Employee interest-free loan scheme

The purpose of the scheme is to support employees with the rising cost of living to manage one-off unplanned expenditure (see scheme rules below).

The University currently also provides interest-free loans for season tickets and UK visa and immigration fees, subject to eligibility and terms and conditions.

The scheme is open for applications until 31 July 2024 as part of the University’s temporary cost of living support.

Scheme rules

Individual loans up to the value of the item requested (maximum) will be paid, subject to eligibility and recovered from the employee’s salary over a period of 6 months (up to £1000) or 12 months (up to £2000).

Only one loan will be granted under this scheme in any 12-month period and any previous loans under this scheme must have been fully repaid. The minimum loan amount is £500.

The scheme supports employees with one-off unplanned expenditure such as the purchase of large kitchen appliances, or a boiler, or to consolidate existing debts. The loan scheme is not for general day-to-day expenditure, holidays or gifts to other people.

The Director of People and Culture will be the final decision-maker on eligibility.

The combined total of any loans (including season ticket loans or loans to help with the cost of Home Office visa fees) must not exceed £10,000 in total at any point during the tax year.


To be eligible for a loan you must:

  • be a current employee of the University, UECS Ltd or Wivenhoe House Limited
  • hold a contract for the duration of the loan repayment
  • ensure the monthly loan repayment does not exceed more than 20% of your net pay (calculated at the point of application) and it must not in any case reduce net pay below the national minimum wage
  • provide details of the item the loan is for prior to payment in order to confirm the purpose of the loan falls within the scope of this scheme
  • retain receipts for the purchase until the loan is repaid and be able to provide these on request for audit purposes
  • not use any loans for any other purpose than what has been agreed, otherwise the loans must be repaid immediately
  • not request a loan amount that takes you over the £10,000 limit in conjunction with other interest-free loans at any point in the tax year (otherwise tax becomes payable on the loan)
  • not have another loan as part of this scheme
  • have completed 12 months’ continuous service at the point of application

Leaving the University

Should your employment end the loan must be repaid in full. Any outstanding amounts will be deducted from salary prior to you leaving. This includes voluntary resignation, dismissal, retirement, redundancy and death in service.

If your salary is insufficient to cover the repayment due, including at any point you leave the University, the debt remains fully recoverable through the University’s debt recovery procedure.

Periods of leave

During agreed periods of unpaid leave or other types of leave when you are not in receipt of a full salary, eg maternity leave, loan repayments should be repaid in full prior to the period of reduced salary unless otherwise agreed. If you do not return to paid employment, the process for employment ending would be applied and any outstanding debt would be fully recoverable by the University debt recovery process.

Early repayment

Loans may be repaid early subject to the relevant limits in the eligibility checks above. Should you wish to repay early please contact reward@essex.ac.uk

How to apply

To apply for a loan:

  1. log in to HR Organiser
  2. go to the 'Utility Menu' (top right-hand corner of your HR Organiser dashboard)
  3. select 'Requests and surveys'
  4. complete the form linked at 'Application Form: Interest-Free Loans'

Once the application form is received and eligibility confirmed, the loan will be made with the next payroll (subject to the normal payroll deadline).

If you have a question about the scheme or have a disability and need the form in a different format, please contact the payroll team at reward@essex.ac.uk

Duty of care

Validium, our Employee Assistance Provider, can provide financial information and debt advice as well as counselling services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is a completely confidential service. Validium can be contacted on 0800 358 48 58. Also see our counselling and support services information.

The University and its employees are not qualified financial advisors and therefore unable to give financial advice. Employees should therefore seek independent advice, eg from Citizens Advice.

Useful links for further support

Arrow symbol
Contact us
Payroll team Contact us if you have any questions about the scheme.