Rewards and benefits

ARU is an inclusive university. We are committed to valuing and celebrating our diversity and promoting equality and inclusion and our aim is to provide a supportive environment in which to work.

Read more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at ARU and our values. For more detailed information about where we're heading, please read our Strategy.

We are committed to our staff, and we offer an extensive range of employee benefits, including those detailed below.


We offer competitive salaries and commit to being a Living Wage Employer. Our rates of pay compare favourably both locally and within the sector.


Depending on your contract of employment, you’ll be eligible to join one of our employer pension contribution schemes:

  • Teachers’ Pensions
  • Local Government Pension Scheme, administered by Essex County Council
  • NHS Pension Scheme.

You’ll be contractually enrolled into the relevant scheme, but you may opt out if you wish. Your contribution rates are based on your salary and deducted from gross pay to give tax relief. You can find further details and the member guides at, or


We offer a generous paid holiday entitlement of between 30-35 days in addition to statutory bank holidays and University discretionary closure days throughout the year. Annual Leave entitlement is calculated on a pro rata basis for Part Time staff, and if your employment begins or ends part way through the holiday year. Our holiday year runs from 1 September to 31 August.

Work-life Balance

We have an agile working culture and practices committed to enabling employees to work flexibly, to be able to balance the demands of their role and organisational requirements with their personal circumstances. We also offer a scheme through which employees can formally apply for flexible working, including alterations to working hours, compressed hours or part-time working and job sharing.

Development and Training

Following probation, our employees are supported to set professional and personal development goals through a Professional Contribution & Development Review (MyPCDR), an ongoing process over a 12-month cycle.

We offer an extensive range of training and development opportunities including e-learning, face-to-face and virtual sessions, and workshops as well as online resources, secondment, and apprenticeship opportunities to support you in your role and to help you reach your full potential. Fee waiver opportunities may also be available for our programmes of study.

Health and wellbeing

‘Our ARU’, an overarching programme, focuses on our employees’ experience. It's committed to supporting every individual to realise their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively and contribute to their community.

We offer opportunities for employees to take part in sport and physical activity including running groups, badminton and volleyball. At our Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses, you can benefit from discounted membership at our Helmore gym and The Old Factory and access subsidised packages at neighbouring facilities that we partner with, including Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre in Cambridge.

Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a free, confidential counselling and wellbeing support service that provides support to you, your partner or spouse, & dependent children over 16 still living at home with access to wellbeing content to improve your fitness, nutrition, and mental health including self-guided mindfulness and meditation podcasts and a digital gym.

We offer employees free vouchers for eyesight tests or spectacles through Eye Care Plus and free flu vaccination vouchers in partnership with Bupa, subject to eligibility.

Discount marketplace

In association with our EAP partner, we have the Discount Marketplace. This is a website with exclusive employee membership to access discounts and rewards for both retail and experiences including discounts on hotels, flights, electronics, theatre tickets and high street brands, an opportunity to save money and earn cash back on purchases.


We have a range of family-friendly policies including a sector leading 26 weeks full pay for maternity and adoption leave and also, paternity and shared parental leave. We’ve joined the Essex Employers Family-Friendly Charter, although an Essex base scheme the principles apply to everything we do across the University to demonstrate our continued commitment to support our employees to balance their work and caring commitments. We offer a Buddy Scheme to support colleagues before and/or after returning to work after family related leave and a Returners Scheme to apply for funding to train or refresh skills.

The Government also provides support with childcare costs; visit Childcare Choices to see if you're eligible.

Travel to work

Our campuses are well served by public transport and Park and Ride. We encourage and support travelling by public transport, cycling, walking and car sharing.

To make your journey better for your finances and the environment, we’ve put discounts and financial assistance in place, including discounts with local bus and train services and access to discounted bikes through our Cycle to Work Scheme. We also hold regular Dr Bike sessions where you can get your bike checked by a mechanic for free. Interest-free season ticket loans are also available through our travel to work scheme.


Whether you live in the UK or overseas, if you’re required to relocate to take up employment with us, we offer a generous and competitive relocation package of £8,000 or 20% of gross starting pay (whichever is the lower) to ease the costs of removal, relocation and storage expenses.

We provide comprehensive Local Area Guides for those relocating within the UK and for overseas employees, an International Staff Guide to living and working in the UK with all the essentials to prepare for your arrival and settlement. Click here to find out more.

Connected community

Our Staff Networks, forums and hubs aim to build a sense of community offering employees a space for advocacy, support, confidential advice, and friendship whether you identify with a network, seeking to support a network, or for advice from peers – being connected makes for a vibrant and inclusive place to work.


We provide a wide range of employee facilities and access to free leisure and career resources online and on-campus via our library. Library resources include national, local and international newspaper and magazine subscriptions, ‘Box of Broadcast’ on demand TV and radio service for education, a DVD/CD lending library and a large collection of children’s picture books including some by our award-winning alumni.

All our campuses offer a choice of indoor and outdoor spaces to meet and relax, and our newly refurbished catering outlets have a wide variety of food and drink with freshly prepared hot meals by our in-house chefs with a range of vegetarian options and catering for vegan and halal customers, as well as Barista-style coffee bars serving cakes, sandwiches, and snacks.


We’re committed to our local communities. We like to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and encourage employees to take part in our Staff Volunteering Scheme, whether to support the work of a voluntary organisation that you are already involved with, national initiatives such as national volunteering week or overseas charitable work through the International Community Experience programme.

Give As You Earn

Support the charities you care about the most by choosing to donate through your pay. Our Payroll Giving scheme is a simple, tax-free way to donate to charities and is one of the most cost-effective ways for charities to raise funds.