Employee benefits at UKAEA

At the UK Atomic Energy Authority we truly value our employees and all they bring to our organisation. 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. You have the right to request flexible working arrangements from the start of your employment. Depending on the business’ needs, flexible working can range from part-time arrangements, to condensed hours, job shares, partial home working or the ability to flex hours to fit lifestyle choices.

Please include your preference for flexible arrangements in your application.

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 schemes (iMechE, IET and IoP), 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 on-site gym, accessible showers, wellbeing medicals, qualified mental health first aiders, a trim trail and fitness challenges. Our wellbeing initiatives include the provision of an onsite Occupational Health service, as well as full access to an Employee Assistance Programme. This is available to all employees by telephone or via their app, and is designed to give support and counselling on a wide range of subjects from financial and personal, to other work-related or legal matters.

Access a pension that helps you enjoy a fulfilled retirement!

You’ll automatically be enrolled in the Combined Pension Scheme (CPS) which is a final salary defined benefit scheme. This means that you build up a pension based on 1/80th of your final salary for every year you work for UKAEA, and a lump sum worth 3/80th of your final salary. Unlike defined contribution schemes, which are more common in the private sector, you don’t build up an investment pensions pot, but an entitlement to annual pension and dependent benefits.

We pay the equivalent of 21.5% of your pensionable salary to the pension scheme; the amount you pay depends on salary, but anyone earning over £21,000 pays 8.2%. Also, guaranteed pension amounts increase by CPI inflation each year in retirement, as well as benefits for your dependents.

If you want to transfer in pensions from previous roles, you have 12 months to do so.

From April 2026 employees will build up a pension in the civil service pension scheme, ‘alpha’. This is a career average defined benefit scheme. Note: Some benefits are subject to minimum qualification of 2 years’ service. If members leave with less than 2 years’ service then they are offered the option of a refund of their contributions or a transfer value to another scheme.

Find out more information about the alpha scheme.

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

The CSSA supports its members to run a wide range of clubs and societies, currently these include: Craft Club, Singing Group (a community style choir), Yoga, Pilates and Football. The association have also arranged theatre trips to various London theatres for its members and organise various social events. The Association lead on organising UKAEA’s annual corporate party; a summer musical festival ‘Culhambury’. A free event for all staff, their family and friends. UKAEA also hold several informal corporate receptions throughout the year.

There’s also a Trim Trail for outdoor workouts, a Multiple Use Games area, football pitch, and a perimeter walk available for people to take a stroll or run. Shower and changing facilities are available in 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 days after 10 years employment.

In addition, employees are also entitled to 8 UK Bank Holidays plus 2.5 “privilege days” off a year (for Maundy Thursday and the day following the Spring and summer bank holidays).

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.

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 where necessary. There is no qualifying period for this leave and depending on circumstances, some of this leave may qualify to be paid.

We know it’s a very special time for you and your family!

We provide you with substantial Maternity/Adoption leave benefits (subject to eligibility), including top up to full pay for the initial 26 weeks of leave, followed by additional maternity leave of 13 weeks paid at Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) rates. The final 13 weeks additional maternity leave are unpaid, but we do provide comprehensive support to guide you on your journey before, during and after childbirth. Upon request, you can have a dedicated “Parent Buddy” and upon your return, you can access a private room to express and store milk if your breastfeeding journey is not yet over. You can also apply for Shared Parental Leave (subject to eligibility), so you can share these precious moments

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

To achieve this, we have a host of employee networks to help champion improvements and support for under-represented groups such as LGBT+, BAME and Women’s Network. We also host a calendar of EDI events, including Black History Month and Pride. You will find Inclusion Ambassadors across the organisation to support various EDI initiatives, as well as a dedicated EDI Partner, EDI apprentice and EDI Project Manager.

In terms of practical support, we can provide you with riser desks and specialist chairs, coloured overlay screen covers and even scanning pens for dyslexia.

When you exceed expectations with extra effort, we want to recognise and reward that with a spot bonus valued at either £250, £500 and £1000, or a £25 UKAEA Awards gift voucher. And depending on the performance of UKAEA against set performance measures and targets in any given financial year, you’re also entitled to a corporate bonus paying up to 7% of salary (terms and conditions apply).

Contribute to UKAEA’s Sustainability Strategy whilst getting fit, healthy and making savings on transport, parking and fuel! Sign up to our salary sacrifice “cycle to work” scheme (subject to eligibility) and purchase a new bike plus accessories up to the value of £2,500!

At Culham Campus and The Fusion Technology Facility (FTF) in Yorkshire, you will find free parking, (non-allocated), covered bike shelters, designated disabled spaces and EV charging points (this is a private charging network). Facilities are monitored 24/7.

You will have access to a free corporate discount scheme with many opportunities to make savings, from everyday essentials and entertainment to family days out, holidays and gym memberships! Why pay more when you don’t need to!

On site at Culham Campus, we have a great buffet style canteen serving international dining options- a perfect place for you to relax, network and grab a bite! For those seeking a lighter option, there’s a Deli Bar and a subsidised Costa Coffee lounge, as well as vending machines in various locations around campus.

At our Fusion Technology Facility (FTF) in Yorkshire, kitchen facilities are available to use within the building, and local shops and amenities are within walking distance .

We’re here to support your loved ones.

As a member of the CPS pension scheme, if you pass away whilst a UKAEA employee, your family will receive spouse and dependents’ pensions plus a lump sum of 2x pensionable final earnings. Find out more at UKAEA Pension Scheme – EQ Member Website (equiniti.com)

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

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