Our benefits in detail
More for your future
Our benefits add a great deal of value to our overall package. And some may surprise you. Obviously, benefits vary from role to role, but take a look at all the principal benefits we offer our people.
The British Library pension scheme
Our pension scheme is one of the most valuable benefits we offer, as our staff can become members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will pay a contribution from your salary into the scheme depending on how much you earn, the current scheme minimum being 3.5% from 1 April 2012. The Library adds around 18.8% of your salary.
If you don't want to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme, you can opt out completely and have no pension provision, or you can choose a Partnership Pension account.
For more information on Civil Service Pension Scheme options and voluntary pension benefits, please go to the Civil Service Pensions website at
British Library staff can benefit from Computershare childcare vouchers to contribute towards the cost of registered child minders or nurseries.
We offer play facilities for all children of staff during all school holidays at a reduced cost. These are based onsite at Boston Spa and offsite in London.
Sick leave and pay
If you become ill while at the Library you're entitled to your full salary for the first six months of certified sick absence, followed by six months on half pay. If you're unfortunate enough to suffer longer absence, further support is available including an immediate pension on enhanced terms if you need to retire for medical reasons.
If you're studying towards professional or specialist qualifications that are relevant to your role in the Library, we may be able to offer sponsorship for study costs and paid study leave.
Interest-free season ticket loan
You can apply for an interest-free season ticket loan to buy a quarterly, half-yearly or annual travel season ticket for travel between home and the office. This normally brings a significant discount.
Help towards the cost of eye tests, spectacles and contact lenses
If you use a VDU (including computer monitors, microfiches or microfilm readers) continuously for an hour or more a day, you can ask the Library to pay for an eye test up to a maximum of £20. If the test confirms a need for glasses or contact lenses linked to the use of these VDUs, you can claim an allowance of up to £70 towards the price of spectacles or contact lenses.
If you need to change accommodation to join the Library, we may offer relocation expenses of up to £8,000 on appointment. This may apply to staff who are required to permanently transfer from London to Boston Spa or vice-versa, as well as to new starters.
If you start on Grade E, D or C you're entitled to 22 days' annual leave during your first year. After this, your annual leave entitlement will rise to 25 days a year. If you're at Grade B or above, you'll automatically receive 25 days' annual leave. Regardless of grade, when you've completed 10 years' service your annual leave allowance will rise to 30 days. You'll also benefit from eight bank and public holidays a year. On top of this, you'll also receive two and a half days' ‘privilege' leave.
Maternity and Paternity leave and pay
Maternity leave and pay
You are entitled to 52 weeks statutory maternity leave with 26 weeks of Occupational Maternity Pay (OMP) at your normal salary subject to certain conditions, for example, you've completed 26 weeks' service with us at 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth.
Paternity leave and pay
New fathers are entitled to two weeks' paternity leave with full pay if they've completed 26 weeks of service at the Library at 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth. To be eligible for paternity pay you must have, or expect to have responsibility for the child's upbringing, and be either the child's biological father or the mother's husband or partner.
If you have small children (up to the age of 5), you're entitled to 13 weeks' unpaid parental leave after you've completed a year's service with the Library. Time off is calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time employees. If you have a disabled child, you can use your parental leave entitlement until your child's 18th birthday.
You can request nursing leave for the short-term care at home of a close relative or dependent. This is at your manager's discretion. You may be allowed up to five days' leave per occasion to attend to caring responsibilities.
Free admission to national museums and galleries
By showing your British Library staff pass, you're entitled to free admission at a wide range of national museums and galleries across the UK.
Access to collection items, Reading Rooms and the British Library Shop discounts
We aim to bring knowledge to people all over the world - including our own staff. Join us and you'll enjoy free access to our vast collections and facilities in the Reading Rooms, as well as discounts on publications at the British Library Shop in St Pancras. If you're based at one of our other locations, you can phone or email an order to the shop and receive it by internal mail.
Sports and Social Clubs
We have a wide range of clubs available, covering a variety of interests. As a member of our sports and social club, you can use any of the club's facilities, as well as those of the Civil Service Sports Council. You can even get discounts for holidays, loans, tourist attractions, theatres and shops.
The staff restaurants receive a substantial subsidy from the Library and offer a varied menu of hot and cold food and drinks throughout the day, catering for all tastes. Take-away options for food and drinks are also available and there are vending machines for hot drinks throughout the St Pancras and Boston Spa buildings.
There are designated areas for car/motorbike parking and spaces are available on a first come first-served basis at our Boston Spa site. At our St Pancras site there are spaces available only for those with a disability or have a specific work related need. There are also cycle racks available at all of the Library's sites.
The Quiet Rooms in St Pancras and Boston Spa can be used for individual prayer, to meditate or simply to get peace of mind away from the buzz of the workplace.