Responsibility allowances

Acting up allowance

Information about acting up allowance for additional temporary responsibilities for support and academic-related staff

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This allowance is applicable to all staff on grades 1-10.

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In cases where members of staff are asked to temporarily assume the duties and responsibilities of a higher grade post (for example during a period of extended absence of the postholder), the member of staff will receive an allowance. An acting-up allowance should be equal to the amount payable if the member of staff had been promoted to that grade (at least one increment). In cases where the employee does not carry out the full duties and responsibilities of the substantive post the grade of the post should be determined by reference to HERA.

The member of staff's substantive grade remains unchanged, and they remain subject to the relevant terms and conditions of that grade. The minimum period for acting up is a continuous one of four weeks and the allowance should be paid from the first day of acting-up. Acting-up would not normally continue for more than a maximum period of one year (such as to cover a period of maternity leave) and should be reviewed after six months. Acting up allowances are therefore non-pensionable.

The individual concerned should receive written confirmation of such arrangements. Where possible this notification will be given in advance, but may have to be given retrospectively.

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Example one:

Grade 3.4 acting up to a grade 4 role may receive the difference between grade 3.4 (£21,236 p/a) and grade 4.1 (£22,417p/a) of £1,181p/a (£98.42 p/m)

This method is used to determine the value of the cash supplement but the individual remains on their substantive grade with the corresponding terms and conditions.

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This policy may be authorised by the Departmental Administrator.

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Acting up allowances have been determined in accordance with the University policy on acting up and should only last for a maximum of 12 months. Pay uplifts should not be applied to the acting up allowance.

The base salary (ie pay for their substantive grade) of those in receipt of acting up allowances will automatically increase on implementation of a pay uplift (they will also receive any increments on their substantive grade which are due during the period of acting up).

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Responsibility allowance (Academic and Research Staff)

Information on payments for academic or research staff undertaking temporary administrative roles in addition to their substantive role

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This allowance is applicable to staff in research roles or on academic grades.

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Responsibility allowances should be used for remunerating administrative roles below the level of Head of Department can be paid to academic or research staff undertaking temporary administrative roles in addition to their substantive role. Where a responsibility is a permanent addition to a research role and therefore included in the job description, the post should be job evaluated and the responsibility included in the base pay for the role. 


The following guidelines on responsibility allowances take into account the current rates of schedule allowance for Heads of Department. There are six levels of schedule allowance and the full up to date list of schedule allowances is available on the Payroll website.

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Responsibility Range of allowances  Guidelines
Head of sub-department/faculty or Director of a unit/research centre – reporting to the Head of Department £7,650- £15,273 (equivalent to Schedule V – Schedule III) Usually only applicable to staff undertaking the role in a department classified as Schedule I (or equivalent size) departments, or where the research unit or centre is larger in terms of income/FTE than the department to which it is attached. The level of allowance should be determined by the same parameters (income/FTE) as apply to schedule allowances and paid at the appropriate rate for the size of the sub-department/research unit
Deputy/Associate Head of Department/faculty Up to £7,650 for staff in departments classified as Schedule III. £7,650- £15,273 for staff in departments classified as Schedule I or II. Allowances can be paid up to the equivalent of Schedule III in a Schedule I - II department and up to Schedule V in a Schedule III department. Not usually applicable in Schedule IV or V departments.
Director of a unit/research centre – reporting to the Head of Division (where the reporting line is to the Head of Department/Faculty the responsibility should be remunerated as per the Head of sub-department/faculty) Up to £22,497 (equivalent to Schedule I) Allowances can be paid up to the equivalent of Schedule I. The level of allowance should be determined by the same parameters (income/FTE) as apply to Schedule allowances. The allowance is only applicable if the directorship responsibilities are temporary.
Director of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies. Course Director  Up to £7,650 Allowances can be paid up to the equivalent of Schedule V.
Significant responsibility for an administrative function e.g. IT, Athena Swan, Options organiser, Safety Officer Up to £5,000  Allowances can be paid up to £5,000, where the responsibility being carried out is over and above the normal expectations for a role as detailed in the further particulars. Allowances should not be paid for roles that do not require a significant time commitment beyond that which would normally be expected for an active Faculty member.


The list of roles is not exhaustive; departments with additional roles which they believe are comparable to those listed should speak to their divisional office. Additional examples of roles and levels of remuneration may be added to the guidelines by University HR after consultation with divisions.

It is recognised that alternatives to pay may be used to compensate individuals for undertaking administrative responsibilities, such as teaching buyouts, or remission or offering an additional term of special leave at the end of a period of office to provide an academic with the time necessary to perform the duty. It is expected that these arrangements will continue and payment should not be expected in addition to these arrangements, but should be equitable with the level of payment specified in the guidelines.

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Divisions will authorise any responsibility allowances above the equivalent of a level V schedule allowance, which is in line with present arrangements, and will determine their own authorisation procedures for payments below this. Authority for determining the level of allowance below this might be delegated by divisions to departments, but divisions will retain oversight of such payments to ensure consistency. Consistency across divisions will be monitored by University HR in the same way any other allowances are monitored, via ad hoc reporting and equal pay audits.  

In all instances departments should document a list of duties to be carried out by the individual taking on the additional responsibilities, set a timeframe for the allowance and capture the responsibility being remunerated against the allowance on the individuals CoreHR record.

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Cost of living applies automatically to responsibility allowances and they may be pensionable or non-pensionable depending on the duration of the allowance (in accordance with USS rules).

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Responsibility allowance (Support Staff)

Information about payments to university support staff for permanent additional duties

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This allowance is applicable to support staff only (grades 1-5). 

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Departments wishing to implement a responsibility allowance should contact a member of the Reward Team. University support staff who are required to undertake duties which demand a greater degree of skill and/or responsibility than their substantive grade, for a defined portion of their contractual hours, are eligible for a responsibility allowance. 
The size of the allowance will be defined by: 

  • the amount of the working week spent on these duties (calculated as a percentage); and 

  • the difference in grade between these duties and the usual duties as assessed by analytical job evaluation (HERA). 

The allowance is paid as a percentage of the individual’s basic salary, determined by reference to the following table: 


Grade difference 

% of week working at responsibility grade     


















Responsibility allowances are pensionable and only apply if the additional skills/duties are to be carried out on a permanent basis. If the additional skills/duties are required for more than 50 per cent of the individual’s working week, a review of the substantive grade should be considered. 

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A grade 3 member of a team acts as a Team Supervisor one afternoon each week. This equates to 10% of their weekly hours. The Team Supervisor is normally a grade 4 role. The grade 3 team member is therefore eligible for a 2% payment.  

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This scheme requires authorisation by the Reward Team. Once agreed, departments should input the allowance into Core HR with the payroll authorisation code in the relevant field.  

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The Responsibility allowance for support staff is automatically uplifted for cost of living increases.  

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Schedule allowance

Information about payments for additional, temporary responsibilities for academic staff

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This allowance is applicable only for staff on academic grades.  

Arrangements for covering the duties and responsibilities of academic staff during a period of extended absence, depending on the circumstances, divisions may make informal arrangements for teaching to be covered by colleagues, through piece-rate teaching, or using a fixed-term replacement appointment. However, there are some circumstances in which academic staff may be asked to "act up", for example to cover for a head of department, and in these cases staff will be paid for the appropriate allowance for the post in question. 

Pensionable status of payments for temporary additional responsibilities 

The following payments for additional temporary responsibilities held for a temporary period over and above the member of staff's normal duties may be pensionable: 

  • "Schedule allowances paid to heads of department, including those paid to a deputy covering for the absence of the substantive head; 

  • Proctors' and assessors' stipends; 

These allowances will be pensionable if it is known at the outset that they will be held for three years or more. Allowances held for less than three years at the outset and then extended will not be made pensionable unless the extension is for a period of at least three years, in which case the addition will become pensionable with effect from the date of the extension. 

There are six levels of schedule allowance which currently range from £7,936 to £23, 337 (as at August 2018); the full up to date list of schedule allowances is available on the Payroll website

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Schedule allowances are authorised by the relevant divisional office. 

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Cost of living uplifts are applied centrally. 

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