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Durham University Staff Benefits

Pay and Reward


The University offers generous pension benefits to staff:

You may be able to reduce your National Insurance and income tax contributions through our pensions+ scheme.

Pay & Performance

The University has a pay and grading structure based on a role evaluation scheme which embodies Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value principles. 

Exceptional Contribution Pay

Within the graded pay structure we are able to recognise and reward sustained outstanding performance by means of Exceptional Contribution Pay. This is awarded to staff demonstrating an outstanding and sustained contribution to University and departmental objectives, far beyond that normally expected.

Discretionary Awards

We also reward individual staff or teams for one-off exceptional contribution or achievements, by means of a one-off bonus or a non-cash benefit called Discretionary Awards.

Progression & Promotion

We aim to provide the best possible working experience for our staff and therefore take an active interest in helping them to develop and progress their careers while with us. We have clear helpful criteria and well-established structures for assessing probation, progression and promotion

Relocating to Durham / the North East

The University has a dedicated Relocation Manager, Stina Maynard who will assist you to make the move as smooth as possible. Stina will work alongside you providing support with your domestic arrangements, offering a seamless and highly personal service to all involved in the move, to help ensure you settle into the area as smoothly as possible.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

Annual Leave

Your entitlement to annual leave is set out in your contract of employment (based on full-time entitlement).

  • Staff in Grade 7 and above - 30 days annual leave
  • Staff in Grade 6 or below - 27 days annual leave

All staff are entitled to eight public holidays each holiday year (January to December inclusive). The University also closes for four 'customary' days, usually at the Christmas holiday period.

Sick Pay Scheme

The University's Sick Pay Scheme applies to members of staff who are absent from work as a result of certified illness.


For full guidance on the University's maternity leave policy, see 'Guidelines for Employees' and 'Guidelines for Managers'.


Staff are entitled to paternity leave in accordance with the regulations on paternity leave and pay.

Adoption Leave

Staff are entitled to adoption leave in accordance with the regulations on adoption leave and pay.

Trade Unions

It is not a condition of employment that any member of staff should join a Trade Union. The University recognises the following trade unions:

  • University and College Union (UCU) (formerly AUT)
  • Unite (formerly Amicus)
  • G.M.B

Trade Union subscriptions may be deducted directly from salaries. 


Benefits+ is an opportunity for Durham University staff to save money in a number of ways. Many of the schemes will give staff discounted tax and NI contributions, which means you save money.


Members of both pension schemes can join pension+ which means you benefit from reduced NI contributions. For further information, please contact the Payroll/Superannuation Office.


Our subsidised day nursery provides care for children (aged from 3 months to 5 years) of staff or students. It combines nursery education with full-time day care. Through nursery+ employees have the opportunity to save on the cost of nursery care for their children, through tax and National Insurance exemptions.


Parents or legal guardians can take advantage of Fideliti childcare vouchers; this scheme gives staff the opportunity to save on the cost of childcare through reduced tax and NI contributions.


We operate cycle+, in association with Cyclescheme Limited, to help you save money when buying a bike to cycle to work. 

Staff discounts

We have arranged a number of special offers and staff discounts available through local suppliers on production of your Staff ID card, including gym memberships, gifts and clothing.

Your Personal Development


We are a collegiate University and our 16 colleges play a major role in enhancing the academic and personal development of our students. We encourage you to become involved in college life as a college tutor or by becoming a member of a Senior Common Room. Further information can be found on the individual web pages for colleges.

Consultancy policy

Durham University recognises that consultancy/outside work is an important part of outreach activity and the University is committed to helping staff make the most of consultancy opportunities.

Development and training

We provide a wide range of courses for our staff. Access to booking courses requires your ITS user name and password.

The University also offers support for staff who wish to study for qualifications up to degree level; as long as they have their manager's approval, and the qualification is appropriately linked to their job - support for undergraduate courses.


Dialogue is the Durham University Newsletter, published five times per Academic Year and regularly updated on the web. Staff are encouraged to submit their feedback and contributions.

Dialogue Signposts - is circulated weekly (Friday) by email with news items for all staff.

Diversity and Equality

Durham University is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for people of all creeds, cultures and nationalities, recognising the importance of diversity in ideas and education while respecting our traditional strengths. For more on the University's approach to diversity and equality.

Language Classes

'Languages for All' courses are open to staff, students (from Durham or Queens Campus) and members of the public (over 18 years old). For full details of the courses available, visit the Centre for Foreign Language Study web page.  

Work-Life Balance

Job share opportunities

A job share means two individuals on the same grade carrying out the full range of duties and responsibilities associated with one full-time post. The opportunity to job share is open for all staff.

Flexible Working

Staff with children, or staff caring for an adult, have a right to submit a request to alter their normal hours of work to a flexible working pattern.

Health and Wellbeing

Eyesight tests

You may be entitled to eyesight tests and a contribution towards prescription lenses if glasses are needed solely for display screen work.

Occupational Health Unit

To reduce ill health arising from, or made worse, by work, the University provides an Occupational Health Service. This service can give advice on maintaining or improving your health.

Sport @ Maiden Castle

Staff are entitled to discounted membership to The Graham Sports Centre at Maiden Castle. Maiden Castle is the main site for Durham University Sport and boasts an impressive range of facilities.

University Facilities

Accommodation and Catering

Event Durham has an excellent range of meeting rooms and facilities available all year round, as well as an extensive range of venues offering dining and overnight accommodation.

Car Share Scheme

The University is keen to promote car sharing between staff and students. A Car Share website has been developed to enable staff and students to register sharing opportunities as both drivers or passengers.


Durham University offers a host of unique Attractions appealing to thousands of visitors every year, from museums to the Botanic Garden and an extensive programme of public lectures. Events are regularly updated on the web.

IT Purchases

A range of IT-related items may be purchased from ITS: including software (both supported items and others) and various consumables (CDs, DVDs, printer cartridges, etc).


Durham University Library houses over 1.6 million printed items, major collections of manuscripts and archives. It also houses a wide and rapidly-increasing range of online and electronic resources, including over 17,500 e-journals and more than 290,000 e-books.

Your staff id card is your library card, giving you access to the library and also to borrow resources.

Webmail Services

Outlook Web Access (OWA) is a web based version of Microsoft Outlook and offers many of the features of Outlook to online users.


Yum is the University's on site catering company, based in the Calman and Chemistry cafés. Their food and ingredients are locally sourced, organic and Fairtrade wherever possible.

Museums and Gardens

Botanic Garden

Durham University's 25 acre Botanic Garden is set amongst beautiful mature woodlands on the southern outskirts of Durham City. Staff are entitled to free entry with a Staff ID card.

Oriental Museum

The Oriental Museum has a busy programme of events for adults and families. Staff are entitled to free entry with a Staff ID card.

The Museum of Archaeology: Old Fulling Mill

The Old Fulling Mill Museum offers visitors the opportunity to come along and try activities linked to our archaeology collections and traveling exhibitions. Staff are entitled to free entry with a Staff ID card.