Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is a great place to work. We work hard and are proud to serve the people of the Borough. You can be the best you can be and you will be supported with your own development.
We have a range of employee benefits.
Pay and reward
The grade of your job is set through a formal job evaluation scheme. Annual cost of living pay awards are subject to national negotiations with trade unions or pay review bodies, depending on your terms and conditions. You are paid in 12 equal instalments into the bank account of your choice on the last working day of each month.
Some jobs within the Council get allowances such as unsociability, standby or sleep ins. You will be informed by your managed if an allowance is applicable to your job. All the allowances are detailed in the Single Status Agreement.
We operate the nationally agreed sick pay scheme which entitles you to a period of full pay and half pay depending on how long you have worked here. The maximum sick pay is 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay for employees with more than 5 years continuous service.
We operate two occupational pension schemes, the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and the Teacher's Pension Scheme. You will be automatically entered into the appropriate scheme if you are eligible. If you do not wish to be in the pension scheme you will need to opt out.
The LGPS is an employer contributory career average scheme, operated by the Teesside Pension Fund. The LGPS Pensions and Retirement Policy explains some of the benefits available to you and provides an overview of how the scheme works, the financial protection that it offers you and your family, and the options available for your retirement. For more information visit the Local Government Pension Scheme website or the Teesside Pension Fund website.
The Teachers' pension is a career average scheme. You must meet the eligibility criteria to join this scheme. For information please visit the Teachers Pension website.
Additional voluntary contributions
Employees who are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) are able to purchase Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) to supplement their pension on retirement. Employees who purchase AVCs receive tax relief on the payment. Since September 2021 employees who are members of the LGPS also have access to shared cost AVCs where they not only save tax on their contributions but also National Insurance.
Work-life balance and attendance
Annual leave entitlement
Our annual leave entitlement is:
- 26 days plus Bank Holidays for employees with less than 5 years Local Government Service
- 31 days plus Bank Holidays for employees with over 5 years Local Government Service
- 32 days for employees on Chief Officer terms and conditions
Annual leave entitlement for part-time employees will be calculated pro-rata.
Additional annual leave purchase
You can purchase between 3 and 10 days additional leave per year through a deduction in pay spread over a 12-month period.
Leave of absence
We have a work life balance and attendance policy which gives guidance around paid and unpaid leave of absence, which should be agreed between you and your manager. We recognise that you might need more support if there is a bereavement in your family, if you or one of your dependants is critically ill or has another emergency situation, or if you have to undergo a medical procedure and need some time to recover.
Flexitime lets you have a degree of flexibility over your working hours by allowing to vary your start and finish times. You can take up to 3 breaks a day to help balance personal commitments with work and you can accrue time where work is available so you can take hours back at a later date.
Flexitime is available to employees subject to the needs of the service. Not all services are able to offer flexitime due to operational requirements such as shift working arrangements.
Flexible working scheme
We recognise the important of helping our employees balance work and home life by offering flexible working arrangements where the demands of the business allow.
We are currently offering more flexibility on where employees work. A pilot is underway which enables eligible employees to work 60% of their time away from the office.
Family friendly benefits
You can make a flexible working request to help you to balance your working life with other priorities such as parental and other caring responsibilities, life-long learning, charity work, leisure activities and other interests. These are subject to ensuring staffing levels and the demands of the business are met.
Becoming a parent
We are committed to helping working parents balance work and family life. Our Becoming a Parent Policy covers the leave entitlement and enhanced payments available for:
- maternity leave
- adoption leave
- shared parental leave
- paternity leave
- maternity or adoption support leave
- fostering and special guardianship leave
- IVF treatment
Tax-free childcare can give eligible families an extra 20% towards childcare costs.
Working parents with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children) could be eligible for the scheme. For every £8 you pay towards your childcare costs, the government will add an extra £2. You could receive up to £2,000 per child per year (£4,000 per disabled child).
The Tax-Free Childcare scheme can help to pay for:
- registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
- registered after-school clubs and play schemes
- registered schools
- home careworkers working for a registered home care agency
For further information and to register visit the Childcare Choices website.
Health and wellbeing
Occupational Health Service
Our Occupational Health Service is provided by our Occupational Health Advisor, with support from an Occupational Health Physician. The service understands the pressures and priorities of the Council, its services and its employees. It proactively addresses health issues within our workforce, helps to support attendance at work and to build capacity and resilience.
Employee health and wellbeing - Redcar and Cleveland Mind
All our employees have free access to our confidential employee health and wellbeing services.
Redcar and Cleveland Mind provides free access to confidential advice and support from their team of qualified, experienced practitioners. You can access one-to-one help at a time and place that suits you to help improve your mental wellbeing. They work at a pace that suits you, offering face-to-face or telephone support to achieve your goals, providing help with personal and work-related issues including (but not limited to):
Physiotherapy services - Body2Fit
Body2Fit provide our physiotherapy services. As an employee, you can have free early access to the following services:
- up to 5 physiotherapy sessions
- a workplace assessment
- an initial podiatry assessment
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council employees receive a 50% discount on the joining fee for gym membership in Tees Active centres across the Borough:
- Billingham Forum
- Thornaby Pavilion
- Thornaby Pool
- IB Leisure
Contact your local Tees Active Centre for further information or visit the Tees Active website.
Learning and development
We are committed to supporting the learning and development of our employees to ensure that we all have the skills, knowledge and behaviours to respond positively to change and deliver efficient customer focused services to the people of our Borough. Our learning and development programme provides:
- new starter induction
- training for all employees advertised through MyDevelopment, the Council's learning management system
- specific training for managers
- apprenticeship opportunities for new and existing staff
Investors in People Award
In 2021 we were awarded Investors In People Accredited Standard.
Investors in People sets out the criteria for high performance through people. It is the UK's leading accreditation for people management and signals a high performing culture and a commitment to employee development and success.
We have held the award since 2000 and apply for re-accreditation every 3 years. We recognise that what we deliver as a Council cannot be achieved without the hard work, passion and dedication we have from our employees.
Equality staff forums
We currently have 5 equality staff forums:
- The Disability Forum
- Black and Minority Ethnic Forum
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Staff Forum
- Young Staff Forum (16 to 29 years old)
- Carers Staff Forum
The forums are led by employees and provide an opportunity for networking, peer support and personal development. They also consult with the Council on a range of matters and arrange annual events to support Council objectives, raise awareness and celebrate diversity.
The intranet provides you with everything you need in one place. It's the first screen you see when you turn on a PC at the Council. You'll find all our policies, procedures, forms and guidance there, plus more information on Employee Support and Benefits.
There's a daily news banner, a discussion forum, a useful "who does what" directory of all employees, and links to HR Online and Maps at Stockton. You can also ask a question through the "We are Heard" tab.
Keeping You in Touch (KYiT)
Our Keeping You In Touch (KYiT) weekly newsletter is published every Friday on the intranet and includes lots of information about work life, as well as community and local news. A number of paper copies are also produced and are available in Council buildings for employees who do not have regular access to the intranet.
Our employee survey takes place every two years and gives all employees the chance to share their thoughts. It helps us get a true picture of how employees feel about the Council, their job, and working here. By answering the questions, you help us understand and support everyone more.
We think the Council is a great place to work but don't just take our word for it. Here are some of our results from our latest employee survey:
- 93% said they understand how their work contributes to the success of the organisation
- 86% reported they have taken the opportunity to learn something new at work this year
- 88% believe that one of their responsibilities is to continually look for new ways to improve the way we work
- 80% feels their immediate manager or supervisor encourages them to come up with new or better ways of doing things
- 77% said they would recommend the Council as a great place to work
The Council works in partnership with trade unions and meets regularly with representatives to discuss issues affecting the Council and its workforce. Trade unions can provide a range of support to their members from representation on individual workplace or personal issues, to consumer benefits such as reduced rates on mortgages and insurance.
Other employee benefits
Car lease scheme
We operate a salary sacrifice car lease scheme with NHS Fleet Solutions to enable you to lease a new, fully-maintained and insured car and benefit from lower costs and tax benefits at the same time. As this is a salary sacrifice scheme, it does impact your pension.
The scheme complies with our Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Strategy and eligible employees can choose from a range of electric, hybrid and ultra-low emission cars.
The scheme is available to all Council employees, subject to eligibility checks and insurance restrictions.
Bus and train discounts
You can take advantage of discount offers on annual tickets from Arriva, Go North East, Stagecoach and Northern Rail. You can pay for annual tickets directly from your pay and spread the cost over a 12-month period.
Cycle to work
In association with Cyclescheme Limited and Halfords, we can help you purchase a bike through salary sacrifice. You enter into a hire agreement where payments are taken from your salary each month for 12 months. Salary sacrifice saves you money on tax and National Insurance for the portion of your salary you are sacrificing for the benefit of the bike.
Your community bank
Moneywise Credit Union is the largest community-based credit union in the North East and offers safe savings, affordable loans and related services to their members. You can have money paid direct from your salary into an account to build up your savings or repay a loan.
TradePoint discount card
Council employees are able to request a discount card from TradePoint, which entitles you to a 10% discount off almost every product at TradePoint and in-store at B&Q.