As well as a competitive starting salary, the Northern Ireland Assembly offers a number of additional employee benefits. These include:
In addition to 12 public and privilege holidays, the Assembly offers an annual leave allowance starting with 25 days and increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30 days.
The Staff Hours at Work Policy provides flexibility to staff in the recording and management of hours worked across the business. It helps staff achieve an appropriate work/home balance while meeting the needs of the business and allows staff to take off any credit time they may accrue.
All permanent Secretariat staff are enrolled into the Civil Service Pension Scheme from their first day of employment. There is no qualifying or waiting period. Staff contribute between 3 and 8% of salary and the Assembly Commission contribute a further 21 to 26% of salary, depending on your rate of pay. Pension contributions are collected before tax, so you also get tax relief at your marginal tax rate on the contributions you pay.
In addition to the contribution to your pension pot, the scheme also offers a range of benefits to you and your family while you are in work and when you retire. If you die in service, the scheme provides valuable life cover to your family in the form of a lump sum and a pension for your dependants.
These pension arrangements form a valuable part of your remuneration package. For further information on the available pension options, please visit the Northern Ireland Civil Service Pensions Scheme website.
The Assembly Commission has a range of family-friendly policies to allow staff to balance work with the other aspects of their lives. These include part-time working, job-sharing arrangements, flexible working and special leave provisions.
The Assembly Commission provides maternity provisions, paternity, parental and adoption leave, many of which are provided at an enhanced rate beyond statutory entitlement.
At the Assembly, we recognise the importance of continuous professional and personal development opportunities for all staff. Our corporate Learning and Development programme is open to all staff and consists of a number of formal and informal initiatives delivered under five main themes, namely:
In addition to corporate Learning and Development opportunities, we will encourage you to be proactive and self-direct your own development. Through regular conversations with your manager, you will have the opportunity to discuss and agree future learning needs to help you excel in your new role.
Health and Wellbeing is an important aspect of your working environment within the Assembly. As part of the Assembly Commission’s ongoing commitment to support the health and wellbeing of staff, a number of initiatives are offered, including workplace health checks, free flu vaccinations and the provision of trained Mental Health First Aiders.
In addition, a number of information sessions are delivered on a variety of health and wellbeing topics including mental health awareness, building resilience, making a will and being an effective parent.
The Assembly has a comprehensive approach to introducing new staff to the work of the organisation called the Getting On Board Programme. This programme will help you to become familiar with your colleagues and the work you will be engaged in. It will help you integrate into your team quickly and help you contribute to the Assembly’s overall aims.
As part of this programme, you will be given a Buddy from within your new business area who will be there to support you. Your Buddy will be your first point of contact for any questions you have about working in the Assembly.
The Assembly understands that there may be times when you may need independent advice and help coping with personal or work-related issues that may be affecting your ability to work effectively. To help you with these issues, we offer a confidential Welfare Support Service.
We also operate an Employee Assistance Programme, delivered through Inspire Workplaces, which provides free independent and confidential counselling, advice and support for any personal or work-related issues.
The Assembly strives to be a sustainable organisation and, as such, encourages everyone to take part in more sustainable modes of transport.
You will be able to take advantage of the Cycle to Work scheme, and Get Active, which is Translink’s TaxSmart scheme for commuter bus travel and an interest-free loan scheme for annual commuter cards.
There is a bicycle station that has tools for adjusting your wheels and saddle and where you can check your tyre pressure and pump up your tyres—making it easier for you to cycle to work.
We also provide four electronic car-charging points that you can use to charge your electric car during working hours.
The Assembly encourages all staff to take advantage of volunteering through the Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) scheme. This scheme gives you up to three days volunteering leave per year (pro rata for part-time staff), provided that you match this with your own leave (either annual leave or flexi/TOIL), volunteering for the same organisation.
If your team organises a volunteering day every year, this time does not need to be matched by your own time.
Free convenient public car parking is available throughout the Stormont Estate.
The Assembly’s Give As You Earn Scheme enables you to make regular charitable donations through payroll giving. The Scheme is currently promoted by a professional fundraising organisation, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
You can support a charity, or charities, of your choice, provided these are registered charities, by means of regular tax-free donations direct from your pay. CAF Give As You Earn is the most popular payroll giving scheme in the UK, helping over 3,000 companies and 400,000 staff to give nearly £80 million to charity each year.
The Assembly will pay for your professional subscription fees if you are required to be a member of a professional body directly linked to your role.