Colleague benefits

Last updated: 19/04/2023

Working for OPFS comes with great benefits which are detailed below.

Contracted colleagues


On appointment you will be automatically enrolled in the OPFS Pension Scheme with The Pensions Trust with a 3% contribution from you and 7% from OPFS.

All employers must put their workers into a pension scheme if they earn over £10,000 per year, are aged 22 or over and are under state pension age.

It is a money purchase scheme, which means that the money is invested in a pension fund and the final value of that fund will provide you with a pension when you retire.

You can apply to increase your contribution at any time after the completion of your probation.

You can opt out if you wish, but only after you have been enrolled.

If you do not meet the criteria for being joined automatically you can request to join and you will receive the same level of contribution from OPFS as other staff.

Holiday entitlement

All full-time colleagues are entitled to 37 days paid holiday annually with part time staff entitled to a proportion of this allowance, based on hours of work. Entitlement is given to you in hours each year and the leave year runs from 1st January to 31st December. After 5 years’ service you are entitled to an extra 5 days’ holiday or a proportion of this if you are part time.

Long service recognition

Colleagues receive recognition for every five years’ service with OPFS commencing at 10yrs service. At each 5yr milestone you will be offered a choice of benefit as follows:

A cash payment (equivalent to a certain amount of cash after tax). This cash payment is a one-off benefit to be taken within that milestone year only. This payment is non-accumulative over subsequent years. The cash payment will be offered again at your next 5yr milestone as per the table below.

Or additional leave days. This leave is a one-off benefit to be taken within that milestone year only. This leave is non- accumulative over subsequent years. The leave benefit will be offered again at your next 5yr milestone as detailed in the table below.

Year of Award Cash payment (£) Annual Leave (Days)

This is based on your contracted working day. Leave is pro-rata for part-time staff.

Year 10 only 100 1
Year 15 only 150 1.5
Year 20 only 200 2
Year 25 only 250 2.5

Sickness pay

We have a generous sick pay scheme as detailed below:

Staff absent from duty as a result of sickness are entitled in any one period of twelve months, starting from the first day of certifiable leave, to paid sick leave in accordance with the following table and the OPFS Sickness Absence Policy.

Service at Commencement Full Allowance Half Allowance


During 1st year 1 month 1 month
During 2nd year 2 months 2 months
During 3rd year 4 months 4 months
During 4/5th year’s 5 months 5 months
After 5th year 6 months 6 months

Carers leave

Colleagues can request a total of 5 days’ carers leave within any leave year, pro rata for part time staff, to provide care for a dependent, such as your child, parent, spouse, partner, next of kin or nominated next of kin, in an emergency or to attend an appointment that requires their presence.

This includes:

Illness of anyone dependent on the employee where their situation requires the employee to look after them;

Unforeseeable breakdown of normal caring arrangements for any of the above (e.g. sick childminder, closure of school, nursery, day centre or other regular form of provision);

Accompaniment of a dependant to a GP, dentist, clinic, or hospital;

Attendance at appointments concerning the welfare and care of above (e.g., child guidance, making arrangements for resettlement of people in long-term sheltered accommodation/nursing home/psychiatric care etc.).

As with personal appointments, OPFS expects that if possible, these are made out with working hours but we recognise that sometimes this is not feasible. Requests for carers leave should be made to your manager in the first instance. If the need for providing care exceeds the carers leave allowance other arrangements may be made such as flexible working, reduced hours, or annual leave.

Emergency leave

Up to 5 days within any leave year for dealing with emergencies such as fire, flood, accident, victim of crime or other circumstances that require immediate attention. Discretion of managers.

Flexible working

OPFS recognises that staff should have a healthy work/life balance and may also have additional responsibilities, such as being a carer for a family member. All staff can request to carry out their job duties within a flexible working pattern which may be temporary or permanent. Employees wishing to work flexitime should discuss this with their manager in the first instance.

All colleagues

Lone Parent Helpline

Our helpline is available to any lone parent members of staff to use on a confidential basis.

Resources for single parents

The organisation produces a wide range of advice guides for single parents that are available through all our offices and which staff are also welcomed to use.

Death in Service Benefit

Death in service benefit of three times salary will be paid in the event of a staff member under the age of 70 dying whilst an OPFS colleague.

Counselling service

Counselling and Coaching solutions provide a free counselling service for colleagues and their families and ex-employees is available on a confidential basis.

Bike loans

If a colleague wants to travel to and from work, on all or some occasions, arrangements can be made to assist with financing this.

Season travel ticket loans

Arrangements can be made, if necessary, to allow all staff to access cheaper travel through season tickets through a salary advance for the purpose.