Improving Working Lives

Improving Working Lives

The Trust recognises that the provision of a range of Improving Working Lives and other initiatives can enable staff to balance both work and home commitments and improve their working lives. This link below outlines the initiatives that are currently in place throughout the Trust.

For further information on any of the following please contact HR Improving Working Lives Team on 028 9615 9615 or alternatively email us at


Flexible Working Policy

The purpose of the Trust’s Work Life Balance Flexible Working Policy and Arrangements is to enable staff to achieve a balance between their working and personal commitments and so improve their working lives. The objectives of the policy are:


To retain skills and experience within the Trust and attract staff from a wider recruitment pool
To facilitate staff who wish to continue working at the same time as meeting other commitments
To create new job opportunities in the Trust;
To provide an opportunity for Employees to return to employment with the Trust on a flexible basis

Policies include: Part- time working; Compressed Working; Flexitime; Job Sharing; Home Working; Term-time; Flexible Retirement and Employment Break

All Employees who wish to participate in a flexible working arrangement must complete the application form on HRPTS and submit to their line manager.

Read the Policy



Special Leave Policy

The Special Leave Policy recognises that, on occasions, employees may require special leave to undertake obligations or attend events outside of their working life. The use of annual leave or flexible leave may not be appropriate for these obligations or events, therefore, this Policy recognises those events which the Trust considers suitable for the authorisation of special leave.


Special Leave may be granted in respect of: Emergency Leave i.e. Carers/Domestic Emergency, Bereavement Leave, Marriage / Civil Partnership, Parental Leave, Unpaid Leave, Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave, Paternity Leave, Additional Paternity Leave.


In addition to these provisions, Special Leave may also be made available in the following circumstances :

Jury Service & attendance at Court as a witness;
Training with the reserve and cadet forces;
Undertaking Trade Union Duties / Training
Participation in Sporting Events (National /International Level)
Read the Policy

Long Service Leave

In addition to the Trusts attractive Annual Leave arrangement, the Trust wishes to further recognise the commitment and loyalty of those who have achieved 25 years’ service.


Those staff who have 25 years’ service in the employment of the HSC will receive one week’s additional annual leave (pro-rata) for the annual leave year in which they reach 25 years.


In addition, those staff with 25 years’ service will receive a Certificate of Loyalty signed by the Chief Executive.


Application forms can be found on the HR HUB or from the Improving Working Lives Team.


Download the Application


Summer Scheme


The Trust Summer Scheme is an Improving Working Lives initiative to support staff with childcare needs. This scheme aims to enable staff to better balance home and work life, and reduce worries surrounding childminding during the summer months.

Our Summer Scheme staff aim to provide a range of fun activities to stimulate and entertain children aged between 4 and 12.

Current cost is £16 for a full day and £11 for a half day.

The schemes are located in 4 different sites, operating for a 7 week period during July and August. Schemes are held in the following locations:-

  • Fullerton House
    Methodist College Campus
    Lisburn Road, Belfast
  • Downey House
    Pirrie Park Gardens
    Ravenhill Road, Belfast
  • Victoria College
    Marlborough Park South
    Lisburn Road, Belfast




Childcare Vouchers

Please note: only those employees who were availing of the Childcare Voucher scheme prior to October 2018 and who have not opted out to use Tax-Free Childcare or opted out of the scheme for 52 weeks or more are able to participate in or re-join the Childcare Voucher scheme.

Childcare vouchers are an acceptable and beneficial method of paying for registered childcare. Childcare vouchers up to a maximum of £243 per month (£55 per week) are exempt from tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC), therefore offering potential savings for working parents who use registered childcare. Childcare vouchers are payable through a method of E-vouchers. This system works in a similar way to online banking.

Tax Free Childcare Scheme

The Tax Free Childcare Scheme will allow eligible working families to claim 20% of their childcare costs, up to £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for a child with a disability, from the Government.

Please note the following important points:

  • If you leave the Childcare Voucher scheme and start using Tax-Free Childcare you will not be eligible to re-join the Childcare Voucher scheme.
  • There is no employer involvement in the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

If you would like further advice and information on Tax-Free Childcare, call the Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008. Alternatively, additional information can be accessed here.

Maternity Information Sessions

Maternity Information Sessions are open to all female members of staff who are pregnant or who would be interested in finding out more information on maternity related issues and regulations.

Information is provided by:-

  • HR Pay and Conditions Team
  • HR Improving Working Lives Team
  • Health Improvement Team

Topics covered include maternity leave entitlements, salaries and wages entitlements, work life balance policies, health at work during pregnancy and health promotion for expectant mothers.

Maternity Information sessions are held twice a year.  Dates of sessions will be advertised on the Hub and via HR Notice.

For further information please contact Improving Working Lives Team on 082 9165 9615.



Cycle to Work is a government approved salary sacrifice initiative allowing you to hire a bike and accessories up to the value of £1,500 from your employer to encourage you to cycle to work. Hire will be free from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

Our cycle2work scheme encourage staff to:-

  • Improve their health and fitness levels
  • Improve their circulation
  • Minimise stress levels

The amount you can save depends on whether you are a Basic Rate or a Higher Rate Tax payer.

For additional information, please contact Improving Working Lives team on 028 9615 9615 or bwell Cycle to Work

How to Apply


Menopause Café




Are you confused about menopause? Do you have questions? Would you like to share your experience or would you like to be prepared for what is a perfectly natural but rarely discussed stage in life? Our menopause café aims to enhance knowledge and provide support to deal with symptoms that accompany the Menopause, especially in the work setting.

Click here for further information surrounding the menopause

Click here for further information on b well regarding the menopause bwell Lets talk menopause