Reward policy for Professorial and Grade 10 staff

Updated on 5 September 2023

This policy sets out the approach to remuneration for grade 10 senior staff, both academic and professional.

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1. Introduction

Strategic reward is based on the design and implementation of reward policies and practices which will support and advance the University’s academic, organisational, cultural and financial objectives as well as its employees’ aspirations. It aims to attract, develop and engage exceptional staff and reward and recognise exceptional performance and/or special contribution. 

‘Total reward’ includes everything the employee perceives to be of value resulting from the employment relationship. These can include financial and non-financial rewards, for example learning and development opportunities and flexible benefits as well as access to a range of University resources and facilities within its working environment. 

It is recognised that grade 10 roles, including those of the Principal, members of the University Executive Group (UEG), Professors and senior professional services staff are complex and diverse and the University must be able to attract and retain high calibre leaders capable of delivering a demanding agenda. Nevertheless, as a charity in receipt of significant public funds and during times of financial challenge, there is a tension between paying salaries which are sufficient to secure, motivate and retain high quality staff in leadership positions and being excessively generous, which is likely to be unsustainable and may be inappropriate. However, to meet future challenges it is vital to support and engage with the development of talent and high performance within the senior group of staff of the University. 

In the simplest terms, pay is part of the contractual obligations between employer and employee for work done and paid for. This does not take account of individuals’ intrinsic needs above and beyond monetary reward (in its various forms) alone. Whilst remuneration plays a key role in motivation, a reward system that combines this extrinsic aspect and the intrinsic needs of the individual for recognition, being treated well, status, flexibility, opportunities for promotion, personal development and fulfilment provides the ideal combination, allowing staff to realise their potential. 

In creating a performance culture at the University, grade 10 individuals whose outputs are excellent will be offered a commensurate reward in order to retain their services to the benefit of the University; those whose performance is satisfactory will be rewarded appropriately and support will be provided to those staff who are performing at a level that is not satisfactory for their grade and the extent of experience. In the last resort, if performance does not reach satisfactory levels, alternatives, including dismissal on the grounds of capability will require to be considered.

Careful monitoring will be necessary to ensure that no discrimination of individuals or groups occurs due to protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 and that positive action can be taken in respect of under-represented groups. 

In accordance with the Remit of the Remuneration Committee, the Remuneration Committee will be responsible for approving base salary increases and related matters for the Principal and UEG members and UEG will be responsible approving the base salary increases and related matters for all other grade 10 staff in line with the budget approved by the Court. 

2. Aim of policy

This policy aims to set out the approach to remuneration for grade 10 senior staff, both academic and professional, which is appropriate, transparent, provides fair reward and recognition for the work they perform, provides value for the University and is fully understood. 

3. Scope

This policy applies to all grade 10 employees of the University, including the Principal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost, Vice-Principals, University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer, Professors, Directors and other senior professional services staff. 

4. The principles of fairness, equity, consistency and transparency

Fairness of treatment amongst staff is central to the University’s core values of Integrity and Valuing People and is an essential requirement when considering reward for individuals. 

The principle of equity will be applied to ensure that no member of grade 10 staff will be disadvantaged due to any protected characteristic: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; sex or sexual orientation. Factoring in considerations that may put particular groups at a disadvantage in the process will ensure there is equality of outcomes. There may be occasion when it is necessary to redress inequities which have occurred in the past. 

The Convener of the Remuneration Committee and the Director of People (or their Deputy) will jointly produce an Equality Impact Assessment analysis of the statistical data relating to the full group of senior staff and those staff on grades immediately below for comparative purposes; those nominated and not; those successful and unsuccessful together with an explanatory narrative, with particular attention being paid to any indication of a gender or other pay gap. In addition, the Director of People will produce an Annual Remuneration Report for Court detailing the outcomes of the decisions taken by both the Remuneration Committee and the UEG, including an anonymised statistical report. 

The approach to be taken (see Annual Reward Procedure for Grade 10 staff) will apply consistently throughout the cohort, irrespective of levels of seniority. 

The procedure is designed to encourage transparency in discussions, feedback and the process itself. 

5. University values in practice

As well as focusing on performance in relation to reward and recognition the Reward Policy will be aligned to the University’s core values of:

  • Valuing People
  • Working Together
  • Integrity
  • Making a Difference
  • Excellence

For staff at grade 10, personal effectiveness in leading and managing people must be fundamental to the manner in which the University and School/Directorate strategies are achieved. 

A prime expectation of senior staff at grade 10 is to be alert to individuals’ abilities, skills, qualities and potential as well as recognising their performance, and to provide them with appropriate opportunities to develop in their areas of strength as well as publicly recognising their contribution, where appropriate. A key objective on which grade 10 staff’s performance will be measured is the extent to which they have developed and recognised their direct reports and promulgated this culture amongst their School or Professional Services staff with a view to succession planning. Grade 10 staff will be expected to demonstrate their actions in this respect. 

Valuing People, however, does not mean that difficult decisions and actions in relation to staff are avoided. Rather, it means that when difficult decisions and actions are necessary, they are put into effect with humanity and respect. Consideration should be given to good management methods and practice. The leadership of the University in this senior group will have a particular responsibility for role-modelling this behaviour both in respect of taking difficult decisions, where necessary, and for the manner in which these decisions are executed. 

No member of grade 10 staff will be considered for a salary increase unless they have engaged fully in the OSaR process: be it personally, conducting OSaR meetings for their direct reports and, where necessary, nominating Reviewers. The Principal, Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost, the University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer, Deans and Directors must have a full understanding of the contributions their grade 10 staff are making in order that they may recognise achievements or intervene where there are performance difficulties. 

6. The University Strategy 2022 to 2027

The University Strategy 2022-2027 supports the core purpose, vision and values of the University. It sets our commitments over the next five years as a triple intensive university pursuing excellence in: 

  • Research with Impact
  • Education and student experience
  • Engagement and Enterprise

and our overarching priorities for: 

  • Academic Excellence
  • Growing our Reach, particularly in widening access, social inclusion and internationalisation
  • Transforming our University to be a truly Digital Community

Remuneration is one way in which the University can contribute to these commitments, ensuring Grade 10 staff are suitably rewarded for their contribution to the University, students and community. 

8. The University’s Reward Policy for Grade 10 Staff

Starting Salary on Appointment to Grade 10

The Remuneration Committee will determine the starting salaries of the Principal and members of the University Executive Group. 

The starting salary in the case of appointment to a Personal Chair or an Established Chair will be determined by the Chair of the Appointing Committee (either the Principal or the Senior Vice-Principal) together with the Dean of School and the People Support team.

Typically, consideration will be given to the appointee’s current salary level; the contribution which has led to promotion in the case of internal appointments, or the knowledge, skills and competencies in the case of external appointments, together with relativities relating to peers. The UCEA benchmarking salary data will be made available by the Director of People (or their Deputy) to those making the starting salary decisions. 

As the cultural expectation will be to recruit only exceptional people at Grade 10, the UCEA salary data should not preclude the option of departing from typical salaries when necessary to attract and recruit exceptional talent and leadership to the University at market rates, provided the reason is justifiable and recorded for audit/governance purposes. 

When setting starting salaries the University’s equal pay profile must be used in addition to market pay data to avoid a gender pay difference or a difference in salary as a result of any protected characteristic(s), which could lead to unlawful discrimination. 

When making internal appointments, starting salary must be compared with salaries offered to relevant recent external appointees to ensure internal appointees are not disadvantaged. 

Increases to Base Salary and Related Decisions

Grade 10 salaries sit outside the nationally-negotiated salary framework in operation for staff at grades 1-9 in the University, only the starting salary for Grade 10 being noted on the salary scale which is the equivalent of the first contribution point at Grade 9. 

However, the University provides the opportunity for grade 10 base salaries to be considered annually and awards are made, where appropriate, dependent on performance. 

Within the annual approval of the budget, the Court considers its overall approach to senior staff remuneration, including the budget available and gives guidance on its expectations to the Remuneration Committee. It should be noted that the University’s financial position in any year will influence the distribution of base salary increase awards. 

The responsibility for increases to performance-related base salary and related decisions will be as follows:

  • The Remuneration Committee will make decisions relating to the Principal and members of UEG. (Authority delegated by Court). 
  • UEG will make decisions relating to individual Deans and Directors. (Authority delegated by Court). 
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Provost, in conjunction with the Deans, will collectively make recommendations on the professorial staff and submit their recommendations for approval to the full UEG. (UEG has authority delegated by Court for the remuneration of Grade 10 staff). 
  • The University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer, in conjunction with the Professional Services members of UEG, will collectively make recommendations on the Professional Services grade 10 staff and submit their recommendations for approval to the full UEG. (UEG has authority delegated by Court for the remuneration of Grade 10 staff). 

Performance ratings

The following performance ratings apply to all grade 10 staff for the previous assessment period and should be used in conjunction with the Indicators of Excellence and the relevant criteria for Academic Promotion for professorial staff in assessing merit for an annual base salary increase. 

E - Exceptional

Performance far exceeded expectations due to the exceptionally high quality of work performed in all areas of responsibility, resulting in overall work being superior. Made an exceptional or unique contribution to the School or University objectives and Strategy or has received a marker of esteem. This assessment is given infrequently. 

EE - Exceeds expectations

Performance consistently exceeded expectations in all areas of responsibility and the quality of work overall was excellent. OSaR objectives were met. 

ME - Meets expectations

Performance consistently met expectations in all areas of responsibility, at times performance may have exceeded expectations and the quality of work overall was very good. The most critical OSaR objectives were met. 

IR - Improvement required

Performance did not consistently meet expectations. Performance did not meet expectations in one or more areas of responsibility and/or one or more of the most critical OSaR objectives were not met.  A development plan under the University's Capability Procedure must commence or the procedure continue, detailing timescales and be reviewed frequently to measure progress.  

Base salary increase awards

Various factors are taken into account in deciding the base salary increase awards. The awards are not necessarily in direct relationship to the Performance Rating, for example, factors such as salary award history, salary in relation to benchmarking data and the financial situation of the University are considered. 

Objectives, achievements and markers of esteem

It is appreciated that, on occasion, an opportunity may arise which it is agreed takes priority over the previously set objectives or a marker of esteem is awarded (e.g. FRS, recognition in the Honours list) and the process allows for these aspects to be taken into account in the performance and reward decisions. 


The process for the consideration for awarding base salary increases and related decisions is outlined in the procedural document which accompanies this policy. 


An honorarium of £10k will be paid to Deans and Assistant Vice-Principal roles. The Remuneration Committee will review honoraria periodically. 

9. Core employee benefits for grade 10 staff

These employee benefits represent the core of employee benefits without which the University would find it difficult to compete for and retain the highest quality grade 10 staff. 


The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is a defined benefit career revalued scheme providing pension, lump sum and death in service benefits. Staff on grade 7 to grade 10 are contractually enrolled into USS from their start date. For more information please view the USS booklet – New employees guide to USS – found at: https://www.uss.co.uk/members/members-home/resources 

There are other useful factsheets/booklets on this link, covering things such as: annual allowance, lifetime allowance, the new 'voluntary salary cap', etc. 

Withdrawal from the USS Pension Scheme

Some of the University’s highest earners may choose to withdraw from the USS Pension Scheme for personal taxation reasons, which means they do not obtain the benefit of the employer’s contribution. In such circumstances, no compensatory payment will be made in respect of the employers’ contribution. 

Members are encouraged to seek qualified independent financial advice on the impact of personal taxation. The issues are complex, and the implications may extend beyond the rights which a member holds in USS. For example, it may impact upon other pension entitlements and accruals, hence qualified independent financial advice may be appropriate. 

Occupational Sick Pay

All University staff have a progressive Occupational Sick Pay Scheme, which culminates in entitlement to 6 months’ full salary and 6 months’ half salary after 5 years’ service. 

10. Other Benefits

Grade 10 members of staff also have access to the following benefits, where applicable:

  • Subsidised membership of the Institute of Sport & Exercise: employee wellbeing is a high priority issue at present for employers.
  • Subsidised nursery facilities on the city campus.
  • Services which would ordinarily incur professional fees should they be used:
    • Occupational Health
    • University Health Service
    • Counselling Services
    • Mediation Services.
  • A salary sacrifice scheme offering benefits in relation to pension payments and childcare vouchers.
  • Relocation Allowance: one month’s gross pay.
  • Generous annual leave entitlement: 39 days per annum compared with the statutory 28 days.
  • Encouragement to take advantage of free Training & Development opportunities on the OPD programme.
  • Flexibility of work hours for academic and senior professional staff.
  • Work/Life Balance Policies.