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Perks of Working at DHS

Perks of Working at DHS

Yes, we offer the usual things such as health and life insurance, paid days off, and sick leave. But there are a lot of perks that keep people employed at DHS for decades.


A career at DHS will provide a perfect foundation for your retirement. Not only can you become eligible for a traditional pension (State retirement) that many businesses no longer provide, but the State also offers other ways to save for your future through the Arkansas Diamond Deferred Compensation Plan. All employees hired after July 1, 2005, are required to contribute 5 percent of their pre-taxed earnings to the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS) for the traditional pension. The contributions are deducted from your paycheck, and DHS also contributes a certain percentage of your salary each month toward your retirement. After five years of service, you will be vested, meaning you will be eligible for future monthly retirement payments. Employees hired in 2014 or later will have 3 percent of their earnings automatically deducted and placed into an Arkansas Diamond plan. Employees can opt out of this plan. If you leave your job before you are vested, you can get a refund of your contributions.

Career service bonuses

We value employees who make working at DHS their career. After 10 years as a full-time employee, you will be eligible for an annual bonus (part-time employees may get a pro-rated bonus). It’s our way of saying thanks for being part of the DHS team.

10-14 Years: $800 // 15-19 Years: $1,000 // 20-24 Years: $1,200 // 25 or more years: $1,500

Paid maternity leave

We also value family and want to do what we can as a Department and a State to support new parents. If you have been with the agency for more than a year and are female, you can be paid for some of your maternity leave (up to four consecutive weeks) within the first 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child. You do not have to exhaust your sick or annual leave prior to being awarded paid maternity leave.

Children’s educational activity leave

We know it is important for parents and grandparents to participate in their children and grandchildren’s school activities. So each calendar year, you can take up to eight hours of educational leave to attend school activities, such as parent-teacher conferences, field trips, or awards ceremonies. There are many other types of leave available, such as jury duty, disaster services volunteer, organ and bone marrow donor, and more.

Wellness program

State employees are eligible for services offered through ARBenefits here. The program offers free and confidential certified wellness coaches and online health tools. The topics for wellness can vary each year. Here are examples of programs that have been offered:

  • Tobacco cessation
  • Healthy eating
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Weight management
  • Cardiovascular maintenance
  • Health risk assessments
  • Stress reduction
  • Exercise
  • Sleep health

Arkansas Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program (AHELP) The Arkansas Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program (AHELP) rewards employees for making healthy choices about food, exercise, and smoking. Employees can earn rewards and even time off. To learn more about the Arkansas Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program, go here.


Many businesses offer discounts on services to State employees, including cell phone companies, gyms, and in some cases restaurants. The members of the Arkansas State Employees Association also can get discounts. If you want to know whether a business you deal with offers a discount, we encourage you to ask as there is no one place where all discounts can be found.

To learn more about the discounts offered through the association or how to join, go to

Birthday leave

Hooray! You get a paid day off each year for your birthday. You can take it on your birthday with approval from your supervisor or save it for another day. So Happy Birthday to you!

Meaningful career

By working at DHS you also can make a meaningful difference in the lives of your fellow Arkansans. Lives literally depend on an application being processed, an investigation being completed, or problems being fixed quickly. Because of that we’re always looking for staff who don’t settle for “good enough” or say “sorry, not my job.” Instead, we are looking for people who respond quickly, treat clients like humans not a number, and say, “let me see if I can find you someone to help” even when it isn’t their job. As serious as the work can be, it is extremely rewarding and fulfilling. The more you put into your job, the more you will get out of it.