Rewards and benefits
Welcome to Dorset Council employee benefits. You can also view this information as an online booklet.
Our ambition is to be an employer of choice. We want to strive for excellence now and in the future and can only do this with the right people on this journey with us.
We know a generous reward and benefits package will attract, retain and motivate our employees.
Here you’ll find an overview of the range of benefits to help and support you should you decide to join us.
Pay and enhancements
We offer competitive salary scales which have been developed so everyone is recognised and rewarded for the contribution they make with the majority of our roles (Green Book) evaluated using our job evaluation scheme which links to our pay and grading structure.
Our pay scales allow for progression within the grade which is based on either service or competency and nationally agreed cost of living pay awards that are applied annually.
For some of our roles you will need to work unsocial hours (e.g. waking night duty or bank holiday working). If this is the case you will receive additional enhanced payments of time and a third for designated night duty and time and a half for working on a bank holiday.
Local Government Pension Scheme
The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) is one of the most generous pensions schemes in the UK. It’s a salary-related, defined benefit scheme and will not be affected by stock market changes or performance of investments. Membership is automatic, unless you choose to opt out of the scheme, and contributions are made by both you and Dorset Council.
Although the majority of Dorset Council employees are eligible to become members of the LGPS, this is dependant on role and terms and conditions group and some may be members of other workplace pension schemes, such as:
We support our employees during periods of sickness absence with a generous sick pay provision of full and half pay depending on your length of continuous service (N.B. separate provisions apply to teachers).
All our employees are fully supported in returning to work following longer term absences, with a period of paid phased return and any reasonable adjustments as advised by our occupational health service.
Key skills recruitment and retention schemes
For some of our roles, where there is an on-going difficulty in attracting suitable candidates, we offer a one-off generous recruitment and retention payment to new appointments. If this applies details will be included in the advert.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks
If your role requires a DBS check, the cost of this and any re-checks is covered in full by us.
We offer a generous annual leave entitlement of 26 days, increasing to 31 days after five years’ service (excluding teachers & youth workers) with a pro rata entitlement for part time workers.
Buy extra holiday
You can buy extra holiday through our popular holiday purchase scheme. This holiday can be taken at any point during the annual leave year - for any reason. The salary deductions are taken in 12 equal monthly instalments.
The holiday purchase scheme is offered on annual basis but if you miss the deadline you can also request unpaid leave at any time throughout the year on an ad-hoc pay as you go basis.
Everyone is paid for the 8 bank holidays at your normal rate of pay. Part time employees or anyone with compressed working patterns will have an adjustment made to their annual leave, to account for where bank holidays fall in their working pattern, and to make sure paid time off is distributed fairly and consistently across the workforce.
We believe that people do their best work if we make it easier for them to meet their personal responsibilities. We promote and support flexible and part time working requests to allow you to balance work and life.
Other paid leave provisions
We also offer a range of paid and unpaid leave provision to support you to carry out a range of important and valuable public duties which support our communities such as:
- school governor or member of another public body,
- attending court or undertaking jury service duties,
- volunteer reservist,
- retained firefighter
- helping with our election processes.
To support you during those most difficult times, our compassionate leave provisions offer up to 10 working days’ paid leave per year which can be accessed in a range of circumstances such as serious illness, bereavement or significant home emergency situations.
Family friendly and carer policies
In helping support you to balance home and work lives, we have a range of policies and practices which, in many cases, goes beyond the statutory entitlement including:
- generous maternity leave and pay,
- paternity leave,
- shared parental leave
- adoption leave and pay.
If you’re an approved foster carer (for Dorset Council) you can also request time off as paid leave to help you with some of the time commitment needed to carry out this important role.
A career break is a period of unpaid time out of the workplace. The minimum period of a career break will normally be three months and the maximum period two years. You can request a career break in circumstances such as to care for a dependant; to undertake further education; to travel or to carry out voluntary work.
Online discounts and salary sacrifice schemes
You will also have access to the Wider Wallet benefits hub. This is a private discount and benefits package offering a wide range of better-than-public deals such as downloadable vouchers, discounted gift vouchers and online discounts on a wide range of websites.
The portal also provides access to our salary sacrifice schemes for Additional Voluntary pension Contributions (AVCs), cars and workplace bikes.
Support for our employees
Wellbeing advice, guidance and self help
The wellbeing of our employees is vital for a healthy workforce. Whatever your concern, our friendly Employee Wellbeing team are on hand to offer specialised wellbeing advice.
Our offer includes access to talking therapies, a network of Mental Health Champions, a programme of mindful interventions as well as wellbeing and stress management advice and workshops.
We recognise that people perform better when they can be themselves and that by creating a diverse workforce, we’ll get the most from our employees. We are a Disability Confident employer, currently holding ‘Level 1- Disability Confident’ accreditation and are actively working with external agencies to achieve Level 2. We are also a Stonewall Diversity champion.
Learning and development
We support and encourage learning and development and provide a range of training opportunities which will help with your personal development and career progression. Our offer includes
- an excellent induction programme to help you settle in and to learn about how Dorset Council works
- access to our interactive learning experience platform, The Learning Hub which provides video content, bitesize learning as well as eLearning modules which you can complete as and when it suits you
- in-house coaching and mentoring available to all
- apprenticeship programmes
- virtual workshops delivered by our in-house team and external experts
- leadership and management development