

On-site food and drink outlets

There are a number of food and drink outlets both on city campus and at the Emm Lane campus ranging from restaurants to coffee bars.

Blackwells Bookshop

Our on-site bookshop in the atrium of the Richmond building offers a 10% staff discount on all its products (excluding laptops and tablets).

Please note: this offer does not run in conjunction with any other offers. Staff will receive whichever discount is the highest.


The Bradford University Staff Association (BUStA) organises social events and industrial visits to members. To read more online about BUStA, and how to become a member please visit the BUStA web page.

Salary Sacrifice Schemes

The idea of salary sacrifice/salary exchange schemes is very simple - the cost is deducted from your gross salary, which means you save on income tax, National Insurance and VAT, making the most of your salary.

If you are a current member of staff you will find more information, including all our policies, on HR ServiceNow.

The following are the current Salary Sacrifice Schemes available at the University, as well as the nursery which is outlined above.

Flexible working

The right to request flexible working applies to all University employees who meet the qualifying criteria of 26 weeks continuous service at the date a written request is made.

Flexitime scheme

The flexitime scheme is open to staff on Grades 1 to 6 and its operation is dependent upon the nature and requirements of the role, as determined by the Dean/Director or nominated Manager.  

The scheme works within monthly periods. Within each period the number of contracted hours is based upon the standard working week of 36 hours 15 minutes Monday to Friday. At the end of each month, 7 hours 15 minutes credit or debit can be carried into the next period. With approval one day or two half-days leave can be taken during each month.   

Job share policy

The University will normally agree to a job share where it is reasonable and practicable to do so and where operational needs will not be adversely affected.

Family friendly

We have a range of policies to support our staff to balance work life with home and family life, many of which provide enhanced benefits over and above our statutory obligations.

Adoption leave

Staff are entitled to up to one years Adoption Leave and may qualify for University adoption pay.

Maternity leave

You will qualify for University maternity pay if you have been continuously employed by the University for 12 months before the expected birth of your baby, and you intend to return to work at the University following maternity leave for a minimum of three months. 

University maternity pay is the equivalent of 16-weeks full pay, which usually comprises:

  • six weeks on full pay (includes statutory maternity pay (SMP) payments)
  • 20 weeks on half pay plus SMP up to a maximum of normal pay
  • 13 weeks on SMP

Paternity leave

Fathers can benefit from two weeks full pay during paternity leave.  

Parental leave

Parental leave is the right to take unpaid time off work to look after a child or make arrangements for the child's welfare. 

Shared parental leave

Shared Parental Leave provides eligible employees with the opportunity to take advantage of additional flexibility in the way they choose to share the care of their child during the first year of birth or adoption.

Bereavement leave

Bereavement leave with pay up to five days may be requested by a member of staff to deal with the effects of a death, including making funeral arrangements and attending the funeral.

Dependants leave

The University may grant time off at short notice to deal with unexpected emergencies involving a dependant.

Special discretionary leave

Consideration will be given to requests from members of staff for short periods of paid and/or unpaid leave in circumstances which are not covered by other provisions.


The University has an award-winning campus with lots of green spaces to walk in or just sit and enjoy the view:

  • medicinal herb garden  
  • Pemberton woodlands
  • potato patch
  • fruit trees and bushes
  • workshop and vegetable patch
  • beehives

Cycle to work

The Cycle to Work scheme allows you to hire a bike and safety equipment from your employer for the purpose of commuting to and from work and for use at weekends and evenings.

You can choose a bike up to the value of £1000 from local bike retailers or any Halfords store.  The value of the bike is spread across a period of 12 months and each month the payment will be deducted from your gross salary. This element of salary will not have tax or national insurance applied to it, making this a tax-free benefit.

You do not pay tax or national insurance contributions on the value of the salary you sacrifice for this agreement. For example, if you choose a cycle and safety equipment to the value of £400 and are a lower rate tax payer, you could save up to £128* on the total cost, and if you are a higher rate tax payer you could save up to £168 (exact savings are subject to your individual tax and national insurance calculations).

In order to receive the Tax benefits resulting from a salary sacrifice arrangement you will need to be a UK taxpayer, who can benefit from the Tax efficiencies of the scheme. You will also need to be able to meet the required 12 monthly payments through your salary.

Childcare vouchers

The University's operates childcareplus with its benefits provider Sodexo Motivation Solutions.

If you are a current employee you will find more information, including all our policies, on HR ServiceNow.  The scheme can be accessed at My Sustain Rewards.

Childcare vouchers save you money on registered care for younger and older children as you don’t pay tax or national insurance on your selected voucher value.

The amount you save depends on how much tax and national insurance you pay. If you are a basic rate taxpayer you can save as much as £933* (subject to individual circumstances) per parent, per year. For higher rate tax payers you can make savings of up to £624* per parent, per year.

In addition, both working parents can take vouchers making their potential family saving £1,866* per family per year.

*Please note the amount you save depends on individual circumstances and is subject to your employer carrying out a basic earnings assessment.

Childcare and childminder services

For information on local childcare facilities and childminders

Holiday purchase scheme

This benefit is a salary sacrifice scheme which allows eligible employees to request to purchase up to a maximum of 10 days (72.5 hours) additional holiday in a leave year and to spread the cost of the extra leave over the 12-month period. If you work on a part-time basis this will be pro-rated based on the number of hours you are contracted to work.  

You are eligible to join the Holiday Purchase Scheme if you are paid via the University payroll and have a permanent contract of employment or a fixed term contract of 12 months or more.

The scheme is open from 1 June to 12 August annually.