There is no automatic incremental progression into or within the discretionary range. For university support staff (grades 1-5) and academic-related staff (grades 6-10), discretionary points may be used for the reasons of recruitment (see above), retention, or through the Reward and Recognition scheme.
Where applicable allowances may be payable in addition to base pay.
Discretionary points may be deployed with the approval of the head of department in the following circumstances:
- when a post is advertised, providing that the head of department is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence, for example from a recent recruitment exercise, to demonstrate that it is unlikely that a suitable candidate would be found unless the availability of the discretionary points is advertised
- where it is considered necessary to appoint to the discretionary range in order to appoint a clearly exceptional candidate
When exercising their discretion to determine salaries within the scale, department should take into account the position of existing comparable staff within the department as well as the requirements in respect of gender and ethnicity of the Equality Act 2010. Departments should contact the Reward team for guidance on addressing any pay anomalies that arise as a result of awarding recruitment increments.
Departments, or the appropriate appointing authorities, have discretion on grounds of retention to award up to four additional increments in total above the point which the individual would have attained assuming normal progression after appointment, providing that the Personnel Committee's guidelines and criteria for the award of such increments, set out below, are adhered to.
This applies to all academic-related and university support staff. Only where further advancement, beyond the four additional increments, is contemplated is central reference to University HR required.
Evidence of an acute case justifying extra discretionary pay on grounds of retention
Before awarding additional increments departments are asked to satisfy themselves:
- that the individual concerned has unique experience or possesses very specialised skills and that fulfilment of the department's strategic plan could not be guaranteed without retention of these skills or that experience
- that the individual concerned holds a post in a group or type where there have been demonstrable problems of recruitment or retention, which are expected to continue for some time (for example, characterised by a high turnover of staff, poor response to more than one advertisement, or a vacancy of over two months)
- that there is a real prospect that an individual who is being considered for a retention payment is actually likely to leave the University. Departments should satisfy themselves that there is clear evidence that, unless a payment is made, an employee is likely to leave. The offer of a job interview elsewhere would provide such evidence but departments are not precluded from considering equally convincing evidence arising from other earlier stages of external selection procedures
It is not intended that these arrangements be used to prevent staff from taking up employment at a higher grade in other university departments.
Further guidance and advice on identifying acute retention cases can be provided by the Reward team on request.
See Reward and recognition scheme guidance.