Attraction and retention premia

The revised Policy on Attraction and Retention Premia was approved by the Vice-Chancellor's Executive Group in December 2017 and by the Joint Committee for Consultation and Negotiation in February 2018.

(1) The University of Exeter is committed to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value However there are occasions when the grading determined for a role results in an inability to successfully recruit to or retain staff in particular roles. In such cases the University will consider the application of attraction and retention premia for certain roles, as a supplement to the pay for the grade of the role.

(2) Attraction and retention premia may be one-off or time-limited payments (on appointment or following a fixed period provided the employee remains in employment and not under notice) or ‘market supplements’ or ‘personal value supplements’ to salary (paid in monthly instalments with salary), as defined below.

(3) The University will monitor the application of attraction and retention premia as part of its equal pay review process. The University reserves the right to amend this policy and to revise and withdraw attraction and retention premia to comply with equal pay standards.


Market Supplement

(4) A market supplement may be paid where:

  • there is a clear business need, assessed against the strategic priorities of the University; and
  • there is appropriate evidence that market pay rates for a specific role – irrespective of the role holder - are significantly higher than the University rate; and
  • there is evidence of recruitment and retention difficulties; and
  • all other approaches towards recruitment and retention have been considered.

(5) Where a market supplement is approved, it will apply equally to current and new appointments in the defined ‘ring-fence’ of similar roles (defined by, for example, specialist discipline and level/grade).

Personal Value Supplement

(6) A personal value supplement may be paid where it is appropriate to make an additional payment as a supplement to the salary of a specific individual, rather than a role. A Personal Value Supplement will only be approved where all of the following apply:

  • an identified individual has specific skills, experience etc which are essential to the strategic priorities of the University;
  • there would be a significant, measurable negative impact on the University’s operations and ambitions if the identified individual was not recruited or retained;
  • there is appropriate evidence that the essential specific skills, experience etc could not be recruited if the identified individual was not recruited or retained;
  • there is appropriate evidence that it is necessary to make a payment above the top of the grade (for example, the identified individual is already paid a higher rate in their current role, if they are being recruited into the University or a current employee has been offered a similar appointment at a higher rate by a competitor organisation);
  • all other approaches towards recruitment and retention – including paying a salary at the top end of the grade, and one-off “joining bonus” at recruitment and “retention bonus” payments - have been considered.

Decisions

(7) Attraction and retention premia must be approved by the Director of People Services following consideration of a business case from the Pro-Vice Chancellor/Director of Service. The equality impact of the attraction and retention premia must be fully considered and recorded in the business case.

(8) People Services will maintain a record of the rationale for each attraction and retention premium and will write to an employee awarded an attraction and retention premium advising them of the additional payment and referring to this policy.

(9) Attraction and retention premia will be subject to:

  • statutory deductions;
  • periodic review and withdrawal or reduction if the circumstances which led to the approval of the market supplement or personal value supplement change.

(10) Market supplements and personal value supplements will be pensionable and (except where they are being reduced or withdrawn) adjusted in line with general increases to the national payspine.

(11) One-off and time-limited payments will not be pensionable and will not be adjusted in line with general increases to the national payspine.

Review and withdrawal

(12) Attraction and retention premia which are paid as market supplements or personal value supplements will be reviewed by the Director of People Services at periodic intervals to ensure that there is a continued justification and that the level of premium is appropriate. A review may take place earlier if there is evidence that the circumstances which led to the approval of the supplement have changed significantly. The review may conclude that the supplement should be maintained, increased, reduced or withdrawn.

(13) In the case of a personal value supplement, the University’s need for the essential specific skills, experience etc which are held by the identified employee may no longer apply – for example because of a change in the University’s strategy or operations or a restructuring of part of the University which results in the employee being assigned to a different role or with different duties.

(14) If an employee in receipt of a personal value supplement receives a formal warning under the Disciplinary or Capability/Performance Procedure, consideration will be given to withdrawing the personal value supplement.

(15) In the event that a market supplement or personal value supplement is reduced or withdrawn, the employee will be given 12 months’ notification in writing before the change takes effect. [Note: For Market Supplements agreed prior to October 2017, where the supplement is to be withdrawn or reduced, the employee will be given three months notification in writing before any change takes effect and the market supplement will be reduced by one third of its original value each year.]

(16) Unless a continued and revised premium is justified and approved under this policy, when an employee in receipt of a market supplement or personal value supplement is promoted or regraded, the value of the supplement above the new salary will be phased out in accordance with paragraph 15 above.

(17) If, following a restructuring, an employee in receipt of a market supplement or personal value supplement is redeployed into a position at a lower grade, the following protections will apply separately:

  • withdrawal of personal value supplement as set out in paragraph 15 above;
  • pay protection on substantive grade for a period of one year as set out in the Policy on Pay Protection.