Find out how we are supporting University staff through the cost of living crisis.

What we’re doing to help staff

We’re aware that staff may be worried about money.

The University has taken a number of steps to support you and we will offer a wide range of financial advice, services and support to help staff who may be experiencing money issues.

A cost of living steering group involving staff and students is exploring and developing a range of initiatives to further support the Sussex community who are dealing with the impact of the rising cost of living.

Support payments

The University Executive Group has agreed to provide further support to both staff and students, which taking account all of the measures we have introduced so far, will total around £6.6 million.

In July 2022, we made a non-consolidated payment to our staff community and will make a further non-consolidated progressive payment to our staff community weighted towards those on the lowest salaries and who are most affected in the cost-of-living crisis. Following feedback from staff, these payments will be staggered to cover the winter months and will be paid from November 2022 to March 2023.

Non-consolidated payments to staff
GradePayment amountNovDecJanFebMarch
Grades 1-3 £900 £180 £180 £180 £180 £180
Grade 4 £800 £160 £160 £160 £160 £160
Grade 5 £700 £140 £140 £140 £140 £140
Grade 6 £600 £120 £120 £120 £120 £120
Grade 7 £500 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100
Grade 8 Lump sum payment of £400
Grade 9 Lump sum payment of £300

Living wage rate

At the start of October 2022, we became a Real Living Wage employer.

We introduced the new rate of £10.94 an hour (equivalent to spinal point 10 of the national pay spine) six months earlier than required.

This is in support of our lowest-paid colleagues during the current challenging economic conditions.

Find out more about the changes to spinal pay points.

Financial Detox Webinar

You can now replay a one-hour Financial Detox Webinar on Panopto. The webinar, which provides useful guidance to help manage your finances, also highlights tips and suggestions for making your money go further. You can also view the presentation [PDF 1.1MB] and transcript [PDF 217KB].

Low-cost food options on campus

We are working with our caterers to ensure there are subsidised low-cost food options on campus, and provide a hot meal for £2 for staff and students.

You can also download the Too Good to Go App, which saves you money and minimises food waste. You can pick up a magic bag daily from Tortilla, ACCA, Dhaba, Sussex Innovation Centre and Eat Central. Ordered through the Too good to go app you can pay and reserve a magic bag from as little as £2. The contents are made up from the food cooked that day and can have a retail value up to £10.

Ways to reduce your costs

As well as immediate help from the University, there are several ways you can reduce your outgoings just by being a member of Sussex staff.

Rewards and benefits

Our staff discounts provider is now Reward Gateway, a user-friendly platform that makes it easy to find savings on a large range of goods and services.

You can reduce your supermarket food bill at places like Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda. You could save £260 a year based on a typical supermarket food shop of £100 per week, with the maximum 5% discount saving through the platform.

Saving on transport

There are a range of ways which University of Sussex staff can benefit from discounted travel. You can obtain discounts on bus and train tickets through the easit scheme, in addition to interest-free season ticket loans and set-price 'Fare Deals' with the Streamline Taxis firm.

Car parking charges have been frozen at pre-pandemic levels. You can find out more about car parking charges on campus.

Season ticket loans

An interest-free loan is available for University staff who wish to purchase a season ticket. Follow the link Staff Travel Loan where you can download an application form, or contact Payroll on ext 3757 or email your usual payroll contact

Cycle to work scheme

Your Cycle to Work scheme allows you to spread the cost of buying a bike over a longer period of time.

The lease limit is now £3,000 to provide a greater choice of bicycles and also e-bikes. You can also extend your payment term beyond 12 months, enabling a more expensive bike to be leased more affordably.

More support

Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) partners Spectrum.Life are a specialist, highly professional organisation that can provide help at difficult times.

There is a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year telephone help line that can provide counselling and specialist advice on a range of matters.

You can call the EAP helpline on: 0800 316 9337 or get in touch using WhatsApp or SMS by texting ‘Hi’ to 07418 360 046.