Principles of pay
Our strategic aim is to sustain Imperial as a world-leading research-intensive university and ensure our mission is fit for the post-COVID era. College academic, teaching, professional, technical and operational staff are the key to our success and to maintaining our leading position.
Our Total Remuneration Package (TRP) for staff is a key component of realising the College’s strategic aim, with the salary we offer forming a crucial part of the package. This page outlines the principles upon which our approach to salary is based and the processes through which we review it regularly.
Equality of pay
We are committed to ensuring equality of pay for all staff and to eliminating any pay gaps. Analysing pay data is a crucial part of the work undertaken by Human Resources and forms a key part of the College’s drive to eliminate pay imbalances and ensure that all staff in like work, (regardless of gender and ethnicity), receive equal pay.
This year, the College undertook and published its fourth Gender Pay Gap exercise in addition to its first Ethnicity Pay Gap. These reviews will continue to be carried out annually. The gender and ethnicity pay gaps have arisen from an under-representation of women and Black and Minority Ethnic staff in senior grades at the College. Although the gaps are closing, progress is slow, and the College is putting action plans in place to identify ways to improve them and close them further. To view the findings and the action the College is taking to eliminate the gender and ethnicity pay gaps, please visit the gender and ethnicity pay review webpages.
Rates of pay
The College aims to pay median to upper quartile rates of pay for staff against appropriate external comparators wherever possible, whilst also ensuring the College stays within what is affordable.
All jobs new to the College, or those with significantly revised job descriptions, are evaluated by trained assessors, including Trade Unions representatives, using the internationally-recognised Hay job evaluation methodology. Jobs with an equivalent elsewhere in the College are job matched.
The points allocated by the evaluators determine the grade for the post. This is based on the requirements for the post, not the experience or qualifications of the current postholder.
Annual pay award
With the exception of staff on clinical payscales, and some on historical College terms and conditions, pay is reviewed annually in negotiation with the College Trade Unions and ultimately agreed upon by the Provost’s Board.
The Pay and Benefits data that informs Provost's Board decision-making on the pay offer is subject to an annual consultation with all staff before the pay bargaining process commences. The College considers an increase to pay, taking into account affordability assessed against the Unions’ pay claim. Recruitment and retention data and other sector pay awards are also considered when arriving at the maximum offer that can be made by the College. The annual pay award is normally paid on 1 August.
The result of the negotiations are published each year and can be accessed on the annual pay review webpage.
Progression through College salary scales is in increments, or steps, applied each year through a spine point increase. Progression to the next spine point happens automatically on 1 October.
Increments are not automatically applied to staff who have reached the top spine point of their grade, staff on fixed salaries, or to staff who are under formal disciplinary or performance reviews. For staff who have reached the top spine point of their grade and staff on fixed salaries, any review of pay would be undertaken through the Annual Pay Relativity exercise on a non-automatic basis.
To see the spine points in your salary scale, please visit the salary scale webpage.
Clinical staff and research nurses
Staff on clinical scales and the Agenda for Change payscale, set by the NHS, may be eligible for clinical excellence awards as agreed on an individual basis. They do not receive pay increments or awards in line with local College negotiations, as they are not on local College payscales.
Pay for these scales are negotiated nationally and changes following nationally agreed uplifts are supplied to the College via the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA).
Supplementary pay allowances
The College recognises that supplementing pay above basic rates may be required in specific cases. These may be:
- as a contractual element of an externally-funded pay arrangement (e.g. NHS-funded staff)
- exceptional situations in which the usual salary range for a role is insufficient to attract applicants – in this case either market pay or supplement will be applied
- to support employees who are adversely affected by tax to the extent that it causes them to withdraw from active pension membership or to limit their pension savings
- to implement regular contractual overtime or shift payments
- to meet a usually temporary increase in responsibilities beyond the remit of the grade.
Allowances are reviewed regularly to ensure they are appropriate and equitable, and that the process is transparent. They may be granted at any time of the year rather than being granted as part of a cyclical process.
The College Remuneration Committee reviewed the Government’s changes on pension taxation in 2016 and agreed the Pay in Lieu of Pension guidance for individuals who were impacted by pension tax allowances.
Reward and recognition
Outside of financial remuneration, the College encourages departments, line managers and principal investigators to give informal recognition of excellent work and positive feedback on success. The College coordinates a number of different staff award schemes in order to recognise and celebrate the achievements and hard work of staff at the College. These awards are for all staff at all levels, across research, teaching and professional services roles, who have shown outstanding commitment and demonstrated a valuable contribution to the College’s mission. The College also organises an annual Long Service Reception and Dinner to recognise and celebrate those staff who have completed over 20 years’ service at the College.
All staff are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure equal pay for equal work, and that their pay is in line with benchmark information and the contribution expected for their role. Staff on local College payscales will receive the College’s annual pay award negotiated with the College’s trade unions. Any further review will be exceptional and based on the pay review criteria, or as a result of automatic incremental progression where applicable.
More information on the pay review process can be viewed on the annual pay review webpage.