Working at SQA
This provides an overview of the benefits and opportunities available to SQA’s staff. Working closely with our recognised trade unions and Partnership Group, we are continually developing our existing range of staff benefits, as well as new and exciting ways to make SQA an employer of choice. Many of the benefits come directly from schemes developed and run by our staff - which is testament to the fact that they are motivated and promote a culture of success and achievement.
Staff assistance, well-being and health
The work-life balance and health and wellbeing of our employees is important to us and to that end SQA provide a range of staff assistance and well-being programmes e.g. employee assistance services, occupational health, eye-care support, health plans and flexible working arrangements including special leave and additional leave to support employees and their families.
Hands-Up – Corporate Volunteering
Working with, and supporting our local communities is important to us, and we actively encourage staff to get involved in corporate volunteering as part of our Hands-Up scheme. All permanent and fixed term contract staff can to contribute to volunteering activities. A wide range of volunteering activities is regularly promoted, or you can use your volunteering time to work on your own volunteering activity (if the activity meets our volunteering criteria).
We currently operate an SVQ programme whereby you can ask to undertake an SVQ which is relevant to your role. As the qualifications are competence-based, you will need to ensure that your role is relevant to the qualification you wish to undertake.
Financial Assistance for formal qualifications
After a qualifying period of 12 months we will consider applications to support your development by providing support and financial assistance toward fees for formal qualifications that are relevant to your role.
Loans and savings
SQA offer opportunities to save via a Christmas savings scheme and/or transferring part of your salary into a savings account.
Travel season ticket loans
SQA support employees by providing interest-free loans to facilitate the purchase of a season travel ticket for rail or bus travel from home to work (subject to conditions).
Pensions, retirement and life assurance
Life Assurance scheme
We have in place a Life Assurance scheme which makes provision for a tax-free lump sum equal to one times your annual salary and paid to a nominated beneficiary if you die in service (you can add additional benefits if you join the pension scheme - see next section).
Local Government Pension Scheme
All our permanent and fixed term staff have the opportunity to join the Strathclyde Pension Scheme. Detailed information on this career average scheme is available from the Strathclyde Pension Fund Office (SPFO) at www.spfo.org.uk.
Pleasure, leisure and other benefits
Annual Leave and public holidays
We offer a generous leave package of 27 days per annum. All staff members are entitled to 14 public holidays per annum. The leave year runs from 1 Jan to 31 Dec and entitlements are pro-rated.
We recognise the importance of supporting you with the costs of childcare, and operate a ‘salary sacrifice’ childcare voucher scheme.
Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC)/Motoring Association
SQA staff members are welcome to join the CSSC and use their facilities. CSSC was founded to co-ordinate sporting activities throughout the civil service and associated public sector bodies. For a small membership fee this enables you to access sporting programmes and leisure activities. Further details are available at www.cssc.co.uk. You can also join the Civil Service Motoring Association, www.csmaclub.co.uk which helps you get more for your money through a range of money saving motor, leisure and financial benefits.
Cycle to work scheme
We operate a cycle purchase scheme which helps you buy a bike of your choice with an interest-free loan. (subject to conditions).
On yer bike!
We have a pool of bikes in Glasgow and Dalkeith that staff can borrow to cycle to local meetings, at lunchtime or for weekends.
Food and drink
Subsidised staff restaurants are located in Glasgow and Dalkeith providing a range of hot food and snacks, including healthy eating options. Tea and coffee sourced from Fair Trade providers are available free of charge to our staff in staff breakout areas.
At our Lowden office, free parking is available for staff. Reduced rate parking is also available at selected Glasgow City Centre car parks.
As an SQA employee you can access SQA Lifestyles - our online shopping experience where you can benefit from substantial reductions and money back offers from a range of High Street stores and major retailers. There are regular promotions which all employees have access to.
We care about others less fortunate than ourselves. Our Informal Committees organise a wide variety of fundraising activities to support SQA’s nominated charities, and we encourage staff to take part. Activities include quiz nights, cake sales, sponsored walks and many others.