Skip to main content

Contribution pay scheme

Details the eligibility criteria, how to nominate, and the process for those managing the schemes.

Recognising Excellence Awards (RE)

RE Awards are one-off payments only, and are managed at department, faculty, or school level.

RE awards are to recognise where employees have demonstrated valued contributions or achievements throughout a 12 month period. The scheme runs twice a year and will be launched at six monthly intervals, with payments normally being made in December and June. The scheme will continue to review a 12 month scheme period which will now enable managers to have more opportunities to reward employees and be better able to recognise their contributions or achievements, closer to the achievement itself.

The current RE scheme will review the period 1 March 2022 to 28 February 2023.


  • Grades 2-9, senior staff (ALC6) and Professors
  • Not received a warning (that is still live) confirmed in writing under the disciplinary, capability, sickness or other policies, Statutes etc.
  • Must be employed by the University at time of payment

What to consider when nominating for an award

RE is to recognise excellence delivered by an individual or team, who have made positive contributions to their department or colleagues. Please consider if the individual/s have:

  • continuously exhibited excellent behaviours or attitudes
  • provided excellent customer service
  • contributed to process improvement
  • enhanced the student experience
  • demonstrated the university's values in their work and behaviours
  • delivered or achieved an excellent piece of work or project
  • consider the effort contributed towards a piece of work or project, not just a final outcome

How to nominate

Your Head of Department (HOD) (this includes Directors of Administration or Technical Services where applicable) will notify you of the process and timescales.

Complete a nomination form and download the guidance for staff and advice on writing a nomination.

Visit the timescales webpage for deadlines of the scheme. However please refer to any deadlines set by your department / faculty.

Locally the departments facilitate decision-making and it is at the discretion of the HOD/panel to approve and award the amount they believe is most suited to the nomination.

Awarding Teams

A team can be nominated for an award where a group of individuals have demonstrated significant contributions or sustained success.

The Team RE award needs to be split so that each person is paid in line with the award amounts detailed below, per person. For example a team of 6 could receive a £1500 award (receiving £250 each).

Award amounts

HOD's will be able to allocate one of five award amounts for excellent performance.

  • £100
  • £250
  • £500
  • £750
  • £1,500

Please note these amounts are given in gross pay and are subject to the usual tax and national insurance deductions and will not be paid pro-rated.

Process for those managing the RE scheme

  1. A list of eligible employees and an allocated budget will be shared with HOD's. The HOD should notify all eligible staff that the scheme has launched.
  2. When the scheme has closed, nominations should be downloaded from the departments SharePoint list (a link will be sent directly to the HOD to access this list).
  3. HOD's or departmental/faculty panels should review all nominations submitted and add HOD comments and award amounts to the spreadsheet. Please leave the 'Award amount' column blank if no award is to be given.
  4. Calculate the total spend on the spreadsheet to ensure it is within or matches the budget provided (please refer to your 'eligible' list in your SharePoint folder for the budget).
  5. Save the completed spreadsheet to the department/faculty SharePoint folder and let the Reward team know when this have been done. The Reward team will lock the spreadsheet to ensure no editing can take place post the deadline. If you need to make any changes please contact the Reward team directly as soon as possible.


Whilst there is no minimum length of service required, you should bear in mind that the individual will need to have been in their role for a period of time long enough for their performance to be sufficiently assessed.

Please refer to the timescales webpage to make sure submissions are in time for the payroll cut-off date.

Only the HOD has access to the department’s folder on SharePoint. Please contact the Reward team if you require others, involved in the process, to have access.

Awarding Teams

A team submission would need each individual to demonstrate significant contributions and sustained excellence through their own role, within the team.

RE payments: The Team RE award needs to be split so that each person is paid in line with the award amounts detailed above, per person. For example a team of 6 could receive a £1500 award (receiving £250 each).

If Teams are being awarded an RE insert the total Team award amount on the nomination spreadsheet e.g. £1500 and add 'Y' in the 'Team award' column so that Reward and payroll can ensure each individual receives the correct payment.

Please remember, the Team award amount needs to ensure that each person within the team will receive an award equivalent to one of the individual amounts detailed above.

Team events: We are happy for departments to use discretion on how to use some of their budget to fund team events or initiatives to recognise the collective contributions of teams. This event or activity will need to take place before 1 September 2023.

If you are recognising Teams through an event or activity please mark this by adding 'Activity' in the 'Team award' column on the nominations spreadsheet, and ensure the following;

  • you have budget remaining to cover the cost of this activity. Reward will be in touch following the process to capture how the budget was spent.
  • you follow procurement procedure. Use existing suppliers where possible, or visit the procurement webpage for more information.
  • please note that some gifts/rewards may incur tax implications, please contact us for more information if this is something you are considering.
  • your budget has been allocated on agresso by 31 July 2023. However we do appreciate that it may take time to coordinate and so are happy for the event / activity to take place any time before 1 September 2023

We would love to hear how you have recognised your teams and any feedback you have received on these events/activities, so please do drop the Reward team an email.

Outstanding Contribution Award

The OC scheme is currently closed.

Outstanding Contribution is awarded where employees are adding value through contributions and behaviours, using initiative and supporting others to improve the service delivered, over a sustained period of time.

The OC scheme offers an opportunity for those who have reached the grade maximum or who are already within exceptional contribution points to receive an additional spine point. You can nominate yourself or a colleague to be considered for an OC award, or your line manager can nominate you. If successful, your salary will increase by one spine point.


You will need to:

  • be in Grade 2 to 9, and
  • have been paid at or above the non-discretionary maximum point of the grade (excluding the top contribution point) for a minimum of six months, and
  • have appropriately engaged with development and performance processes within the department e.g. taken part in an Staff Development Performance Review (SDPR) or SDPR+, and
  • not have your salary protected under the University's pay protection arrangements, and
  • not be subject to any form of performance monitoring under the Capability Procedure or Sickness Absence policy, nor have received a disciplinary warning, and
  • must be employed as member of staff at time of payment, and
  • have not been awarded an Outstanding Contribution award in the previous year


Departments will be given a list of any employees eligible for OC. Only Departments with eligible employees will have a spreadsheet for OC.

Your HOD (this includes Directors of Administration or Technical Services where applicable) will notify eligible staff of the nomination process.

Please complete a nomination form (for yourself or a colleague, manager, or member of staff from another department) in a timely manner. Refer to the timescales webpage for this process to ensure nominations are submitted by the deadline dates.

Only the HOD has access to the Department’s folder on SharePoint. If the HOD instructs the reward team, they will be able to grant, read or edit access to other individuals within the department who are involved in the Department’s OC process.

All queries should be directed to a member of the Reward Team via


If you have any questions, please contact us.