Our Total Remuneration Package is designed to attract and retain the people we need to maintain our position as a world-leading institution. Ensuring your salary is regularly reviewed to accurately reflect your responsibilities and achievement is a key part of this.
The annual Equity and Achievement Pay Review processes allow managers to address equal pay and internal benchmarking disparities in their area and to reward staff for exceptional contribution and achievement.
Equity pay review
The process is designed to objectively review each member of staff’s salary in line with relevant internal benchmark information. This is in order to ensure parity between colleagues undertaking similar roles across the College.
The Equity Pay Review criteria are:
- To address a significant misalignment of a member of staff’s salary when compared to others within the organisation who have a similar role size and profile
- To address equal pay differentials
Achievement pay review
The Achievement Pay Review is designed to objectively review staff across all College job families who have made an exceptional contribution that must be in addition to the usual expectations and contributions of the role, in line with the College Values and the remit of the grade, and meet the criteria listed below.
The Achievement Pay Review criteria are:
- To recognise substantial and sustained exceptional ongoing individual achievement beyond the usual expectations of the role
- To recognise substantial and exceptional one-off individual and or collaborative or team achievement beyond the usual expectations of the role.
Recommendations for achievement pay reviews should consider how individuals or teams have contributed towards and exceeded the College mission in at least one of the following categories:
- Research and Innovation
- Education, Teaching and Student Experience
- Service and Contribution to the College
The full breakdown of the sub criteria is available in the Pay Review Framework booklet below.
The Pay Review processes commence annually each year in May and awards approved are implemented in the October payroll.
Members of staff may request a meeting with their manager to discuss their salary and to explore how their salary relates to relevant internal benchmarks. However, members of staff are not permitted to request insight into other members of staff’s salaries. HR Strategic Partners can provide support to managers with requests from staff on discussions on their salary.
Recommendations are subject to a review by a Faculty/Support Services decision-making board and all recommendations are subject to an Equality Impact Assessment and verification that consistent processes have been applied.
For substantial and sustained ongoing exceptional contribution, individuals will be awarded a consolidated increase in pay. For one-off exceptional performance, employees will receive a one-off payment (non-consolidated and non-pensionable payment). Payments will be pro-rated accordingly for part-time staff.
Pay Review: 2023 timeline
Initial launch, commence communications to managers with time to consider internal benchmarking, guidance and recommendations
Process opens: Review of all staff and recommendations to be made by Heads of Departments, supported by HR Partners, from this date.
23 and 30 June
Deadlines for submission (Qualtrics form deadline is 23 June and spreadsheet submission deadline is 30 June).
3 to 14 July
Deputy HR Director Strategic Partnering & Reward reviews and discusses submissions and supporting statements with Strategic HR Partners
Collated submissions by Reward team and sent to HR Strategic Partners to disseminate to local decision-making boards for review including dashboard with EIA outputs.
By 30 July
Local decision-making boards return final submissions.
After 30 July
Recommending managers informed about unsuccessful awards.
Final recommendations, College EIA and final costings prepared.
Pay review letters distributed
By 3 October
Implementation in time for October payment run.
Frequently asked questions
About the Pay Review process
What is the Pay Review?
The annual Equity and Achievement Pay Review processes allows managers to address equal pay and internal benchmarking disparities in their area and to reward staff for exceptional contribution and achievement. The process is applicable to all staff on College terms and conditions, with the exception of individuals with a live Employee Relations sanction.
What is the Equity Pay Review process?
The Equity Pay Review process is one aspect of the Pay Review process. The Equity Pay Review process is to ensure that pay is consistent, fair, and balanced across roles so that staff receive equal pay for work of equal value. Ensuring this is a legal requirement; however, this is different from the gender pay gap, which measures the differences between the average pay of male and female staff regardless of their role or seniority.
What are the criteria for Equity Pay Review awards?
- To address a significant misalignment of a member of staff’s salary when compared to others within the organisation who have similar role size and profile
- To address equal pay differentials
More information about differences in pay for similar roles can be found in the managers’ guidance.
What is the Achievement Pay Review process?
This aspect of the Pay Review process is designed to objectively review and identify staff across all College job families who have demonstrated exceptional achievement.
What are the criteria for Achievement Pay Review awards?
- To recognise substantial and sustained exceptional ongoing individual achievement beyond the expectations of excellent performance in the role
- To recognise substantial and exceptional one-off individual achievement beyond the usual expectations of the role
Exceptional contribution demonstrated by staff must be beyond the usual expectations and contributions of their role as outlined in their job description.
Can an employee approach their line manager to be considered under the Pay Review process?
Employees are able to request meetings with their line manager to discuss their pay, but the outcome of any pay review decisions should not be communicated unless the recommendation has been successful.
Is there a link between the ARC process (previously PRDP) and the pay review process?
There is no formal link between the two, however, the outcomes of the Annual Review Conversations (ARCs) will be one source of information to consider as part of the Pay review Process.
Is the onus on the individual or the manager with this process?
The process is openly advertised with the details publicly displayed online, and employees are entitled to speak with their manager about it if they would like to. However, the onus of the process is with the manager as they will look at data on the dashboard, and they will review all individual salaries, not just for those who have come to them for initial conversations. This is to ensure that everyone is fairly reviewed.
Viewing employee data
How can I view an employee’s individual pay data?
You can view this on the ‘Pay Review Table’ and ‘Pay Review Table for Extract’ pages on the Power BI dashboard. The ‘Progression status’ column demonstrates where an employee currently sits within their grade.
Further information on how to approach awards can be found in the Managers’ guidance.
Who has access to the Power BI dashboard data?
Department level managers/Heads of Departments (HoDs) will have access to the data. Managers below this level wishing to recommend a member of their team must make a request to their HoD or senior manager.
How can I review other roles (outside my team/area) which are comparable to the roles my staff are undertaking?
You will only be able to view comparable roles within your team/area. You will not be able to see the roles/salary information of colleagues outside of your team. The Strategic HR Partner and the HoD/Director/senior manager for your area will have a wider oversight of the data outside of your team if you have concerns or queries on comparators. The Strategic Partnering and Reward team within HR will also review all of the data/comparable roles from a wider College perspective.
Would the Pay Review be applicable to teams who have individuals that are paid less than some of their colleagues (i.e. due to historic pay awards)
If it transpires that some individuals’ salaries are out of sync with their colleagues, other factors need to be considered with regards to the natural progression through the grade. The following elements should be considered: if the colleagues being compared are working at the same level and delivering the same output in their roles, check if they came in on the same starting salary, review if there were any differences in the market when they commenced employment at the College. The dashboards will also provide information for every employee’s previous Pay Review awards if they have had these in the past. In this scenario, it would be advisable to look at their history since being employed with the College and have discussions with the Strategic HR Partner for your area.
If there are no comparable roles within the division, can the role be compared with other divisions, and if so, how could this evidence be obtained?
In this scenario, you will be advised to speak with your Strategic HR Partner. They will have access to the data and will look at comparable roles across the organisation when conducting the analysis. The senior managers with access to the Pay Review dashboard can also view the Faculty and College benchmarks.
Are managers expected to do analysis on external benchmarks as part of this (e.g. from other Russell Group organisations)? If yes, is there a dashboard or do we do our own research?
This process is very much focused on internal benchmarking.
Types of awards
What types of awards are available?
For substantial and sustained ongoing exceptional contribution and achievement, individuals can be awarded a consolidated increase in pay.
For one-off exceptional achievement, employees will receive a one-off payment (non-consolidated and non-pensionable payment).
Staff who have reached the maximum spine point for their grade and/or discretionary range can be awarded a one-off payment only.
Both consolidated increases to pay and one-off payments will be pro-rated accordingly for part-time staff.
Employees on fixed salaries can be awarded either a consolidated pay award or a one-off payment.
Further detail is provided in the Managers’ Guidance.
When submitting pay recommendations for staff, do the awards strictly need to be within the staff member’s grade or is there the option for them to proceed to another grade/the next grade?
The awards must be within grades. You can look at the internal benchmarking data on the Power BI dashboards to see where staff sit within the range of their grade. If the staff member is already at the top of their grade and would be better placed in a higher grade, this would need to be considered under the Promotions process or the Establishment Review process. You can speak to the Strategic HR team for your area for further guidance on this.
What is the process for those at the top of their automatic increments who request an increment into the 'discretionary' increment range?
If there are contribution points available within the employee’s grade, they can be awarded an additional increment to take them into the contribution range for the grade. They must meet the criteria in the Achievement Pay Review Framework in addition to being in line with the College’s Values. If it isn’t available, they can be considered for a one-off payment.
What is the guidance on the amounts to be used for ‘one-off’ payments?
This information is available but has not been communicated widely to the rest of the College. You can contact your Head of Department and/or your Strategic HR Partner to obtain this information if required.
Awards for teams or staff who have moved departments
How would team contribution and achievement awards be agreed if the individuals sit under different departments?
It is essential that you discuss and agree on recommendations with the other line managers/HoDs of these individuals, in addition to agreeing how the awards will be funded (which budget/cost centre this will be paid from). There also needs to be consideration for which individuals within that team have performed exceptionally above the normal requirements of their role.
What if I am unsure of the contributions and achievements of certain individuals (particularly if they have moved teams throughout the year)?
You should seek feedback from previous line managers/HoDs who have worked with the employee to ensure everyone is considered fairly.
How to submit recommendations
How can HoDs submit recommendations for pay awards?
There are two options to submit recommendations. Your Faculty/Support Service area will determine and advise which option is to be used. The first option is to submit recommendations via an online Qualtrics form, whereby a form submission will be required for each individual recommendation. The second option is to submit recommendations via a spreadsheet form.
With either option, HoDs will be expected to submit a supporting statement which details evidence of how the employee has demonstrated exceptional contribution and achievement.
What is the supporting statement and how long should it be?
The supporting statement is an important part of the recommendation process. Statements must provide clear and specific examples of either how the employee is working beyond the usual expectations of their role or set out the disparity in the employee’s salary. Statements will be scrutinised, and the recommendation could be rejected if the statement does not provide sufficient detail. There is a maximum word limit of 300 words. Strategic Support are able to share a separate guidance note on how to write supporting statements for managers.
How should I approach making recommendations for awards?
- Using data available in the Power BI dashboard, managers should review the internal benchmarking for their area, along with the gender and ethnicity analysis. Together these resources will enable managers to see where the current pay equity issues exist (by both gender and ethnicity) and will help to determine where pay awards should be focussed to alleviate issues here
- Review the criteria set out in the Pay Review Framework and the Managers’ Guidance which can help you to identify individuals who have demonstrated exceptional contribution and achievement beyond the requirements of their role.
- The outcomes from the PRDP process that have been undertaken with staff can also be used to inform your decisions on potential recommendations (and can also provide a basis for the evidence required in the submissions). These as well as other conversations and feedback sessions with employees can be considered as part of the overall review of an employee’s achievement.
- Pay benchmarking is a comparison between the employee's salary and the midpoint (median) and/or upper quartile of their grade. This can help with decision-making because you may decide to award a higher pay increase to someone who is sitting in the lower end of the pay scale and restrict increases for those who are nearer the top. You can also use this information to evaluate where employees are against the internal market.
- The Managers’ Guidance will also provide additional clarity.
Managers will be expected to submit a supporting statement as part of the recommendation process, with specific and detailed evidence demonstrating how the employee’s salary differs from others and what remedied action is required. For achievement awards, mangers will need to include evidence of the employee’s exceptional contribution and achievements when making decisions and submitting recommendations (whilst always applying equal treatment and fairness).
I have someone in my area who is the only one in the College with a particular role. Other organisations are offering them higher salaries. How can we match pay to alleviate the risk of losing staff to other organisations?
Please contact your Strategic HR Partner for your area for further guidance.
Is there a limit on the number of recommendations that Faculties/Departments can submit?
No, if an exceptional employee meets the criteria of the Pay Review Framework then they should be considered for a pay award. All recommendations will be reviewed by Local Decision-Making Boards who will also be reviewing the overall costs of pay awards.
Timeline and approval of recommendations
What is the timeline for the Pay Review?
The pay review processes commence annually each May and approved awards are implemented in the October payroll. From the start of the process, Heads of Departments (HoDs) have a 6-week window to put forward recommendations for pay awards for individual employees as well as team awards within their area. Individual staff may also approach their line manager to have a discussion around their pay which may also prompt a recommendation from the line manager to the relevant HoD.
How will the recommendations be reviewed and approved?
The recommendations will be reviewed by local decision-making boards (at the Faculty/Support Service area level). The Board members will ensure that the submitted recommendations meet the criteria, with the appropriate evidence submitted. Outcomes of Equality Impact Assessments will also inform decisions around individual pay awards. The Board membership is likely to include Dean(s), Vice-Dean(s), Faculty Operating Officers, Support Services Directors and Deputy Directors, and Strategic HR Partners.
When should I inform individuals that they have been offered an award?
You must not inform individuals that they have been recommended for an award until the pay awards have been formally agreed.