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Employee benefits

Below you will find a list of the benefits of working for CCFE and its parent body, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

Scientific collaboration

There is a friendly and collaborative atmosphere at Culham. Ideas and results are openly shared at internal and external meetings.

Annual leave

The annual leave entitlement for employees is 25 days (pro rata for part-time employees) rising to 28 days after five years of service and then to 30 days after ten years of service. In addition employees are entitled to 10.5 days of other holidays (including Bank Holidays and privilege days).

Bonus scheme

Employees are normally entitled to bonus payments depending on UKAEA performance in any given financial year. Bonus payments are paid on an annual basis as a percentage of salary (maximum 7%).

Flexible working

UKAEA promotes flexible working to enable employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  Options range from part-time hours, occasional home working and the ability to flex hours to fit with lifestyle choices. UKAEA is also open to job sharing unless otherwise stated.

Learning and development

UKAEA is committed to developing all members of staff by offering a wide range of programmes and support. UKAEA’s performance management system gives all employees and managers the opportunity to highlight learning and development needs and opportunities. In engineering, these range from an advanced apprenticeship scheme certified by IMechE and IET, a graduate scheme also certified by IMechE and IET with IOP pending and UKAEA’s own Continuous Professional Development Scheme. In the physics field, we offer PhD and MSc opportunities and Culham Research Fellowships.

In addition to the structured development schemes we also provide individual development, including management development opportunities.

UKAEA Discounts

UKAEA Discounts is a free-to-use benefit, paid for by UKAEA, and offers numerous opportunities to regularly save money on normal everyday shopping. It has the potential to save you many £10s or even £100s per year.


Employees of UKAEA are automatically enrolled into the UKAEA Combined Pension Scheme (CPS), which is a final salary defined benefit scheme. It includes the following benefits for members:

  • A pension and lump sum payment at Normal Pension Age of 60;
  • Options for early retirement or partial retirement;
  • Generous death in service benefits;
  • Ill health benefits of payment of pension and lump sum with possible enhancement;
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions scheme;
  • Employee contributions qualify for tax relief and UKAEA also contributes.

Employees can opt out of the scheme. Further details of the scheme can be found at the following website: https://myukaeapension.equiniti.com/

Note: The CPS is expected to close for future accrual of benefits at some point in the future as part of the reform of all public sector pensions, and most UKAEA employees and all new employees will then be transferred to the Civil Servants and Others Pension Scheme (known as alpha) for future benefits.

This is a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme which includes very similar benefits to the CPS.

Health and wellbeing

UKAEA’s health and wellbeing programme provides a range of free benefits to employees, such as an on-site Occupational Health service and an Employee Assistance Programme available to all staff, offering support and counselling, covering a wide range of areas such as financial, personal, work-related and legal.

Emergency family leave (Time off for dependants)

At discretion a member of staff can request time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. This leave is to allow employees to deal with unexpected or sudden problems and to make longer term arrangements as necessary. There is no qualifying period necessary for this leave, and depending on circumstances some of the time off may qualify to be paid.

Maternity leave

Where an employee qualifies for contractual maternity pay (at least one year’s effective service), she will receive her normal rate of pay during the 26 week ordinary maternity leave period.

Following this, the first 13 weeks of additional maternity leave will be paid at the appropriate statutory rate of SMP. The remaining 13 weeks of additional maternity leave will be unpaid.

Adoption leave and paternity leave schemes are also offered.


New entrants who are required to move home to take up a permanent appointment may qualify to be given some assistance towards their removal expenses. This is subject to an HMRC ceiling of £8,000.

Cycle to Work Scheme

The scheme provides employees with the opportunity to purchase a new bike through a salary sacrifice scheme. The money will come out of your monthly salary (before tax). Employees are entitled to borrow up to £1,000 for a bike and accessories.

Parking facilities

Parking facilities are available across the site. Parking spaces are located close to offices and are free of charge. The site is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mentoring scheme

To help support its staff through their careers and professional development, UKAEA has introduced a mentoring programme, enabling employees to seek guidance, support, help and feedback from assigned mentors. The mentoring programme is regularly reviewed and monitored, recognising that individuals have different goals and aspirations.

Eating and drinking

At UKAEA, catering outlets such as shops, a sandwich bar and a restaurant have a great range of food and drinks for staff to choose from throughout the day. The majority of the food is made in-house. There is also a Costa Coffee outlet offering fresh coffee and cakes.

Social clubs and events

The Culham Sports and Social Association organises discounted theatre trips to various London theatres for its members, as well as supporting a wide range of clubs and societies including a singing group, craft club, yoga, jive, netball and kung fu.

There are a range of staff events and receptions organised throughout the year, enabling all staff to get together socially, share successes and get to know other parts of the organisation.

Equality and Diversity

UKAEA is an equal opportunities employer, actively promoting equality amongst its staff. UKAEA is also a member of the  Athena SWAN gender equality charter and was awarded Bronze status in 2015 and again in 2019.

Core values

UKAEA prides itself on being a great place to work and is committed to the continual development of its people. Our core values are Passion, Innovation, Accountability, Business-Minded, Leadership and Delivery.

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