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Contribution pay scheme

Details the eligibility criteria and how to nominate a colleague or yourself for a Recognising Excellence (RE) or Outstanding Contribution (OC) Award.

Recognising Excellence Award

The Recognising Excellence (RE) scheme deals with one-off payments only and is managed at Department/Faculty/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 scheme will review the period 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.


  • Grades 2-9, senior staff (ALC6) and Professors
  • 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
  • contributed to process improvement
  • enhanced the student experience
  • provided excellent customer service
  • demonstrated the university's values in their work and behaviours
  • consistently demonstrated hard work, please consider the effort contributed towards a piece of work or project as well as completed pieces of work
  • delivered or achieved an excellent piece of work or project

How to nominate yourself, a colleague or a member of your team

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

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

Please ensure you have submitted your nomination in a timely manner, please visit the timescales webpage for deadlines of the scheme.

Locally the Departments facilitate decision-making with regards to who will be awarded with an RE award but your nomination/s will support this process. It is at the discretion of the HOD to approve and award the amount they believe is most suited to the nomination.

Team Awards

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

Team awards are paid in line with the award amounts detailed below, per person. Award amounts cannot be split across a team, and therefore please consider each persons role when nominating a Team.

Head of Department

A list of eligible employees will be shared with HOD's within the Department’s own folder on the SharePoint site.

Review all nominations provided to you and save, with the award amounts, to your SharePoint folder.

The amount will not be pro-rated. 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.

Chose one of the five options in column entitled “Award Amount” to be processed through payroll. Please leave blank if no award is to be given. Once you have decided on your final recipients and award amounts, please email the Reward Team via and state your data is final and complete. 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.

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

Only the Head of Department has access to the Department’s folder on SharePoint. If the Head of Department 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 process.

Locally, Departments should facilitate decision-making with regards to who will be awarded with Recognising Excellence.

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.

Outstanding Contribution Award

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.

The OC scheme period is 1 August 2021 - 31 July 2022.


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.