Employee benefits at UKAEA

At the UK Atomic Energy Authority we truly value our employees and all they bring to our company. We hope you can see that through our wide range of benefits available to all staff members, when you join us!

A group of staff having lunch outside at the Culham restaurant

We promote hybrid and flexible working to ensure that our employees are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Depending on the business’ needs, this can range from part-time arrangements so parents can do the school run, to partial home working and the ability to flex hours to fit lifestyle choices. 

We are also open to job sharing, unless stated otherwise.

We are committed to developing all of our members of staff by offering a wide range of support and programmes to encourage personal and professional development. This can be through a variety of avenues including through our accredited professional development scheme, mentoring programme, apprenticeship scheme, fellowships or other development opportunities. 

Find out more about our career development opportunities.

Your health and wellbeing are as important to us as it is to you! Research has shown that happy and healthy staff members contribute their best selves to their employer. So, we have introduced a health and wellbeing programme that provides a whole host of benefits helping to further improve health and wellbeing. 

We provide a wide range of free benefits including a free on-site gym, accessible showers, wellbeing medicals, qualified mental health first aiders, Occupational Health provision, a trim trail and fitness challenges. There is an on-site service as well as an Employee Assistance Programme which is a wellbeing initiative, available to all employees by telephone, giving support and counselling, covering a wide variety of subject areas, such as financial, personal, work-related and legal.

We have introduced a mentoring scheme in order to support our staff members through their personal and professional development. 

Mentoring is a relationship between a mentor and a mentee where they discover more about themselves, their potential and capabilities. This programme can assist an individual by enabling them to seek guidance, support, help and feedback on their development. 

Take a look at some of the great feedback we’ve received in regards to our mentoring scheme:

  • “It’s a successful and growing scheme”
  • “Strengthened my professional relationships”
  • “Tailored to what the mentor/mentee require”
  • “Helps to encourage professional accreditation”

Explore our employee case studies to see how we’ve developed our employees and their careers.

Your pension is probably the most important source of income when you retire, and we want to ensure that our employees have access to a pension which will help them to have a fulfilling retirement. 

Our employees are automatically enrolled into our Combined Pension Scheme (CPS), which is a final salary defined benefit scheme. Our employees receive the following benefits:

  • Options for early or partial retirement. 
  • Death in service benefits, including lump sum of 2x pensionable final earnings, as well as spouse and dependents’ pensions. 
  • Spouse and dependents’ pensions on death after retirement. 
  • III health benefits of payment of pension and lump sum with possible enhancement. 
  • Additional voluntary contributions scheme. 
  • Employee contributions qualify for tax relief and we also contribute. Some benefits are reduced for service less than two years, and there is the option to opt out of the scheme.

Find out more about our pension scheme.

Please note that the CPS is expected to close for future accrual of benefits at some point in the future, as part of the reform of all public sector pensions. Most of our current and all of our new employees will then be transferred to the Civil Servants and Others Pension Scheme (known as alpha) for future benefits.

Find out more information about the alpha scheme.

Our amazing Culham Sports & Social Association (CSSA) aims to foster and encourage sports and social activities across our site. Anyone who works on the site can become a member! 

They run a wide range of clubs and societies, currently these include: Craft Club, Singing Group, Yoga, Netball, Pilates and Football. The association have also arranged theatre trips to various London theatres for its members and organise various social events. 

UKAEA also runs seasonal activities throughout the year, including a free summer musical festival – ‘Culhambury’ – for staff and their families. Our summer evening reception is centred around a set of UKAEA Staff Awards and is accompanied by a BBQ and live music.

Our health and wellbeing team organise a series of ‘Fun Runs’ throughout the year. We have an on-site small gym, as well as some outdoor fitness equipment if staff prefer their workouts outside. For those who enjoy walking, there is also a perimeter walk available for people to take a stroll during their lunch break, or for a run. Shower and changing facilities are also available throughout various buildings on site.

Our base annual leave entitlement for employees is 25 days, pro-rata for part time employees. This rises to 28 days after five years of service with us and then again to 30 after 10 years employment. 

In addition, employees are also entitled to a further 10.5 days holiday, including bank holidays and privilege days. 

As all employees work a revised working week, no annual leave needs to be saved for Christmas and New Year, as our sites close for the holiday period.

Our employees are also able to carry over 10 days of annual leave to the next year if they wish. There is also an opportunity to accrue more annual leave in lieu of work carried out as overtime, instead of receiving payment, subject to manager’s discretion.

We recognise that life can throw a spanner in the works, so we’ll help you to deal with unplanned discretionary leave to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. 

This leave is to allow staff to deal with unexpected problems and to make longer term arrangements when necessary. There is no qualifying period for this leave and depending on circumstances, some of this leave may qualify to be paid. 

It is important to us that our maternity leave and pay exceed statutory minimum and we ensure that you can continue to receive your full pay during the first 26 weeks of maternity leave (to qualify you must have at least one year’s service preceding the 11th week before the expected week of childbirth)

Following this, the first 13 weeks of additional maternity leave will be paid at the appropriate statutory rate of SMP. The remaining 13 weeks will be unpaid. 

Adoption leave, paternity and shared parental leave schemes are also offered.

Want support from someone who’s been through the journey of starting or increasing a family?  We will provide you with a Parent Buddy who will guide you along the way.

Ensuring that we have a culture of inclusion is important to us.

To achieve this we provide:

  • Employee Networks (LGBT+, BAME, Women’s Network) to champion improvements and support for under-represented groups
  • Calendar of EDI events (such as Black History Month and Pride Month celebrations)
  • EDI Strategy and Action Plan
  • Inclusion Ambassadors across the organisation to support
  • Dedicated EDI Partner and EDI Project Manager
  • Practical support (riser desks and specialist chairs, coloured overlay screen covers, scanning pens for dyslexia)

Our employees are entitled to bonus payments subject to our company performance in any given financial year. Milestones are set up so that employee performance has an influence on UKAEA’s performance in a given area. Bonus payments are paid on an annual basis as a percentage of salary.  Terms and conditions apply.

New employees who are required to move their home in order to take up a permanent position may qualify for assistance for their removal expenses, subject to an HMRC ceiling of £8,000.

Our Cycle to Work Scheme provides employees with a brand new bike through a salary sacrifice scheme. The money will be taken out of your monthly salary before tax. 

Employees can borrow up to £1,000 for a bike and accessories.

There are parking facilities available across both of our sites at Culham and at the Fusion Technology Facility in Yorkshire, including designated disabled spaces and charging points for electric vehicles. Parking spaces are located close to the offices and are free of charge. The facilities are also monitored 24/7.

Our discounts are a free to use benefit scheme, paid for by us. It offers many opportunities to save money on normal, everyday shopping and on entertainment, days out, holidays and even utilities.

At UKAEA, catering outlets such as shops, a sandwich bar and a restaurant have a great range of food and drinks for staff to choose from throughout the day. The majority of the food is made in-house. There is also a Costa Coffee outlet offering fresh coffee and cakes.

The Fusion Technology Facility at Yorkshire has kitchen facilities to use on-site, with local shops and amenities within walking distance.

Think we could be the fit for you? Apply now to become a part of our team today! 

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