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Salary on Appointment Policy 2020

Title: Salary on Appointment Policy
Date Approved: 16 June 2020
Date Next Review: September 2023
Policy/Procedure Owner: Human Resources - Rewards & Wellbeing
Equality Impact Assessment: 22 June 2020
Status of Document Approved


This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure compliance with changes in HMRC guidelines, Pension Regulations, employment law and equality and diversity legislation. In the event that this policy or procedure is not
compliant, the relevant legislation shall prevail.

Changes to this policy will be subject to consultation with the University’s recognised Trade Unions before implementation.

1.    Introduction
Brunel University London is committed to the principles of equal pay for work of equal value and by using the HERA job evaluation process this ensures a consistently applied and robust approach which measures the relative value of jobs within the University. This in turn determines the grade and position on the University’s pay structure within Grades S1 to H5, which are covered by the Framework Agreement.

The University does however recognise that there are advantages in having some flexibility regarding the setting of starting salaries for new appointments. Some degree of flexibility enables Recruiting Managers to offer a salary appropriate to the new employee’s relevant skills and experience. However, it is important that Recruiting Managers recognise the risks associated with applying different starting salaries for jobs of a similar size and responsibility, as determined by job evaluation, particularly in terms of equal pay.

This Policy is therefore designed to help Managers make sound appointment decisions which are robust, evidence-based and fair to both new and existing employees. Equally this advises both new and existing employees on the starting salary they can normally expect to be offered when taking up a new position.

2. Appointment Salary within the University’s Graded structure
Appointments are normally made to the first point of the relevant grade of the role appointed to, reflecting the fact that individuals may have the skills and competences required for the job, but it will take them time to gain the experience to perform the job at a fully competent level in line with the University’s requirements.

Where the appointment is for an existing employee being appointed to a new position within the same grade, they will be placed on their current point. The employee will retain the existing date for incremental progression. An appointment within the same grade will not increase at the start of the new role.

In the event the internal appointment is to a new position at a higher grade than the employee’s current position, they will normally be placed on either the first point of the new grade, or the first incremental point above the existing salary if within the discretionary points of the grade below. The new appointment will retain the standard incremental progression date if the next progression is six months or greater following appointment.

Salaries above the minimum point for the grade will not be offered as the norm and any consideration of this would need to be carried out in consultation between the recruiting manager and the Human Resources Business Partner with advice from Rewards in advance of any offer being made to the candidate or employee.

Agreement on a higher salary being offered would only occur following formal justification provided by the Recruiting Manager and agreement of this justification by Human Resources.

No appointment may be advertised or made on to a discretionary point within a grade.

3. Appointment Salary for Senior Appointments above the University’s Graded structure(i.e. Senior Employees, Readers and Professors)
The salary offered to senior appointments must be representative of market related benchmarks. The benchmark salary for a senior appointment would be determined at the point of advertising, and requests for this data should be requested through the relevant Human Resources Business Partner from the Reward Business Partner.

The salary package offered must fall within the scope of the benchmarked salary. In the event there is any perceived requirement to exceed the benchmarked salary, advice must be sought from Rewards in advance of any offer being made. Where there is an exceptional reason that supports exceeding the benchmarked salary, a written justification will need to be outlined for approval and retained by Rewards.

Any salary package that exceeds £100,000.00 per annum must have the approval of the Remunerations Committee prior to approval1. For this purpose, where a benchmarked salary may exceed this amount, said approval for the benchmark will be sought in advance of the interview/appointment stage.

4. Manager Guidance
What should I consider prior to make an offer of a salary on appointment?
In the normal course of events, an appointment salary should be the first point, although with due consideration to the points below, the recruiting manager can appoint to the second or third point within the grade.

  • Salaries need to be consistent and equitable across groups of employees employed in similar jobs within the department. You are required to ensure your approach to starting salaries is applied equitably
  • Consider the level, breadth, depth and complexity of the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of different aspects of the job and expert professional and theoretical knowledge and experience where appropriate and demonstrable
  • The current salary of the successful candidate can be considered, but with caution and should beverified as part of the reference request with the candidate’s current employer
  • That appointments must be made within the first three incremental points of the advertised grade, any request to appoint to higher points within the grade must be submitted by the Recruiting Manager with the support of the HRBP and approved by the Director / Dean of the area along with a justification provided to the Rewards team in advance of the offer being made
  • Be mindful of any unconscious bias you may have to ensure you make a fair decision on salary
  • Be aware that men are often more confident in negotiating a higher salary than women and that the offer of a higher salary should not be given purely on the fact that it was requested
  • That in the overall reward context, salary level is only one element of the wider employment package of terms and conditions so comparison of aspects such as hours, leave, pension contributions should also be taken into account

I want to offer a salary above the starting point for the grade - what should I do?

  •  You must consult with your Human Resources Business Partner who will provide advice on the salary level that can be offered within the grade. This may be undertaken with advice from Rewards.
  • Any starting salary offered above the third incremental point of the grade can only be made following a written objective justification submitted by the Recruiting Manager with the support of the HRBP being approved by the Dean / Director in conjunction with Rewards. This justification must be retained as it may be called for in defending an equal pay claim.
  • Any salary offers for senior appointments may require approval the Remuneration Committee before the offer is made. In order to do so, prospective offers should be consulted with Rewards.

In the event of any queries regarding a salary offer, please ensure to liaise with your HR Business Partner in advance of making an offer. Where an offer is made in error, it may not be sustained in order to ensure our commitment to equality in the University salary structures, and may result in a failed appointment due toa candidate withdrawal, or an undermining of the employee engagement at the outset of employment. These can have a very negative impact, and a key aim of this policy is to ensure that recruiting managers are fully informed of their responsibilities so as to ensure a positive recruitment process.

5. Sustainability
Improving our environmental performance and doing things in a more sustainable way should be seen as integral to our core business practices.

In line with our commitment to improving environmental and sustainable development performance, please be mindful if printing this document – keeping paper usage to a minimum (print only version), printing on both sides, and recycling.

6. Equality Statement
The University is an equal opportunities employer where all employees will be treated with dignity and respect. We are fully committed to equality, diversity, inclusion and human rights and to ensuring our culture, working environment, policies, processes and practices are free from bias. This policy is therefore positively committed in supporting all the Protected Characteristics within The Equality Act 2010 legislation and recognises the aims of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy (Employment).