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Human Resources


1. What is an Employee Welfare Loan?

It is an interest-free loan of between £250 and £1,000 to support eligible staff facing short-term financial difficulties, where it has not been possible to find funding from other recognised reputable sources such as a bank or building society loan.

It is intended that the loan can help individuals manage a short-term cash flow problem. It is not designed to help staff facing long-term financial problems.

The Employee Welfare Loan is available to employees of the Academic University with a contract of at least 12 months and that are paid monthly via University payroll and subject to income tax and national insurance (NIC). An Employee Welfare Loan will be repayable via deductions from payroll in equal instalments over eight months starting four months after the loan is provided.

The Staff Hardship Grant Scheme will also continue to offer non-repayable grants of up to £1,250 to staff not eligible for the Employee Welfare Loan.

Staff who are eligible for the Employee Welfare Loan are encouraged, in the first instance, to apply for the Loan, rather than the Hardship Grant Scheme. However, in cases of exceptional hardship, an application for a Grant may be accepted, at the discretion of the Staff Hardship Group. In making its decision, the Group will carefully consider the individual circumstances of the application.

2. What would qualify as a short-term financial need?

The financial need must arise from an unexpected situation that results in a shortfall for essential costs that cannot reasonably be covered by alternative resources.  

3. Who is eligible to apply for a loan?

All current employees of the Academic University[1] who have an ongoing contract of employment with at least 12 months remaining and who are paid monthly through the University payroll(s) are eligible. 

In view of the current cost-of-living crisis, it has been agreed that  employees with an open-ended contract of employment with a limited funding clause are also eligible to apply for a loan. There is also currently no minimum length of service criterion. These are temporary changes to the scheme and will remain in place until 30 April 2023.

Staff of Colleges and other entities that are not within the Academic University are not eligible for this scheme and should contact their specific employer directly over hardship issues.

To qualify an applicant must:

  • confirm that the loan is required to cover a shortfall for essential costs and that they are not able to reasonably access alternative resources by signing a declaration on the application form.
  • be paid via University payroll and subject to income tax and/or national insurance contributions (NIC) on their usual salary.
  • have a payroll number and a bank account set up for the payment of their University salary/pay.
  • complete and sign an application form and submit it to their departmental administrator.

4. How much help can I get as a loan?

The fund will be used to issue one-off interest free loans of between £250 and £1,000.

5. How will I need to repay the loan?

The loan will be repayable through payroll in 8 equal instalments starting 4 months after the loan is issued. 

If during the repayment period, you find you are struggling with the impact of the loan repayments please contact

6. Will it replace my other benefits?

The loan is additional to statutory benefits and not intended to replace other benefits or insurance. This loan should not be treated as earnings for universal credit (UC) or income tax credit (TC) assessments. Accordingly, there should be no impact on either UC or TC, however, you are advised to contact the Department of Work & Pensions benefits helpline on 0845 300 3900 if you are in doubt.

7. How will it be paid?

The University will use reasonable endeavours to pay the Loan in accordance with the following timescales: Once the application has been received by the Loan Administrator, the Loan Administrator will complete final checks and, if approved, return a loan agreement to the applicant within three working days. Loans will generally be paid on a Monday to staff through their bank account into which salary is paid after the application is approved and the signed loan agreement is returned. Where signed loan agreements are received by the Loan Administrator before 5 pm on a Tuesday, applicants will receive their funds on the following Monday (excluding bank holidays). Where signed loan agreements are received after 5pm on a Tuesday, the loan will be paid on the second Monday after receipt.

8. Will I be taxed on my loan?

Where the loan is repaid, no taxable benefit should arise, provided all loans to the individual from the University are less than £10,000 in aggregate.

9. How do I apply?

Please complete the application form and send to your Departmental Administrator for approval and onward submission to the Finance Division Loan Administrator at

Guidance for Departmental Administrators is also available.

10. What happens if I leave before my loan is repaid?

You will be expected to repay any outstanding balance before you leave.  If you leave before the end of the loan repayment period, any outstanding balance will be deducted from your remaining salary. If your remaining salary is insufficient to cover the outstanding balance, the University expects you to make arrangements to repay any shortfall on or before your last day of employment. Any loan amount still outstanding after the last day of employment would remain payable to the University.

The Director of Human Resources has the authority to waive repayment of the loan in the event of a redundancy situation.

11. I’ve applied before. Can I apply again?

If you have previously applied for a welfare loan, and have paid it off, or your welfare loan account with the university is less than £1000, you can apply for additional funds so long as the total amount loaned by the University under this scheme does not exceed £1000.

12. Is there an appeal process if my application is not successful?

No. The decision of the University in approving a loan is final.

13. Will I have to sign a loan agreement?

Yes. If your application is approved in principle, the Loan Administrator will send you a loan agreement signed on behalf of the University for your signature. The loan agreement wording can be found in the application form. The loan agreement will come into effect once you have signed the loan agreement. Please note that if you do not sign the agreement or you sign but do not notify the Loan Administrator of your signature (see below) within 14 calendar days of the date you received the agreement from the Loan Administrator, then the loan agreement shall automatically terminate. In such circumstances, you will need to make a new loan application if you continue to want to access the Employee Welfare Loan scheme.

14. I don’t have a printer. Can I sign the loan agreement electronically?

Yes. The University will accept ‘signature’ of the agreement by way of a covering email or other form of electronic signature. The Loan Administrator will be able to provide further information regarding the University’s requirements for electronic signature once your application is approved. The University will make the loan to you once it has received the signed agreement or electronic signature.


[1] Academic University is defined as the core teaching and research activities of the University, including museums, but excluding Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Assessment, WNWCE Board, the Investment Office and all subsidiaries, trusts and joint ventures