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Working at York St John University

Find out more about our culture, working arrangements and benefits for York St John employees.

A member of staff talks to a student in the careers centre.
Logo for Your YSJ

At York St John University, we want you to feel part of a welcoming and supportive community where your career and wellbeing matter.

Our employment package provides a range of offers and opportunities as diverse as the roles and responsibilities we share.    

Your YSJ brings together all the benefits of working here, with options to support you at all stages of your working life.

Find out more about the arrangements, support and policies we offer using the links below.

Work-life balance

Financial wellbeing and reward

Health and wellbeing

An inclusive and diverse workplace

Learning and development

To find out more about policies across the University, you can visit our Policies and Documents section.

Work-life balance

A staff member working at a reception desk

We want all our staff to feel comfortable in their working arrangements. The Your YSJ package includes a range of flexible working policies so that no matter your circumstances, you can maintain your work-life balance.

We provide flexible working options for many of our roles, and specific support for maternity and adoption and parental leave arrangements, including shared parental leave. This includes 26 weeks of paid occupational leave for adoption, maternity and shared parental leave.

We also offer 6 weeks paid time off when caring for a family member with a terminal illness, 1 week paid dependants leave when dealing with emergency caring arrangements, and 2 days paid grandparents leave on the birth or adoption of a grandchild, to support staff celebrating important life events.

To hear from our staff about how these policies have benefited them, read their testimonials.

Testimonials: Work life balance

Our policies include:

Annual leave entitlement

We offer an excellent annual leave entitlement, including 5 additional discretionary University closure days at Christmas. The amount of leave you are entitled to depends on your grade.

We offer, in addition to bank holidays:

  • 26 days annual leave pro rata for grades 1 to 6, rising to 31 days after 5 years' service
  • 35 days annual leave pro rata for grades 7 and above

Career Break Policy

As part of our commitment to supporting your work-life balance, our Career Break Policy recognises that staff may wish to take a planned period of time off work on a full-time basis. This may be to concentrate on alternative personal priorities and commitments such as family, study, or travel. Conditions apply in relation to your length of service.

Academic leave

We encourage and support our academic staff to become increasingly research active, and the University's strategic aim is for all academic staff to be engaged in research.

Our Academic Leave Policy sets out how we manage and support staff to take time out from their normal duties as part of planned and agreed research or other academic projects which will benefit the staff member and the University together. This would normally be up to a period of 1 semester.

You can find more information in our Academic Leave policy:

Financial wellbeing and reward

A staff member teaching a tutorial.

We know how important finance can be when considering a new job role. We aim to provide all our staff with support towards financial planning and education as well as a generous pension scheme. To support our staff with their finances and give them the resources to improve their financial wellbeing, they can also access a range of benefits with Salary Finance

Visa expenses

The University is committed to supporting international applicants coming to work at the University and recognises the financial difficulty individuals may face in funding the cost of the necessary UK visa applications and other associated charges.

We are able to reimburse the application fee for an individual's Skilled Worker Visas. The University's Visa Loan Scheme is available to provide an interest-free loan to assist employees with the cost of visa applications as well as the NHS healthcare surcharge. For more information please see:


The University adopts the nationally agreed pay spine and employees can expect to progress through their pay band, with an approximate increase of 2% to 3% a year, up to the grade maximum.

The pay rates are uplifted annually in line with a sector negotiated pay award. We are also proud to be an accredited Living Wage Foundation Employer.

Our most senior staff are on spot salaries and are eligible for an annual pay review through the Remuneration Committee. For these staff, pay increases are performance related.

Pension scheme

At York St John you will have access to one of our generous defined benefit pension schemes. There are 2 schemes available, depending on your role:

Teachers' Pension

Academic colleagues are eligible to join the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS). This is a defined benefit pension scheme which offers tax relief on pension contributions and tax free lump sum benefits on retirement, as well as life assurance benefits. The University contributes 23.68% which meets the balance of the cost of providing your benefits in the Teachers' Pension Scheme. You can find more information about the scheme on the Teachers' Pension website.

Local Government Pension Scheme

Professional support colleagues are eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) administered by North Yorkshire County Council. This is a defined benefit pension scheme which offers tax relief on pension contributions and tax free lump sum benefits on retirement, as well as life assurance benefits. The University contributes 15.5% which meets the balance of the cost of providing your benefits in the LGPS. You can find more information about the scheme on the North Yorkshire Pension Fund website.

Financial education

Planning your financial future is an important skill. To help you understand and take control of your finances, we offer free financial and pensions education webinars tailored for different career stages and pension schemes.

We have invested in Blackbullion, an online learning platform which helps you develop financial confidence and empowers your decision making. It provides guidance on navigating finances, budgeting skills, pension planning, and investments. It is available to all York St John staff.


If you are moving home to take up your role at York St John, we may be able to reimburse your relocation costs. Conditions may apply relating to your job role.

Car parking

Staff based at our York campus have the opportunity to purchase a car parking permit. This allows you to park in our city centre University car parks for a reasonable fee.

Health and wellbeing

Two York St John staff members at York Pride.

We are committed to providing a working environment which promotes staff wellbeing and good health.

We aim to support all staff in living healthily and well through our Your YSJ employee benefits, policies, staff networks, Wellbeing Champions.

Occupational sick pay

If you become ill during your time at work, we have a generous occupational sick pay scheme.

York St John staff are offered up to 26 weeks at full pay, with a further 26 weeks at half pay, depending on your length of service.

Employee Assistance Programme

Our Employee Assistance Programme offers free advice and support to staff. You can access the service through a 24/7 telephone helpline and structured phone and face to face counselling with CareFirst.

Practical advice is also available on issues ranging from debt and consumer issues to relationships.

Health Cash Plan

After a qualifying period of 6 months, all of our staff are eligible to join our Health Cash Plan.

The plan provides a range of discounts and support for your healthcare, including dental and optician appointments. In certain cases this cover can also extend to your family members.

Flexi-time scheme

We know that you may have a variety of work-life balance priorities throughout your career. We aim to support this through our flexi-time scheme. Many of our roles allow flexibility in work patterns.

Staff from grades 1 to 6 are eligible for the scheme, which sets out core working hours and allows staff to work flexibly around these times.

Wellbeing Champions

We have a team of Mental Health First Aid trained Wellbeing Champions who provide wellbeing support to staff.

The team share knowledge of employee support services, direct people to support, and promote activity and campaigns to improve wellbeing across York St John.

"At York St John we want to create an environment of personal and collaborative ownership of wellbeing and the Wellbeing Champions will play a key role in developing and supporting a culture that contributes to improved mental health and wellbeing."
Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Bryan, OBE

Sports facilities at our York campus

All of our staff have access to the sports facilities based at our York campus and York St John University Sports Park site. These include our fitness suite and a range of exercise classes.

Small fees apply for using these facilities. For more information visit our YSJActive pages:


Cycle to work

The government-backed Cycle to Work initiative helps you to save on the cost of a bicycle and safety accessories for commuting to work. You can then make savings on the amount of tax and National Insurance you pay.


We have a number of allotment gardens which are available for staff to rent. These are located at Northfield, on Haxby Road in York. You can find out more on our Allotments page.

An inclusive and diverse workplace

A member of staff in the York St John library.

We are fully committed to a positive and mutually supportive working environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation.

We aim to make sure that all staff at York St John can work collaboratively and are equally valued and respected. Through the Your YSJ package and our work together as a community, we aim to remove barriers you may face and promote equality of opportunity so that you can achieve your full potential. We have multiple staff networks open to all staff, including a Parents' staff network and a Neurodiverse staff network.

For more information about equality and diversity work taking place across the University, visit our Equality and Diversity page.

Equality and diversity at York St John

Race equality

In November 2022 we were awarded a Race Equality Charter bronze award for progress to advance race equality in higher education. The award reflects a University-wide commitment to pursuing real and sustained change, and follows a robust and rigorous application process.

The award is conferred by higher education charity AdvanceHE. It is based on an independent assessment of the University's actions to identify and reflect on institutional and cultural barriers standing in the way of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students.

For further information on our submissions, including our ambitious Action Plan, visit our Towards race equality page.

We have a BAME staff network which is open to all members of staff or postgraduate researchers of a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

Gender equality

We achieved the Athena SWAN Charter bronze award on International Women's Day (8 March) 2022. The charter is a framework used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education.

In adopting the charter, we have developed an action plan to embed gender equality actions within our policies, practices, and culture. This plan is ambitious and includes actions such as supporting women's leadership programmes, as well as addressing hidden inequalities. For more information on our submission and action plan, visit our Athena Swan page.

We have a Women's staff network which is open to all members of staff.

Disability inclusion

We are a Disability Confident Employer and a Mindful Employer. We are committed to improving policies and practices for disabled staff, including those living with mental ill health.

Our Disability staff network is open to all members of staff with lived experience of disability or heath conditions, or those who wish to support this community.

We take positive steps to make sure that disabled people can compete for employment opportunities on a level playing field, and have the support they need to develop and perform well in their jobs. Examples of adjustments for staff have included changes to working hours, adjusting working premises, and providing or modifying work equipment.

We provide up to 1 week of disability leave (of normal contracted hours) per year. This may be required for purposes such as assessment or treatment for disability, or servicing of disability aids or equipment.

More information is available in our Supporting Disabled Staff policy and Special Leave guidance:

You can also find guides to accessibility on campus on our AccessAble profile.


We are committed to providing an inclusive and supportive working environment for everyone. We aim to foster an environment in which colleagues can openly and comfortably initiate conversations or engage in discussions about menopause and access support.

The University policy sets out the framework for our staff and managers on providing the right support to colleagues with menopausal symptoms at work.

LGBT+ equality

We have been named one of the most inclusive organisations in Britain by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity Stonewall and one of their Top 100 Employers. We have also been placed in Stonewall's Top 20 Trans Employers list in 2020.

We aim to support all staff in the LGBT+ community and provide a safe working environment free from discrimination. Our LGBT+ staff network is open to all staff, postgraduate researchers and mature students who identify as LGBT+, or who want to be an ally.

Learning and development

A member of staff speaking into a microphone at the Art and Design Degree Show.

Developing skills during your employment is an important part of career progression.

We aim to provide opportunities for all staff to access training and further qualifications, through our Professional Development Policy and internally through our Learning and Organisational Development team, our Teaching and Learning Enhancement team, and our Research Office (for academic staff). This includes YSJ Inspiring Leaders, a comprehensive leadership development programme, and Management Essentials courses for those new to a line management role.

Staff induction

When you start working at York St John, we provide a full induction programme of resources and information to help you settle in.

This includes a central staff induction programme and specific induction plan for academic staff. You will also be able to access key training to enable you to work safely in your new role.

Performance Development Reviews

Performance Development Reviews are an important way of tracking your progress against performance expectations and making sure you are fulfilled in your role.

These conversations will take place regularly throughout the year. You will then have an annual summary of the last 12 months, focusing on your achievements, learning, and wellbeing.

Strategic programmes

We are part of several strategic programmes focused on development for specific groups:

The Aurora Programme supports women and their institutions to fulfil their leadership potential. The programme provides thought provoking activities, collaborative problem solving exercises, and motivating stories support by inspirational female role models. The programme creates networks of women across the higher education sector to share best practice, insights and experiences.

The North East and Yorkshire Action Learning Programme is a cross-institutional initiative which aims to support female academic and professional support colleagues from York St John University, alongside the Universities of Durham, Leeds Beckett, Northumbria, Huddersfield, Bradford, and Leeds Trinity.

The Yorkshire Accord Coaching and Mentoring Scheme is a partnership between various public sector organisations in North Yorkshire which matches coaches and mentors with staff looking for support.

The Diversifying Leadership Programme with AdvanceHE supports early career academic and professional support staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to move into their first leadership roles. The programmes demystifies leadership and explores power, influence, cultural identity and cultural capital. It increases visibility and authentic leadership.

The You Connect programmes is a partnership with other universities in Yorkshire which offers a diverse mentoring scheme. It is aimed at colleagues who do not see themselves represented at a senior level and want to take their first steps towards a leadership role.