Flexible Remuneration - Performance Payments - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

The University is committed to recognising and rewarding outstanding performance. Performance payments may be justified as a means to assist in achieving these aims.

These procedures provide a framework to ensure consistency and transparency in applying performance payments. They provide the criteria and approval mechanism for performance payments.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule.

Head – Head of organisational unit

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to continuing, research (contingent funded) and fixed-term staff.

These procedures do not apply to casual staff and Senior Staff as defined in the Senior Staff Performance Payment Guidelines.

4. Procedures Statement

Performance payments are non-recurrent and payable based on performance achievements within a specified performance cycle. Any performance payment will be funded from the relevant organisational unit budget, unless the approving officer agrees to subsidise the performance payment in part or in full.

Performance payments are made once a year as a lump sum up to a maximum of 20% of base salary. Subject to requirements under the Superannuation Guarantee legislation, the performance payment will not be superannuable but may be salary sacrificed into the staff member’s University superannuation fund, provided a nomination to salary sacrifice in line with regulatory requirements is made to the University's Employee Benefits Section prior to the quantum of the performance payment being determined and declared as payable.

A performance payment creates no obligation on the University to make a performance payment in subsequent years unless such an entitlement is written into a contract of employment.

5. Approval Authority

A recommendation for performance payment is made by the Head of the organisational unit or Supervisor where appropriate.

The Authorised Officer for performance payment for staff within their respective areas of responsibility are outlined in the HR Authorisation Schedule.

6. Criteria

A performance payment may be made when the relevant Authorised Officer is satisfied by the written recommendation from the Head or Supervisor (where required) and one of the following criteria has been met:

  1. an entitlement to a performance payment is written into the staff member’s contract of employment as a term of their engagement, normally requiring agreed annual key performance indicators (KPI) to be achieved and documented in the annual performance appraisal process; or
  2. individual achievement on a significant project or other accomplishment which has an impact at least at faculty level or equivalent; or
  3. the staff member is a member of a group of staff who have contributed significantly to a project or outcome that has advantaged the University; or
  4. the staff member has made a significant individual contribution to the their organisational unit, both in quality and quantity, which the Head believes merits a performance payment.

Generally, a performance payment would be approved only when the staff member and the Head or supervisor have agreed in advance on clearly defined targets in situations where the University will derive a significant advantage from the achievement of these targets by the staff member. Targets may be quantitative or qualitative. Approval from the relevant Authorised Officer is required prior to entering into any performance agreement that is intended to, or may create an expectation for, a performance payment.

Performance payments will normally be paid in December after the annual performance appraisal has been completed and acceptance of recommendations by the relevant Authorised Officer. If a performance payment is paid in any succeeding year (as provided for in the contract of employment as a term of engagement), the quantum may vary depending on the assessment of the level of performance in the past year.

7. Performance Payment Process

7.1 Recommendation

Following the performance appraisal process, a supervisor can put forward a proposal for a performance payment to be made to a staff member by submitting to the Head/Authorised Officer supporting documentation such as:

  • for professional staff - the Recognition and Development Form, Professional Staff; or
  • for academic staff - the Annual Review forms:
    • A – Academic Portfolio of Achievement;
    • B – Achievements and Objectives; and
    • C – Appraisal Summary Report and Record of Assessment.

If the Head is not the Authorised Officer, the Head must submit a written recommendation to the relevant Authorised Officer with supporting documentation.

The written recommendation must state:

  • the percentage of salary or total amount proposed as the performance payment;
  • the nature of the exceptional performance in sufficient detail to allow the approving officer to evaluate the recommendation;
  • relevant information about the staff member’s remuneration, including their current salary point; and
  • confirmation that the payment can be accommodated within the organisational unit’s budget.

If the Authorised Officer is of the view that a direct report should receive a performance payment, they should ensure that they are satisfied that the above criteria has been met. In this instance it is best practice for the Authorised Officer to discuss the proposed payment with their Supervisor prior to approving.

7.2 Approval

The approving officer will note on the recommendation document the outcome of the request and if:

  1. approved, sign-off on the document and forward to the relevant Human Resources staff; or
  2. declined, return all documentation to the Head where required.

Further discussions may be pursued by the Authorised Officer with the Head and/or supervisor with regard to the merit or amount of the recommendation.

In the event of an approved performance payment recommendation, the staff member will receive a letter confirming the successful outcome and the performance payment amount.

There will be no appeal against the decision of the relevant Head to not recommend a performance payment to the Authorised Officer and there will be no appeal against the decision of the Authorised Officer to approve or not approve a recommended performance payment, whether discussed as part of the performance review or not.

7.3 Payment

In order to ensure compliance with superannuation legislative requirements the University applies the performance payment in the following manner:

  • a lump sum payment to the staff member less the employer superannuation contribution in line with the requirements of the Superannuation Guarantee Legislation.

However, if the staff member believes this would cause a superannuation issue for them then the full bonus may be paid as a 100% lump sum. To facilitate this, the staff member must discuss this issue with the Employee Benefits Manager before the payment is made.

Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury