Working in the arts and creative industries is a wonderful experience, and the UO is in the enviable position of being able to offer the security of a permanent employment to over 80 creatives!
While a salaried role is a benefit in itself, we are pleased to be able to offer more in terms of benefits. We have highlighted just a few of them below.
Family Friendly Policies
We aim to ensure that every employee feels supported and encouraged to have a healthy balance between work and home commitments.
School run, or early morning parkrun? No problem! With rehearsals typically starting at 10am, there’s no need for breakfast clubs, and you can even get your daily exercise out of the way before work. Our admin staff can also agree flexible start/finish times with their Line Manager, to help with that work-life balance.
We also have a strong Flexible Working Policy, whereby staff can request reduced working hours and job share contracts etc.
Our policies for Maternity, Paternity, Adoption Leave & Shared Parental Leave are generous and supportive, aimed at helping employees to balance their work and home life commitments, encouraging the retention of talent and experience, increasing well-being and thus reducing absence and stress.
We offer a Career Break policy, to assist with work-life balance, e.g. To take time off for caring responsibilities, to go back to college, to go travelling and/or to accompany a partner on an overseas assignment.
Health & Wellbeing
We have a comprehensive Wellbeing Policy through which we aim to help our employees to stay fit and healthy and support them when they are ill.
Our Health Cash Plan is immediately available to all new joiners, and provides cash back to cover costs such as dental and optical bills, physiotherapy and consultancy charges. It also provides access to a 24-7 helpline, virtual GPs and an online discount platform.
We have regular scheduled visits from a registered Physiotherapist, and all employees have the opportunity to book an appointment if needed. We also run free functional movement classes open to all employees.
All employees have regular access to a BAPAM registered GP, who is available to provide and referrals for any medical concerns.
We also know how important your ears are! When a player joins, they will have an appointment with Musician’s Hearing Services to provide you with moulded hearing protectors, and we will arrange for you to have regular audiometric hearing tests.
We offer a Cycle to Work scheme to all employees, enabling you to save at least 25% of the cost of a new bike and spreading the cost over a 12-month period. Not only good for the environment, but also helps you to stay fit and healthy by getting on your bike!
Players - How does 5 weeks off in the summer sound to you? In addition, you will have a further 2 weeks off at other times in the year, so plenty of opportunity to enjoy those other important things in your life!
Admin staff also have the benefit of 5 weeks paid holidays throughout the year in addition to 12 public holidays. We are a company that understands the value of time away from the workplace so we encourage holidays to be embraced!
Upon joining the UO, all employees have a structured and comprehensive induction, to ensure all new joiners receive a consistent and positive experience and feels welcome, included and supported, from the point of job offer to the end of their probationary period.
Learning and Development
We believe in the importance of continuous learning and development and invest to support the growth and progression of our employees. This might be in the form of individual, confidential one to one coaching or group training sessions covering topics such as Resilience, Communications, Leadership etc. We also encourage personal and professional development through internal secondments and acting up opportunities as well as support towards relevant further academic and skills development programmes.
We are delighted to have low turnover of our people, with the average length of service being 16.5 years. We thank our employees for their loyalty, by providing loyalty awards at various long service milestones.
All employees are automatically enrolled into our company pension scheme, and will benefit from our generous employer contributions (currently 6% p.a.). As we comply with government legislation regarding pensions, employees also currently contribute 2% p.a. All employees have access to the Orchestra’s pension advisor for advice on their pension requirements.
Ulster Orchestra Society Ltd offers an interest-free loan scheme to support Orchestra players with the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining their instruments. All permanent orchestra players will be eligible to make an application for a loan, upon satisfactory completion of their probationary period. You may apply for a loan to cover all or part of the associated costs. The amount loaned will be capped at £10,000 per employee, within each financial year subject to availability of funds.