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Working for us
We are a district council in the South of Essex, named after Epping Forest. A large part of the forest can be found in our district.
The best of town and country living
We can offer the best of town and country living. We are 45 minutes from the City of London and Epping Forest, Lee Valley Park and the Olympic White Water Centre are all on our doorstep. There is a decent range of schools, both state and independent. Stansted Airport is just up the road, serving a range of destinations across the world.
The district has a reputation for affluence. Unemployment is generally low and many residents enjoy a very high standard of living. There are excellent communication links, including a good road network via the M11 and M25 motorways and London Underground’s Central Line to Epping. Roydon is on the mainline service into London Liverpool Street and other mainline national rail services are available nearby in Harlow, Sawbridgeworth and Waltham Cross.
The Epping Forest district is an area of great contrasts. It stretches northwards from its southern boundary with Greater London, right into the heart of rural Essex. Much of the 131 square miles of the district is green and rural. 94% is within the Green Belt or in use for horticulture and farming. This is reflected in the rich mix of commerce from farming and horticulture to the latest high tech industries.
More than 80% of the district’s housing is in private ownership and levels of demand have contributed to high prices and a lack of affordable housing. Balancing the needs of an increasing population against the protection and conservation of the district’s rural character presents a major challenge.
Approximately half of our 123,900 residents live in 5% of the area of the district, close to the boundary with London. Most of the rest of the population live in a mixture of market towns, villages and rural hamlets, each with their own identity and personality. The local population is set to grow over the coming years and pressure for development and the demand for homes, jobs and leisure facilities has never been greater.
About Epping Forest District Council
We are a major employer with almost 700 staff working directly or through contracted services. Our operation is based in the main Civic Offices in the leafy market town of Epping. We also operate depots, sports and leisure centres, housing schemes and hostels across the district. As well as landlord to around 6,500 tenants, we also rent out shops and business units from our trading estates.
Our Museum, based in a Tudor merchant’s house near historic Waltham Abbey, forms the base for many of our arts and community development projects and we even own a Battle of Britain Airfield!
We seek to punch above our weight through active involvement directly and through the Local Strategic Partnership in regional development organisations including the London Anglia Growth Partnership and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. In partnership with local business we also signed up to the Epping Forest Business Charter, committing itself to the support of the local economy.
Our values and behaviours
We will be open and honest with each other and our customers. We will treat everyone with respect and take responsibility for our actions.
We will take pride in our work and celebrate our achievements. We will learn from our mistakes and always do what we say we will do.
We will work together as One Council, supporting each other and our partners to achieve better results for everyone.
We will put the customer at the heart of everything we do, providing services that are tailored to the different needs of our communities.
We will seek new ways of working to improve and change to meet new challenges.
Diversity and inclusion
In working positively towards equality of opportunity for all, we will strive to eliminate all forms of discrimination. We recognise that this requires not only a commitment to remove current unfair treatment but also policies based on the principle of affirmative action so that existing inequalities produced by past discrimination may be challenged and eradicated.
We are committed to and working towards the provision of full equality of opportunity. All employees are expected to contribute positively to the achievement of this objective, and we will ensure that individuals are aware of their personal and professional responsibility to support the Equality in Employment Policy.
No employee or prospective employee should receive unfair or unlawful treatment due to age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), sexual orientation, religion or belief, or because someone is married or in a civil partnership.
The benefits of working for us
Our annual salary review will ensure salaries remain competitive and in line with other similar organisations locally. We are committed to continuing an annual salary review. We will ensure salaries remain competitive and that we continue our positive relationship with the Unions.
28 days annual leave, in addition to bank holidays and 2 additional statutory days. Currently the 2 statutory days facilitate the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Modern working practices
As part of our work life balance, we offer flexible working which allows our employees the freedom to manage their work and their working hours.
Flexible working involves changing work patterns to allow employees to balance the needs of their home and work lives. Changes that may be requested relate to working hours, times of working and place for work.
Our flexible working practices include:
- Compressed hours: involves working the total number of agreed hours over a shorter period. For example, working full-time hours over four rather than 5 days. Full-time pay would be paid but no overtime for the agreed extra hours worked each day
- Flexitime: employees choose their working hours (subject to the requirements of the service) outside agreed core hours as long as sufficient hours are worked in total, within an agreed period
- Shift working: involves working outside the normal 9am to 5pm working day in an agreed pattern
- Staggered hours: allows staff to alter their start and finish times
- Term-time working: allows staff to take unpaid leave of absence during the school holidays. Salary is paid throughout the year, but at a lower level to reflect the fact that less than 52 weeks are worked per annum
- Job-sharing: involves 2 people working part-time to undertake a full-time post and requires hand-over arrangements to ensure continuity
- Annualised hours: working time organised on the basis of the number of hours to be worked over a year, rather than a week. Pay will depend on the hours worked each pay period
Buying and selling annual leave
As part of our continued commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of our employees, this scheme allows employees to buy or sell additional holiday entitlement. It is offered through a salary sacrifice plan by making deductions from your salary before tax and national insurance contributions.
Naturally, as with all flexible schemes, it is important to ensure the full provision of council services.
Providing you are aged under 75 and are employed for more than 3 months, you will automatically be entered into our pension scheme (The Local Government Pension Scheme, LGPS) regardless of hours worked. Our pension is based on the Local Government Superannuation Act and Regulations. The LGPS is one of the most generous pension schemes in the UK. It is salary related, defined benefit scheme and will not be affected by stock market fluctuations.
Some of the benefits include:
- A secured future income: you have the option when you draw your pension to exchange part of it for a tax free lump sum
- Flexible retirement from the age of 55: where you can draw part or all of the benefits you have accumulated helping you to ease into retirement and the freedom to choose when you draw you pension between the age of 55 and 75
Green car salary sacrifice
A salary sacrifice arrangement means you agree to give up the right to receive part of your gross salary in exchange for a brand-new car. The salary is sacrificed deducted before income tax and National Insurance resulting in tax savings on the benefit.
This scheme enables employees to have a new low emission car of their choice which is fully maintained and insured. In addition to having a new low emission car, eligible employees could save between 32% and 62% in Income Tax and National Insurance.
The car is a “company car” for tax purposes and only cars with the lowest income tax charge have been included in the car scheme.
We support our employees cycling to work and offer a full bike package to eligible employees. In addition to the HMRC approved cycle rate payment which is not subject to tax and National Insurance.
Learning and development opportunities
Our motto in EFDC Learning and Development is ‘Unlock your Potential’ and in our employee surveys people regularly rate training and development as one of the best things about working for us. People are expected to drive their own careers here with the support of their managers.
There are in-house comprehensive management development and employee development programmes available which enable progress technically, as well as in management and leadership.
A number of our employees gain business related qualifications every year from university degrees through to Institute of Leadership and Management accreditation’s.
The variety of levels of development opportunities also include:
- Springboard women’s development
- Learning to coach/mentor
- Apprenticeship programmes
In addition, we work collaboratively with other authorities and organisations to run short masterclasses and courses.