SOAS University of London

Reward & Recognition Procedure

Contents

1. Introduction
    1.2. Contribution and accelerated increments
    1.3. One-off or non-consolidated payments
2. Eligibility
3. Equal Opportunities
4. Principles
5. Procedure for Support staff and IFCELS Teaching staff
6. Procedure for academic staff (teaching & research)
7. Criteria
8. Types of reward
    8.1. Contribution Increments
    8.2. Accelerated Increments
    8.3. One-off or non-consolidated payments
9. Application Process
10. Outcome
11. Appeals
12. Salary Scales
13. Fast Track Application
14. Confidentiality

  1.  Introduction
    1. This procedure describes the process for awarding contribution increments, accelerated increments, and one-off or non-consolidated payments (honoraria) to staff who have made an exceptional contribution to the work of the School.

    2. Contribution and accelerated increments

      The award of contribution and accelerated increments is used to recognise an individual’s application of accelerated knowledge, skills and/or behaviours which increase their contribution towards School, Faculty and Departmental objectives.  This should be over and above the normal expectations of the role, and for a sustained period (normally more than one year) or where the requirement is clearly on-going.

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    3. One-off or non-consolidated payments

      One-off or non-consolidated payments should be used to recognise an individual’s contribution towards School, Faculty and Departmental objectives, significantly over and above the normal expectation for the role, but where this is not necessarily an ongoing requirement.

    4. Other mechanisms such as the market supplement policy and re-grading/promotion procedures are available to cover market pay issues or permanent changes to roles.
    5. The procedure sets out the process for rewarding individual contribution while ensuring transparency, fairness and equality for all staff.

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  2. Eligibility
    1. The scheme applies to Professional Services Support staff and International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies (IFCELS) Teaching staff up to and including grade 9.
    2. Applicants would normally be expected to have 12 months’ service at SOAS by the date they submit their application
    3. To be eligible for the award of an accelerated scale increment a member of staff must be below the maximum of their salary scale. An accelerated award will not exceed the top point of the grade.
    4. Contribution increments are the shaded points at the top of each grade on the salary scale. To be eligible to be considered for a contribution increment, a member of staff should currently be paid at the normal maximum or penultimate of their salary scale.

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  3. Equal Opportunities
    1. The procedures outlined here should be carried out with due regard to any diversity issues which may have affected either the original situation or the current process.  The School’s Equality and Diversity team, and the Equality and Diversity Officer within Human Resources, are available to support colleagues in this area.
       
    2. Where a diversity issue (e.g. a disability including chronic physical or mental health conditions) has been disclosed to the School, whether prior to the situation that triggered this process, or during the process, the line manager is responsible for checking with the employee to determine their needs and making the appropriate arrangements.  Employees who have not previously disclosed a diversity issue which may be relevant to this process are encouraged to do so as early as possible so that it can be taken into account.

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  4. Principles
    1. The procedure is based upon the following principles:
      1. All staff should be rewarded fairly according to their sustained contribution, including the application of new skills and expertise developed over time in the job.
      2. A summary of appraisal could be used in support of an application for reward.
      3. Assessment of objectives/performance standards achieved should be clearly related to departmental/ section objectives, recognise achievements and reward competencies and activities likely to contribute to the future success of the School.
      4. Objectives/performance standards must be applied fairly and consistently.
      5. Judgements should be demonstrably based on objective evidence and, where appropriate, recognise initiative, leadership and/or contribution to teamwork.
      6. Arrangements for access to contribution points should be fully communicated to staff in a way that makes clear how the policy operates and the part that they and their managers play in its application.  

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  5. Procedure for Support staff and IFCELS Teaching staff 
    1. For support staff, all recommendations for contribution increments, accelerated increments, or one-off or non-consolidated payments will be considered by the Reward Sub-Committee (which is a Sub-committee of Human Resources Committee).
    2. Membership of the Reward Sub-Committee is as follows:
      • Registrar and Secretary (Convener)
      • Pro-Director or Vice Principal
      • 1 (or up to 2) x Head of Administration
      • Director/Deputy Director of Human Resources
      • Clerk (representative from Human Resources)
    3. The Reward Sub-Committee will monitor and review the operation of the Reward and Recognition procedure on an annual basis. Any changes to the procedure or its operation will be subject to consultation with the appropriate trade unions.
    4. The Reward Sub-Committee will consider each application for an award based on the agreed criteria. A decision will be reached on the basis of the evidence submitted.  The Sub-Committee will assume that the nominating department has considered the financial impact of any award on its budget prior to submitting any application(s). The Sub-Committee will not take into account any financial impact when making its decision.
    5. Human Resources will communicate the outcome of a reward application to each applicant and to the relevant head of department, on behalf of the Sub-Committee.
    6. The Sub-Committee will report annually to the HR Committee. Data on ethnic origin, disability and gender will be passed to Equality Committee to be reviewed at its next scheduled meeting. 

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  6. Procedure for academic staff (teaching & research)
    1. For academic staff (teaching & research), the Faculty Promotion Committee (FPC) takes on the role of the Reward Sub-committee.  As well as making recommendations to the School Promotion Committee in respect of Academic promotions, the FPCs also consider the award of accelerated scale increments and contribution points.
    2. It is proposed that cases from Language Teachers in the Language Centre will go to the FPC for Languages & Cultures.
    3. It is important that the criteria used by the FPCs in determining awards are consistent and therefore they will be subject to common guidelines provided from time to time by Human Resources.  Responsibility for ensuring compliance with the criteria (examples of relevant criteria are listed below) will rest with the dean/chair of FPC.

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  7. Criteria
    1. Examples of Relevant Criteria
      1. Teaching and learning excellence;
      2. Academic leadership;
      3. Entrepreneurial and enterprise related activities;
      4. Research excellence;
      5. People management;
      6. Budget management;
      7. Service delivery/customer care;
      8. Achievement of objectives/performance standards;
      9. Continuous professional development;
      10. Promoting widening participation;
      11. Representation on external bodies;
      12. Technical skills;
      13. Team and project leadership/participation;
      14. Educational management and administration planning;
      15. Any other relevant objectives/performance standards agreed between the post holder and relevant head of department.

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    2. The decision to grant a reward will be based on the performance of the member of staff, and not on the requirements of the role itself. In order to assist the Reward Sub-Committee/ FPC in the interpretation of the relevant criteria, the supporting statements from the head of department/section should reflect their own clearly identified strategic objectives, and indicate how the performance of the relevant member of staff contributed to achieving these.

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  8. Types of reward
    1. Contribution Increments 

      1. Contribution increments are the shaded points at the top of each grade on the salary scale. These may be awarded where a staff member:
        • Is consistently demonstrating exceptional performance i.e. over and above the normal expectation for someone who is fully developed in that role, but where duties have not sufficiently changed to justify a re-grading;
        • Is consistently providing sustained, outstanding services to the Department or Section, or to the School at large e.g. exceptional performance in a key area of the role.
      2. To be eligible for a contribution increment, a member of staff’s salary point should be at the normal maximum or penultimate point of their salary scale.
      3. One, two (or exceptionally, three) contribution increments may be awarded, where a case can be made for this based on the criteria agreed, and subject to the individual’s current point on the salary scale. The normal expectation is for a single increment to be awarded.
      4. Contribution increments will normally be effective from 1 August each year.

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    2. Accelerated Increments

      1. Accelerated increments may be awarded where a staff member:
        • Is developing and progressing within their role at a faster rate than would normally have been expected and is making a greater contribution to the department or section;
        • Has taken on significant additional work on an ongoing basis, but where the level of that responsibility falls within their current grade;
        • Is demonstrating sustained behaviours/approaches, which allow their role to be achieved more effectively on an ongoing basis e.g. quality achieved, customer services provided, application of the skills gained following the achievement of a relevant qualification.
      2. To be eligible for the award of an accelerated scale increment a member of staff must be below the maximum of their salary scale. An accelerated award will not exceed the top point of the grade. Accelerated scale increments are normally effective from 1 August each year.
      3. More than one accelerated scale increment may be awarded in exceptional cases.

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    3. One-off or non-consolidated payments

      1. These may be awarded where a staff member:
        • Demonstrates a particular flexible approach, or behaviour/s, that contribute directly to the achievement of departmental or section objectives;
        • Contributes ideas that lead to greater efficiency, improved quality, cost savings etc., and which contribute to the achievement of departmental or section objectives;
        • Achieves particularly challenging goals or objectives e.g. overcomes significant obstacles to ensure deadlines are met;
        • Demonstrates behaviours/approaches that allow the role to be achieved more effectively e.g. quality, customer services provided, but where these have not yet been demonstrated on an ongoing basis.
      2. One-off or non-consolidated payments are normally paid with the August salary at a rate agreed annually by the committee. Awards may be made on a pro-rata basis for part-time staff as deemed appropriate.
      3. It is important that the Reward Sub-Committee/ FPC can justify variations in any one-off or non-consolidated payments reflecting in a transparent way the achievements of the recipient. This will also be monitored by the Equality Committee. Any perceived disparity of treatment can lead to potential challenges on the basis of the equality legislation.
      4. The Reward Sub-Committee will take account of all awards given to individual applicants over the preceding three years when making its decisions.
        1. The Reward Sub-Committee/ FPC will consider whether one-off or non-consolidated payments have previously been made to members of staff for the same or very similar reason in the previous two years. In these cases, an award of a contribution increment or an accelerated scale increment to reflect this trend may be more appropriate as a way of rewarding sustained excellent performance.
        2. Where a contribution increment or an accelerated increment is awarded there should be clear demonstration that the individual has increased their contribution to the department or section and to School objectives on an ongoing basis.  With this in mind, it is unlikely that the Sub-Committee would consider a further accelerated scale increment or contribution increment for two years running, even if performance levels are maintained. The Sub-Committee may choose to award a non-consolidated payment in year two if the level of performance is maintained, and a further increment (accelerated scale or contribution as appropriate) might be awarded in year three, again if the level of performance is maintained. 
      5. It may be appropriate to award a one-off or a non-consolidated payment to a team or group where there is evidence that all members of the team/group have worked together to achieve a significant objective.

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  9. Application Process
    1. To maximise opportunity for staff recognition, there are two routes for application:
      • Self-nomination
      • Nomination by line manager
    2. Members of staff and/or heads of department/line managers wishing to apply/recommend the award of a contribution increment, an accelerated increment or a one-off payment should complete the application form accessible at the end of this policy. Completed forms should be passed to the director/dean/head of directorate for approval before being submitted to Human Resources.
    3. All applications require a statement from the head of department/line manager in order for the Reward Sub-Committee/FPC to assess the application. Heads of department/line managers must provide a statement whether or not they wish to support the application. In the latter case they should make clear the grounds for not supporting the application within the statement.
    4. Support and guidance is available to staff to effectively reflect their cases where they may not be confident doing so independently. Such support and guidance is not intended to identify and build a case on a staff member’s behalf. Members of staff can contact the Human Resources Recruitment and Operations team if they feel they would benefit from this assistance.

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  10. Outcome
    1. The Reward Sub-committee will meet annually in June to consider all applications under this procedure. The dates for the FPC’s are set and published annually.
    2. Members of staff will be informed of the outcome of their application by Human Resources by the end of July.
    3. Written feedback will be given to staff where applications have not been successful, or where they have been awarded a different type of payment than that for which they applied. This feedback will clearly indicate the reason for the Sub-Committee’s decision referencing the relevant criteria used in its assessment.

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  11. Appeals
    1. Staff have the right to appeal the decision of the Reward Sub-Committee/ FPC in respect of their application under this procedure.
    2. Notification of the intention to appeal the decision should be sent to Human Resources within 10 working days of receipt of the notification of the outcome.
    3. Human Resources will write to any staff member who lodges an appeal inviting them to attend and/or provide a written submission to the Reward Sub-committee Appeal Panel/ FPC equivalent giving a minimum of 15 working days’ notice (the Appeal Panel should normally meet within 8 weeks of the notification being sent).
    4. The member of staff should notify Human Resources in writing at least 5 working days before the date of the Appeal Panel meeting indicating whether they wish to attend the hearing and/or provide a written submission.
    5. Any written submission to the Appeal Panel must be received by Human Resources at least 5 working days before the date of the Appeal Panel meeting.
    6. The purpose of the Appeal Panel is to allow a member of staff to question the decision of the Reward Sub-Committee/ FPC on the basis solely of the areas raised in the original submission and with regard to the reason outline in the feedback letter. Consideration will only be given to additional information that amplifies or provides more detail on the areas covered in the original submission.
    7. Members of staff should be aware that a decision to reject an application does not mean that the Reward Sub-Committee/ FPC found no merit in the case. A decision may also have reflected the consideration of recent rewards awarded to the applicant.

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  12. Salary Scales
    1. Copies of the current salary scales are available via the Human Resource website.
  13. Fast Track Application
    1. In circumstances which are deemed wholly exceptional and unforeseeable by the appropriate Dean of the Faculty or the Registrar, applications may be submitted to the Reward Sub-committee/ FPC outside the normal timetable. In such cases, the standard procedure will be followed if feasible. In the event that time does not permit, or circumstances dictate otherwise, an electronic consultation exercise will take place. Decisions cannot be made solely on chair’s action.
    2. The appropriate trade unions will be informed of the circumstances of any occasion that this “fast track” process has been initiated.

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  14. Confidentiality
    1. Information relating to reward applications and appeals must be treated confidentially by those involved, and must be managed in accordance with the School’s Data Protection Policy and IT policies.  Staff involved in these processes should note that applicants have the right to seek access to personal data about themselves under the Data Protection Act.

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Human Resources
April 2016