Foreword from Professor Ian Walmsley FRS (Provost)

Our staff are the cornerstone of Imperial, and central to its success. It is their dedication, expertise and passion that drives us forward in our mission and enables us to achieve enduring excellence in research and education across science, engineering, medicine and business for the benefit of society.

We must always remain in a position that ensures the most talented people want to work here and are able to deliver their best work. It is essential that we attract, recruit and retain the most capable individuals who can make a difference to what we can achieve together. We must offer current and future staff an intellectually vibrant and diverse community in which they can work, study and flourish; where they are recognised and rewarded for their achievements and contributions.

Therefore, I am delighted to introduce Imperial’s approach to attraction and retention.

This encompasses all elements of the employee life cycle and supports our current Total Remuneration Package (TRP) to ensure we are positioned as competitively as possible within the UK Higher Education sector (particularly the Russell Group institutions), across our London peers and in an international context.

While the TRP begins with pay, it does not end there. It also includes three workplace pension schemes, a generous leave package, learning and development opportunities and more. The employee experience, from early career to retirement, is a priority.

We will continue to develop the people and skills the world needs now and in the future, in line with our mission. We target attraction and retention with the greater objective of cementing our university’s global standing through investing in our greatest asset – the people who form our community.

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Our strategic aim is to ensure that Imperial’s mission is delivered to achieve enduring
excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine, and business for the benefit of society.

Imperial recognises numerous factors that impact an individual’s decision to work at the university. As a community, we worked together to develop an Imperial Values and Behaviours that which shows the positive and enabling to which we aspire. Through our day-to-day actions we strive to create a kind environment where all individuals feel a sense of belonging and are supported to thrive.

In this environment, individuals have opportunities for career development through developmental discussions with their managers, access to coaching and mentoring and the range of career development opportunities available to all staff. All of this can support progression both within and beyond Imperial.

We are building and maintaining a supportive, inclusive and highly motivated staff community where employees feel listened to and responded to. We undertake regular employee engagement surveys, have networks to understand and remove any barriers that individuals may experience, have access to learning and development opportunities and flexible working policies to support a healthy work/life balance. We have also formed a working group focused on initiatives to reduce workload concerns and are reviewing how to improve our support services, which will include the implementation of a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) initiative. Our Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy also enables us to be proactive and take both a preventative and a supportive approach to mental health in the workplace.

We take at a holistic approach towards recruitment and retention for all stages of the employee lifecycle, to ensure that we are creating an appealing environment that will provide Imperial with the leverage to attract, engage, secure and deploy the best people into our organisation.

To support this approach and Imperial’s mission, we need a Total Remuneration Package (TRP) that enables us to attract and retain the top talent that we are seeking. The ongoing objectives of the TRP are to ensure that we offer competitive remuneration and strive for appropriate recognition and reward for achievement and contribution.

When considering attraction and retention issues, Imperial’s leaders are expected to consider equal pay and internal equity across their area of responsibility (the HR Reward Team will review the impact across the university) and Imperial’s Values of Excellence, Integrity and Innovation.

Benchmarking (and other applicable reviews) of Imperial’s TRP will continuously be carried out to position our package as competitively as possible within the Higher Education sector (particularly the Russell Group institutions), across our London peers and in an international context.

Total Remuneration Package (TRP)

The critical components consolidating our TRP include:

Total Remuneration Package (TRP)

  • Imperial aims to pay our staff median to upper quartile salaries, informed by benchmarking against appropriate external comparators within London, nationally and internationally, wherever possible.
  • All jobs which are newly introduced to Imperial, or those with significantly revised job descriptions, are evaluated by trained job evaluation assessors, including Trade Union representatives, using the internationally recognised Korn Ferry Hay job evaluation methodology to ensure Equal Pay for Equal Value.
  • Market Supplements may be considered on an interim basis if there are known concerns around attraction and retention.
  • Base pay is reviewed annually, and uplifts to pay are negotiated with Imperial’s Trade Unions and agreed by the University Management Board.
  • Approximately half of the workforce who are paid through Imperial’s salary scales progress to the next incremental spine point within the grade they are currently paid against. They receive this additional incremental annually on 1 October, until they reach the top of their pay grade.

We provide a wide-ranging benefits package that includes resources, tools and networks to promote a positive working environment. This includes a variety of loans to help with transport, education and renting a home.

Imperial is a Top 10 Employer for Working Families, which was awarded as a result of the university endorsing a healthy work/life balance, providing extensive family leave options and support tools to demonstrate this commitment. Further information on the wide range of support in place for employees with families and other caring responsibilities can be found within the HR Benefits webpages.

At Imperial we believe that each of us as individuals is responsible for driving our own development, identifying what we need and engaging in activities to meet those needs. We also expect managers to take staff development seriously and provide on going support growth, motivation and a sense of belonging.

There is a wide ranging and high quality learning and development offer.

Imperial’s People and Organisational Development (POD) team provides a comprehensive range of training, learning, and development support for staff at all stages of their careers, including in-house courses and coaching, mentoring, and talent development programmes. Dedicated development programmes aimed at supporting underrepresented staff who often face particular barriers include the Calibre Leadership Programme (for staff who identify as neurodiverse or disabled, or who have a long-term physical or mental health condition), the IMPACT Development Programme (for staff who identify as being from a minority ethnic group), and the Springboard Women’s Development Programme as just some examples. We also provide a range of staff networks and training resources to enable staff to develop their professional skills.

Imperial is proud to be sector leading in support for researchers. The Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre provides a tailored programme of support to postdocs, fellows and clinicians at Imperial through a variety of development opportunities. One example of this is the university’s provision of 10 development days per year (also available for Teaching Fellow staff).

Imperial staff are encouraged to use their Annual Review Conversation (ARC) to discuss their work to date with their line managers. The focus of the discussion is centred around what future learning, support and development needs they may have in order to continue to thrive in their role within the university and progress in their career. Alongside this, we have published an online Careers Move toolkit to provide employees with the tools, support and career guidance to enable them to think about their options for development and the next steps in their career.

The Equity Pay Review process is designed to objectively review each member of staff’s salary in line with relevant internal benchmark information. This is to ensure parity between colleagues carrying out similar roles across Imperial.

The discretionary Achievement Pay Review process is designed to review staff across all of Imperial’s job families who have made an exceptional contribution, in addition to the usual expectations and contributions of the role, in line with the Values and the remit of the grade.

Both processes undergo Equality Impact Assessments against Gender and Ethnicity.

All members of the University Management Board (UMB) are subject to the same pay review exercise. UMB members have their salaries and emoluments critically reviewed and approved by Imperial’s Remuneration Committee following the process above.

Imperial offers three generous workplace pension schemes (USS, SAUL and NHS), with
eligibility for each scheme dependent on each employee’s job role. For SAUL and USS
members, pensions can be contributed to via PensionSMART, allowing employees to benefit from tax relief on their pension contributions. There is a dedicated HR webpage detailing further information on each of Imperial’s pension schemes.

A healthy and sustainable work/life balance is essential and a continuous priority and commitment for Imperial. To support this, the university offers a holistic leave package, which includes 25 days holiday leave per year, additional closure days and other entitlements under the special and family leave policies. Employees also have the opportunity to purchase up to 10 additional days each leave year as well as carry over up to 5 days from a previous leave year.