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Setting starting salaries across the University

Understand the principles and approach to setting starting salaries across the University.



These guidance notes are applicable to all appointments to jobs graded 2 to 9 on the University’s grading structure, including existing employees who are transferred or promoted to another position within the University.

The principles underpinning this guidance are also contained in the University’s Recruitment Code of Practice.


The guiding principles of setting starting salaries are:

  • to ensure consistency and equity across groups of employees employed in similar jobs

  • to ensure that appointments are made within the incremental points of the advertised grade

  • to ensure that appointments are normally made to the first incremental point of the relevant grade

  • to ensure that appointment to discretionary points is used in exceptional circumstances and only after authorisation by the Director of Human Resources  

  • to ensure starting salaries for staff in grades 2 to 9 are made by Human Resources in line with this guidance

New employees

New employees will normally be appointed to the first incremental point of the advertised grade (the grade minimum). This reflects the fact that individuals may have the basic skills and competences required for the job, but that it will take them time to gain the experience to perform the job at a fully competent level. Any starting salary offered above the grade minimum must be supported by objective justification. This evidence may be called for in defending an equal pay claim. In the event of Human Resources staff considering the offer of a starting salary above the grade minimum, they will contact the Recruiting Manager for relevant evidence from the recruitment process.

Consider the following when deciding on a starting salary

Previous relevant experience

The successful candidate may have previous relevant experience in the role to which they have been appointed. While length of experience may be an indicator of future performance, this should not be the sole factor which justifies a salary offer above the grade minimum.

Current salaries of existing employees with similar responsibilities and duties

Consider the salary profile of existing employees.

Current salary of successful candidate

This should be verified as part of the reference request with the candidate’s current employer.

London weighting or other regional allowance

While these may have been previously paid to candidates, such allowances should not be treated as base salary for the purposes of considering starting salaries.

Externally funded positions

This guidance applies equally to all positions whether internally or externally funded. The level of funding available in a grant will not be viewed as the sole justification for placing an employee at a higher incremental point.

Internal moves or promotions

When an existing employee is appointed to a new position at the same grade as their current position, they will normally be appointed on the same incremental point they are currently on. They will also retain their existing date for incremental progression.

When an existing employee is appointed to a new position at a higher grade than their current position, they will be appointed on either the first incremental point of the new grade, or the incremental point above their existing salary. They will retain the standard incremental progression date of 1 April subject to six months satisfactory performance in the job.

These principles apply to appointments that are made through open recruitment, restructurings, secondments, regrading and promotions.

Academic promotions

For promotions from grade 8 to 9 in the Education and Research Job Family (such as Lecturer to Senior Lecturer), the same guidance applies. The employee will move to the first incremental point of the new grade. Or, if they are already on a discretionary point which has taken them into the bottom of the new grade, to the incremental point above their existing salary. They will retain the standard incremental progression date of 1 April subject to six months satisfactory performance in the job

For translations from Senior Lecturer to Reader, if the employee is mid-grade they will normally receive an increase of one incremental point. If they are paid at the grade maximum or on a discretionary point, the Chair of Academic Staff Committee will normally authorise the payment of a discretionary point.

Senior professional and professorial appointments

Senior professional staff and professorial salaries will be negotiated on the basis of skills, experience, qualifications and the achievements of the successful candidate. This salary will be placed on the appropriate spine point of the Senior Staff pay scale. We offer an annual remuneration process for these roles. More information on these processes can be found on the Professorial remuneration procedure and the Senior staff (ALC6) remuneration procedure.

Professorial promotions

The starting salary will be determined by either the higher of the lowest point in the pay scale or a 10% increase in basic pay pegged to the next highest spine point, outlined in the professorial remuneration procedure.

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