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As part of the UK Civil Service, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office offers a wide range of benefits that staff members can enjoy. We also offer unique support services to members of the Diplomatic Service when posted overseas.


All FCO staff are members of the Civil Service pension scheme, a generous pension system with employer contributions. 

Leave and flexible working

Holiday allowance starts at 25 days and rises to 30 days after 5 years. All staff also receive 10.5 public holidays and privilege days a year. Ontop of this, paid and unpaid special leave is available for compassionate reasons, if staff want to pursue futher study, or for certain voluntary activities.

In order to assist our employees as much as possible when having a child, we grant generous and flexible maternity and paternity leave.

To promote a healthy work/life balance, various flexible working patterns are available including flexi-time, part-time, job-sharing or term-time working. 

Family support

Travel abroad for diplomatic service staff and their families or partners is supported by the Diplomatic Service Families Association

Languages and training

The FCO offer first-class training, including on the job e-learning, assistance in studying for relevant qualifications and dedicated language learning courses. This can include full time language acquisition training for up to two years before going to a foreign posting. The FCO also offer a range of courses that are designed to help our staff deliver across the world. These include:

  • Economics
  • Human Rights
  • Public International Law
  • Bilateral and modern diplomacy skills
  • Change management
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Programme and project management
  • Sponsorship of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) exams and qualifications. 

Childcare and Gym

Staff also have access to crèche facilities in the main building in London and to affordable on site gym facilities. 

Additional allowances

Finally, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office offer a London Living Allowance (LLA) of £3000 per year on top of normal wages when staff are working in London. This reflects the higher cost of living in the capital. 

Diplomatic Service Families Association

Find out where spouses and partners of Diplomatic Service officers can get information, support and advice.

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