Long-service awards policy

Policy overview 

The long-service awards scheme recognises and shows appreciation of long-serving and loyal employees.

Employees receive a certificate and letter of thanks from the chief executive.

They will also have the opportunity to choose a gift to recognise their service. 


This policy applies to: 

  • all employees who have completed 20, 30 and 40 years' continuous service 
  • all school employees, if the school has adopted this policy 
  • employees who have previous-service from employers if they: 
  • have TUPE transferred 
  • and, are not transferring with a contractual long-service award element 

The terms of a long-service award element may be different from this policy. If an employee has TUPE transferred with an award element, details are attached to their employment records. Future service will form part of their qualifying years for an award.  

Employees must inform the long-service award team (LSAT) in either case. The LSAT requires at least one month's notice before any award is due.  


The employee must have continuous service with us.  

Service interrupted by any of the following will count as continuous: 

  • service with the UK reserve forces. The employee must have been employed immediately before and after any deployment 
  • statutory, occupational maternity, adoption or paternity leave. Any agreed periods of unpaid special leave 
  • previous service where the employee took time off to have a child or children before maternity leave rules existed. Employees can combine their total years as one long service. Combing years only applies if they were not employed elsewhere during their break 

Once an employee has left us, they are no longer entitled to an award. This includes employees that transfer to other authorities or academies. 

Supply of gifts 

Director area  

The LSAT will inform the line manager in the month before the award is due. The manager will then ask the employee to choose a gift at the value of their award. They will purchase the gift using the service area p-card.  

For school-based employees 

The LSAT will give the headteacher the letter and certificate for the employee before the award is due. The headteacher will ask the employee to select a gift to the value of their award. The school will purchase this gift and present it with the letter and certificate. 

Gifts must be purchased within 12 months of the award date. We do not allow gift cards and vouchers due to "payment in kind" tax rules.  


The director, headteacher or someone acting on their behalf should present the certificate. There should be consideration of the employee's wishes. Some people may prefer an informal approach rather than a formal presentation. 

Service awards and budgets  

The director area or school's budgets will meet the costs. 

  • Five years' service - green book employees receive five days' annual leave 

Certificate and gift budget levels: 

  • 20 years' service - £105 plus VAT 
  • 30 years' service - £210 plus VAT 
  • 40 years' service - £250 plus VAT