Contribution Reward Policy and Processes
1.1 Policy Statement
The University of Edinburgh wishes to recognise and reward individuals and
groups of staff who make an exceptional (sustained or one-off) contribution
that furthers the aims and objectives of the School, Support Department, or
University, or meets an exceptional shorter-term operational challenge.
Recognition will be made through the award of additional increment(s) or a
lump-sum payment. This policy aims to provide a coherent and practical
approach to the award of contribution pay.
This policy incorporates the under-noted principles:
All staff should be rewarded fairly according to their sustained
contribution, including the application of new skills and of expertise
developed over time in the job.
Access to contribution reward should be open to all employees covered
by this policy. Employees should be able to submit a case for
consideration, as well as managers.
The Staff Appraisal and Development process, while remaining a
separate and independent mechanism for staff development, should be
used to inform the contribution reward application process
Managers shall ensure that they periodically review the contributions of
all of their staff, in order to bring forward all cases that meet the criteria
for a contribution reward.
Assessment of contribution achieved should be clearly related to
University objectives, recognise achievements and reward
competencies and activities likely to contribute to future success of the
Criteria for assessing contribution must be applied fairly and
Judgements should be demonstrably based on objective evidence and,
where appropriate, recognise teamwork
Appropriate training should be given to managers and staff to support
the implementation of the new scheme.
1.3 Equality and Monitoring
The University of Edinburgh is committed to promoting equality of opportunity
in all its activities and aims to provide an environment free from discrimination
and unfair treatment. Procedures for the consideration of contribution reward
are intended to be fair, transparent and consistent with the University's
equality and diversity policies. Against this background, all decisions taken will
be based solely on assessment of individual contribution (or team contribution
where a team reward is being considered), and the needs of the University,
irrespective of irrelevant factors, including employment or contractual status
and personal circumstances (e.g. part-time, fixed-term, career breaks, etc.).
In the interests of transparency, a statistical list of awards will be published
annually and made available to all staff. The analysis will include the type of
awards made, including; percentage for lump-sum awards, distribution across
work groups, grades, gender, open/fixed term contract status, etc., and the
type of work for which the award was made.
Access to the Contribution Reward process is irrespective of contract duration
(subject only to the employee still being in employment on the effective date
of the award) or source of funding for the post. Employees on Grade UE10
(and other equivalent senior staff outside the Framework grades) have access
through a separate policy and process, utilising the same principles.
All other University staff are eligible for consideration for the award of a lump
sum reward, under this policy.
Staff on Grades UE01 to UE09 and staff on MB, ME, MH, MN, MP and MT
are eligible for the award of additional increments.
1.5 Budget for Rewards
The University will determine an annual allocation for contribution reward.
This will be expressed as a percentage of the salaries budget. The
percentage figure will apply across the Colleges and Support Groups. In any
one year, the number of suitably meritorious applications may be fewer or
greater than the annual capacity of the funds allocated for that year. In any
one year a College or Support Group Contribution Reward Panel can decide
to allocate between + or – 15% of the annual limit, to reflect the quality of
cases presented in that year. Unused annual contribution reward allocations
will be carried forward. However, the average value of awards made over a
three-year period must not exceed the total allocation.
The award of additional increments (in the normal pay range or in the
contribution range) will be used to recognise an individual's sustained
excellent contribution, over and above the normal expectation of the role, in
the context of expected continuation at that level.
Lump-sum payments will be used to recognise an individual's single
exceptional contribution, significantly over and above the normal expectation
for the role, in the context of a one-off task or project that is finite by nature.
1.7 Criteria and Contribution Reward Types
Applications must demonstrate that the employee has exceeded the normal
contribution required as described in the relevant Representative Work
Activities section and the overall description for the grade in the Grade Profile
Summary. Applications should demonstrate how the exceptional contribution
relates to quality improvement, innovation or productivity, which supports the
achievement of the University’s strategic objectives and derived goals.
Where sustained contribution at an exceptional level has led to development
of the job such that the on-going job now better fits a higher grade profile, an
application for job re-grading should be made.
1.7.1 Sustained Excellence Contribution Rewards
The employee’s excellent contribution should have been over a period of not
less than six months, with evidence of continuous working at that level. The
evidence may include, but is not limited to:
a) Attainment of agreed longer-term objectives to a consistently
exceptional standard that have positively impacted on the
school/support department or University
b) The provision of an exceptionally high standard of customer-service,
with demonstrable impact on the service provided, and/or the
reputation of the School/support department or University
c) Exceptional achievements that have demonstrably resulted in an
enhanced level of contribution within the existing grade
d) Taking on significant additional responsibility on an ongoing basis,
but where the level of that responsibility falls within their current grade.
For an employee who has not reached the top of his/her incremental scale,
one additional increment will normally be awarded. For an employee who is at
the top of his/her incremental scale or who is already on a contribution point
(but not the top contribution point), advancement up one contribution point will
normally be awarded. In exceptional cases advancement by more than one
point can be awarded. There should be a clear demonstration that the
individual has increased his/her contribution to the University’s objectives on
an ongoing basis. This level of contribution then becomes the normal
expectation for that member of staff. Therefore, the same evidence will not
attract additional recurrent or lump-sum payments. An employee on the top
contribution point is ineligible for further consideration for an additional
increment on that grade. However, where there is evidence of contribution
that would otherwise be rewarded with additional increments, the manager
and employee should actively explore options for career progression. These
may include, for example, applying for a post at a higher grade, considering
whether the post could be re-graded, secondment to another post within or
outwith their current work area to gain further knowledge, skills and
experience to aid career development, etc.
1.7.2 Single Exceptional Contribution Rewards
The employee’s exceptional contribution will normally be in respect of a one-
off task or project that is finite by nature. The evidence may include, but is not
a. Completing the task or project ahead of schedule, coupled with
resultant savings in resources (financial and/or employee)
b. Contributing to the effective handling of an exceptional event
showing an exceptional commitment beyond that required of
c. Tackling successfully an unplanned or unexpected task or
incident of complexity
d. Demonstrating exceptional flexibility which contributed directly to
the achievement of School/Support Department/University
objectives. (This should not be interpreted as working additional
e. Contributing ideas which lead to greater efficiency, improved
quality, cost savings etc., and which contributed to the
achievement of School/Support department/University
f. Achieving particularly challenging goals or objectives, e.g.
overcoming significant obstacles to ensure deadlines were met
The award for a single exceptional contribution will be a one-off non-
superannuable payment. This will be a percentage of salary, as set out
Where the activity was undertaken by an individual the award will be
either 2% or 4%. The rate will depend on the nature, duration and
complexity of the contribution.
Where there is clear evidence of joint and combined achievement by a
team, all team members will normally receive the same percentage
award of either 1% or 2%. The rate will depend on the nature and
duration of the event, task or event, and its complexity
Where part-time staff have equally contributed to a single time-limited
event (that meets definitions 1.7.2b or 1.7.2c), and to award a
percentage of actual salary would be unequal treatment, the
percentage should be based on the full-time equivalent salary, or be
converted into an expression of an actual amount of money. For
example, an employee who works 0.5 FTE but attends an operational
event for the same amount of time as a full-time colleague, is being
treated fairly when the financial award is the same; to award a
percentage of actual salary would mean the part-time worker only
receives 50% of the reward that full-time colleagues receive for the
It should be noted that lump sum awards are not to be used to reward
temporary acting-up to a higher grade, or to reward additional duties that
should be recompensed through overtime, or through the Out of Hours and
It is not normally appropriate for applications for single exceptional
contribution rewards to be received for the same or very similar reasons in
consecutive years for the same employee. This would normally indicate that
the case no longer meets the criteria for an award designed to recognise
single exceptional contributions, but matches the criteria for sustained
excellence. The Review Panel are able to transfer such a case for
consideration for a sustained excellence award. In the exceptional event of a
lump-sum payment being awarded in three consecutive years, consideration
will be given by the panel to the award of a sustained excellence award in
place of the third lump sum.
2.1 Application Process
Applications for a contribution reward will normally be made by a manager,
having periodically reviewed the contributions of all the staff reporting to
him/her. Where a self-nomination case is submitted by the member of staff,
the manager will be required to verify the factual accuracy of the submission.
Applications will normally be made by the appropriate line manager to his/her
Head of School/Support Department, on the Contribution Reward Nomination
Form. Each case will be considered by the Head of School/Support
Department, who will decide whether to recommend an award and, if so, what
to recommend to the College/Support Group Contribution Reward Panel. All
applications for contribution rewards will be considered by the relevant panel.
The panel will consider the applications and make a decision on each case,
having due regard to the overall budget provision.
All decisions, including the rationale for the decisions, will be recorded for the
purposes of feedback to applicants and monitoring of the procedure. Human
Resources will communicate the outcome to all applicants via the relevant
Head of School/Support Department.
Members of staff whose application has not been successful, or who have
been awarded a different type of payment than they had applied for, should
be given feedback about the decision. Feedback will also be offered to
individuals receiving an award as a result of a managerial recommendation.
2.2 Contribution Reward Panel Membership
The College/Support Group panels will comprise:
Managers who have knowledge of the areas of work being described in
the cases – one of whom must be external to the College/Support
At least one Joint Union Liaison Committee nominee – who must be
external to the College/Support Group
At least one Human Resources advisor
The panel secretary (who is in attendance and does not contribute to
the decision-making process)
At least one member of each panel will be trained in job evaluation and
equality and diversity issues. Every effort should be made to achieve a gender
balance in the composition of the panel.
Panel members shall declare any potential, actual or perceived conflict of
interest (see Conflict of Interest Policy -
the Secretary to the Panel, and appropriate action will be taken.
The decision of the panel is final.
2.4 Quality Assurance
There will be an annual quality review of the processes and outcomes in
partnership between management and Trade Union representatives. A report
of the review will be presented to the Combined JCNC.
2.5 Related Information
This policy refers to other documents and procedures:
Appraisal and Development
Contribution Reward Forms: www.ed.ac.uk/schools-
Grade and Pay Structure: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-
Out of Hours and On Call policy
3.1 Policy Creation
This policy was approved by the Combined Joint Consultation and Negotiation
Committee (CJCNC) in April 2007, for immediate implementation.
3.2 Policy Review
The operation of this policy will be reviewed by the Combined Joint
Consultation and Negotiation Committee (CJCNC) after two annual cycles, in
2008. The review will assess whether its operation is meeting all necessary
requirements, and will review the statistical and qualitative data, inter alia, to
test that the implementation of this policy has complied with the University’s
duties to ensure no discrimination has occurred. There will be an interim
review by the CJCNC after the first annual cycle, specifically to review the use
of two levels of award for single exceptional contribution rewards.
N.B. The process normally has an annual cycle and the award of lump-
sump payments may have an additional six-monthly cycle, if
circumstances require this. Details of the current timetable can be found
Section 2.2 was amended on 31 March 2010 to add the paragraph on conflict
of interest, following agreement by CJCNC on 9 March 2010.
If you require this document in an alternative format please contact
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 Hereafter referred to as “University” for ease of reading.