Contribution Pay Scheme
1.1 The University recognises and values the hard work and achievements of employees, and is committed to encouraging excellence, commitment and professionalism amongst all employees. The Contribution Pay Scheme is intended to recognise and reward employees who have demonstrated exceptional performance within their current grade. The scheme is closely linked to the Staff Development and Performance Review (SDPR) scheme.
1.2 The University’s arrangement for contribution pay is made up of three elements:
- Normal Progression Increments
- Merit Awards
- Contribution Points
1.3 The differences between these payments is summarised here.
2. Principles of the scheme
All employees in Grades 1 to 9 are eligible to be considered under the Contribution Pay Scheme, including employees on fixed-term contracts and employees engaged under externally funded arrangements.The review period for the purposes of this scheme is 1 August to 31 July.
All employees must have had a SDPR meeting during the review period in order to be considered for an award.
Employees who are subject to any form of performance monitoring under the Capability Procedure or Sickness Absence Policy, or who have received a disciplinary warning during or subsequent to the review period will not be eligible for an award.
Supervisors and managers should normally have completed all SDPRs and associated paperwork for their team during the review period in order to be considered for an award.
Merit awards and contribution points are not contractual benefits, and the University reserves the right to modify or withdraw the process.
Arrangements for rewarding Professors, Associate Deans, Heads of Academic Departments and Senior Professional Staff fall outside the scope of this arrangement.
3. Normal progression increments
3.1 Grades 1-9 each contain a number of normal progression increments. Each increment is recurrent and pensionable once paid.
3.2 The normal expectation in Grades 1-9 is for annual progression through the increment points to the non-discretionary maximum of a grade. This progression is subject to a minimum of 6 months’ service and satisfactory performance.
3.3 Where a department intends to withhold an increment on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance it must provide evidence to support its decision. Evidence may include, but is not restricted to, attendance records, appraisal outcomes or informal or formal disciplinary warnings. The department must communicate clearly to the employee the reason for the withholding of the increment.
3.4 Employees will have the right of appeal against the withholding of a progression increment.
4. Merit awards
4.1 Merit awards recognise exceptional performance by individuals or teams over the review period.
4.2 An employee can be considered for a merit award after 6 months’ continuous service with the University. This is subject to the employee remaining in employment at the date the merit award is paid.
4.3 There are two levels of merit award: standard level and higher level. All merit awards are one-off payments subject to statutory deductions and are non-pensionable. Both awards are pro rata for part-time employees.
4.4 It is not possible for an employee to receive both a merit award and a contribution point in the same year; nor can an employee receive contribution points in consecutive years.
4.5 Employees paid on the highest contribution point of the grade are eligible only for a merit award.
5. Contribution points
5.1 Contribution points can be used to reward an employee who has shown sustained exceptional performance which exceeds that normally expected in their role over a period of at least two years.
5.2 Employees will only be considered for a contribution point when they have been at or above the non-discretionary maximum point of the grade for a minimum of 6 months, and their salary is not protected under the University’s pay protection arrangements.
5.2 In order to be considered for a contribution point the employee must have received a higher level merit award for their performance in the previous review period.
5.3 It is not possible for an employee to receive both a merit award and a contribution point in the same year; nor can an employee receive contribution points in consecutive years.
5.4 Contribution points are recurrent and pensionable and are effective from 1 January.
5.5 Where an employee is eligible for a contribution point, but the case put forward does not demonstrate the level of sustained exceptional performance required to award a contribution point, the Awards Panel can consider awarding a standard level merit award.
6. Team awards
6.1 Heads of Department/Directors of Administration may wish to nominate a team of highly-performing employees for a team award. Where this award is agreed, each individual team member will receive a standard level award (pro rata for part-time employees).
6.2 The only award available for team members is a standard level merit award.
6.3 It is not appropriate for a Head of Department/Director of Administration to nominate an entire department for a team award.
7.1 Nominations can be made by employees themselves or their manager, subject to the eligibility criteria detailed above. All nominations must be made using the Contribution Pay Nomination Form and returned to the relevant Head of Department by the stated deadline.
7.2 Heads of Department/Directors of Administration will receive all nominations for their department, and consider each case against the criteria for exceptional performance. Heads of Department/Directors of Administration are required to comment on each nominee and indicate their recommendation i.e. no award, standard level merit award, higher level merit award or contribution point.
8. Decision making
8.1 Faculty and Professional Services Awards Panels will meet to consider all recommendations from Heads of Department/Directors of Administration and make decisions in respect of merit awards and contribution points.
8.2 Membership of Awards Panels is as follows:
- Faculty Awards Panels will comprise a Pro-Vice Chancellor (Chair), the Dean, the Director of Administration, each Head of Department and the relevant Human Resources Manager.
- Professional Services Awards Panels will comprise a Pro-Vice Chancellor (Chair), the Director and a senior member of each department where appropriate, and the relevant Human Resources Manager.
8.3 The role of the Awards Panel is to:
- Agree which employees have demonstrated exceptional performance beyond their SDPR objectives over the review period for merit awards, or over a longer period (two years) for contribution points and in line with the criteria for exceptional performance.
- Ensure the reason for each decision is evidence based and is recorded;
- Ensure decisions about the allocation of merit awards and contribution points meet the University’s policy on equal opportunities. In particular the Awards Panel must ensure that employees employed on part time and fixed term contracts or externally funded arrangements are given equal consideration.
8.4 Members of the Award Panels are required to observe complete confidentiality regarding their discussions about individual employees.
8.5 Where a member of an Awards Panel has been nominated for an award, the case will be considered outside of the Panel meeting by both Chairs in consultation with the Review Panel.
8.6 A note taker will be present at each Awards Panel meeting.
9. Monitoring outcomes
9.1 The Contribution Pay Review Group will consider the recommendations from each Awards Panel and ensure that the process applied by each Faculty, School or Professional Service meets the standards and principles of the Contribution Pay Scheme.
9.2 This group will comprise the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Director of Finance, University Secretary and Director of Human Resources.
9.3 The Contribution Pay Review Group will monitor decisions made to ensure consistency and will report to the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.
10. Communicating outcomes
10.1 Following the meeting of the Contribution Pay Review Group, the Director of Human Resources will confirm the outcomes to Deans and Heads of Department/Directors of Administration.
10.2 To enable the University to celebrate success and provide role models for exceptional performance all the names of recipients of awards will be published in a format to be determined by the Faculty, School or Professional Service. It is a condition of receiving an award that recipients agree to the publication of results.
10.3 Employees may ask for feedback from their Head of Department/Director of Administration, but provided the Review Group is satisfied that the decision making process has been conducted fairly, there is no right of appeal.
10.4 The trade unions will receive statistical analysis on the outcomes of the Contribution Pay Scheme.