Human Resources

Reward Strategy

Over the past two years, the HR Reward team has been working with staff and trade union representatives on a new Reward Strategy for Kent. A Collective Agreement was signed on 17 July 2020 between the University and the JSNCC to implement the Reward Strategy which has the affect of varying staff contracts automatically without the need to agree individually. The implementation date is 1 August 2020 for all new and existing staff appointed to new posts, including as a result of O4S, and from 1 October 2020 for all other staff.

All staff can view a letter on Staff Connect informing them about the changes and how they will be personally affected by the Reward Strategy and the 12-month pay freeze. Any queries can be sent to the Reward Team via

Among the benefits that the new strategy will provide are:

  • New pay scales for grades 1 to 10, professors and senior managers with salaries more clearly related to competitive market rates, improved consistency between grades and greater transparency of progression
  • A new four-tier facility for recognising and rewarding outstanding contributions by individuals and teams, including timesheet staff
  • Transitional arrangements that ensure no staff will have their pay reduced, that current expectations regarding increments due this year are honoured (although payment deferred until 1 October 2021 due to the 12-month pay freeze), additional pay protection for loss of skip points and an improved work-life balance offering.


    The Strategy was developed with the intention of re-investing any savings to develop a more balanced staff benefit structure.  However, in light of the worsening financial situation and the need to mitigate redundancies, it is no longer wise to re-invest the savings in additional rewards at this time. The cost saving potential for the project has therefore become a key part of the University’s return to financial sustainability, with the potential to deliver £5m in savings over the next five years and reduce the impact of compulsory redundancies by 23 full time equivalent posts. 


    In response to feedback from staff requesting more information, below are a number of documents providing more detail about the different aspects of the Reward Strategy, starting with a comprehensive set of FAQ’s.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Overall Reward Strategy

    Why is Kent implementing this Reward Strategy and why now?

    The Reward Strategy started in 2018 as a project to:

    • review the University’s pay and reward offering and ensure that it is competitive to meet our future needs 
    • accommodate any changes at the bottom end of the scale as a result of increases to the National Living Wage
    • restructure the Professorial and Senior Managerial Pay Scale in order to allow equal pay comparisons (the only statistically significant pay gap within the organisation exists at this senior level)
    • address historical legacies such as skip points
    • create a pay and reward framework that is fair and transparent

    Although not an initial objective, implementation has coincided at the point of delivery with the institution’s worsening financial situation. The cost saving potential for the project has therefore become a primary objective and the reason why we need to implement now. The reward strategy has the potential to deliver £5m in savings over the next five years and reduce the impact of compulsory redundancies by 23 full time equivalent posts.

    How is this project linked to O4S and other cost-saving initiatives?

    The Reward Strategy project is not directly linked to the Organising for Success (O4S) project or other cost-saving initiatives, although it has the potential to deliver significant savings which could reduce the need for compulsory redundancies and due to timing, is happening at the same time as these projects.

    At the end of 2019, the University’s 2018/19 financial accounts showed a deficit of £15m largely as a result of rising costs, external sector-wide pressures and a fall in student recruitment over the last two years. This picture has since worsened due to the Covid-19 outbreak which has impacted by a further £13m due to loss of income from student accommodation in the third term and conferencing over the summer. There is an estimated financial shortfall for the next academic year of between £20-35m. An explanation of the financial situation is explained on this infographic slide

    Prior to Covid-19, the University put in place a number of plans to return its finances to a long-term sustainable footing including O4S and KVSS and other cost-saving initiatives have also been put in place impacting senior pay to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies. These include:

    • a two-year cost of living pay freeze for staff paid on the Professorial and Senior Management pay scale
    • a one-year suspension of additional salary awards for senior staff
    • a 20% pay reduction for the Vice Chancellor
    • A 15% pay reduction for Executive Group members in 2020

    Since Covid-19, further cost-savings ideas are being investigated to mitigate the worsening financial situation. A 12-month pay freeze was agreed by Collective Agreement between the University and JSNCC on 22 July 2020.

    In view of the overall financial situation, the reward strategy has become a central strand of cost-saving activity which was not its primary objective back in 2018.

    Why can’t this only apply to new staff?

    The University has a very low turnover of staff, therefore applying these changes only to new staff would not achieve the cost-savings necessary to help the financial situation and reduce compulsory redundancies.

    In addition, there are a number of improvements which existing staff would miss out on if not applied and the University has an obligation to remedy the over-long pay grades (from an equality legislation perspective) and accommodate the National Living Wage. If not implemented, current pay arrangements would not be corrected for the majority of our staff.

    Why can’t all current and future entitlements be protected?

    For the same reasons as the FAQ above, the University needs to realise savings quickly in order to help put it back on a sustainable footing. The pay framework has been benchmarked against market rates and retains an element of ‘automatic’ progression, with the opportunity for further discretionary progression, therefore, although changed, it remains a competitive offering.

    Will there be more communications?

    Yes, staff will receive communications telling them how they will be personally affected.

    Will these changes be reversed if the financial situation of the University changes?

    The University will certainly look to invest in the additional salary award framework when the financial position improves. Budgets for annual awards will be set annually and the percentage available for awards can be flexed according the financial picture.

    When is the implementation date?

    • The new pay scales will be used for any appointments that take effect under O4S or other internal appointments after 1 August 2020
    • For all ‘automatic’ or standard progression increments due on 1 October 2020
    • New externally recruited staff will be employed on the new pay scale from 1 August, provided the post was advertised with the pay scale or staff were notified before acceptance
    • The additional salary award framework will be implemented in 2021

    N.B. Separately to the implementation of the Reward Strategy, payment dates of increments or awards will be deferred to 1 October 2021 due to the 12-month pay freeze.

    Grades 1-10 Pay Framework

    What pay protection is in place?

    At the point of transition, the following arrangements are proposed:

    • Staff paid at sp.18 & 19 in grade 4 and at sp.31 in grade 6 (spine points that will no longer exist in the new proposed scale) will remain on their current spine point and ‘mark time’ which means that they will not receive a cost of living increase until the new top discretionary spine point catches up. It is estimated that this will take approximately three to six years, although will depend on the level of annual pay awards.
    • Any salary progression expected this year will continue (although payment will be deferred until 1 October 2021 due to the 12-month pay freeze). This may mean that some staff will be placed on a discretionary point of the grade due to a lowering of the bar point (see section below).
    • Skip points are removed. Staff will still receive an increment to the next spine point but will not ‘skip’ to the top of the grade in grades 7 & 9.
      • Staff at sp.33 of grade 7 who were due to progress to sp.36 in October 2020 and will instead progress to sp.34 will receive a monthly salary supplement for one year paid at the difference between sp.34 and sp.36 (payment deferred until 1 October 2021 due to the pay freeze).
      • Staff at sp.47 of grade 9 will instead progress to sp.48 and receive a one-year supplement calculated as the difference between sp.48 and sp.49 (payment deferred to 1 October 2021 due to the pay freeze).


    What amendments were made to the Reward Strategy Proposal during consultation?

    The JSNCC met on 8 June to discuss the initial proposal. Following the meeting, amendments were made to the Reward Strategy proposal and were agreed as part of the Collective Agreement. The amendments were:

    • Additional protection for skip points has been added.
      • Staff at sp.33 of grade 7 due to progress to sp.36 in October 2020 will instead progress to sp.34 and receive a supplement for one year only paid at the difference between sp.34 and sp.36.
      • Staff at sp.47 of grade 9 will instead progress to sp.48 and receive a one year supplement calculated as the difference between sp.48 and sp.49.
    • For grades 1-6, annual leave will be equalised with G7+ staff at 30 days. There may be designated periods when this leave will be taken depending on operational need.
    To improve work/life balance, staff who can work at home can continue to work up to two days per week from home following the post-Covid-19 return to campus. Further guidance will be issued in due course.

    If I change contracts as a result of O4S or any other job change, will I receive the extra protection for skip points?

    As your new contract will be based upon the new terms and conditions following implementation of the Reward Strategy, you will not receive the pay protection for staff on the current terms and conditions (i.e. allowance to replace skip points in grades 7 and 9 and ability to move to a discretionary point where bar points have been lowered in grades 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9).

    Instead you will receive any protection that is relevant to the contract change (see Redeployment Policy for details of pay protection).

    Will pay be reduced?

    No, the proposals do not include any plans to reduce current salaries.

    From feedback, some staff appear to be under the misunderstanding that if the spine point they currently occupy becomes a discretionary point on the new scale, they will receive a pay cut over time. This is not the case.

    What are 'automatic', discretionary, bar points and skip points?

    For staff who are new to the University, here is an explanation of the various terms used when describing the pay structure:

    • The ‘automatic’ or standard progression range is the range of spine points staff progress through without having to make an application for a salary award. It allows salary progression for role holders whilst they are becoming proficient in a role. Staff normally progress at the rate of one standard progression point per year. e.g. Points 17-21 in grade 5, marked in yellow on proposed scale
    • Discretionary points are the range of points at the top of each grade marked in dark grey e.g. points 22 and 23 in grade 5. Staff may apply for progression into the discretionary zone if they are able to demonstrate added contribution to the role/organisation
    • The bar point is the spine point at the top of the standard progression range e.g. sp.21 in grade 5 which divides the ‘automatic’ range and the discretionary range of pay points
    • Skip points on the current pay scale are indicated by a cross. At present, staff who reach these points ‘skip’ to the next available point e.g sp.47 would skip to sp.49. It is proposed to remove these.

    What market salary information did you use to determine the pay scales?

    A number of sources were used:

    • UCEA (University and Colleges Union) Higher Education annual pay survey
    • Croner Reward
    • Xperthr – including a management & professional survey and a specialist technical survey
    • ASHE – A national Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings
    • Hay data – specifically benchmarked against Kent grade boundaries

    What does Kent Median mean? How did you construct the pay scale?

    • In constructing the pay scale, median pay data from non-Higher Education (HE) sector sources was collected for the most populated or typical roles in each grade and averaged. This gave a good indicator of pay in the non-HE market.
    • This data was combined with Higher Education data from UCEA to create a ‘Combined Market Median’ – this is the ‘Kent Median’ figure.
    • A further median figure was created for comparison by using Hay data. The Hay data is based on job evaluation points by grade. From experience, Hay data tends to reflect the higher end of the external market. At the lower grades, the two median figures (Kent median and Hay Combined) tie up but at higher grades, our pay scales may indicate a deviation from the external market. If a scale top-up is dictated by the market, this would be dealt with through the Market Supplement process (see Market Supplements below).
    • External advertisements and feedback from University stakeholders were also used to inform this work

    What is median pay?

    Standard progression or ‘automatic’ zone

    • Kent aims to offer a competitive rate of pay to staff and therefore on reaching the bar point of grade, staff will earn 3% above the median. This is the case for all grades except grades 4, 6, 9 and 10.

    In grades 4 and 6 the median has been lowered (meaning pay in the Standard Progression points goes above 3%) to mitigate the impact on these grades. In Grades 9 and 10, the standard progression points have not been adjusted in relation to median pay (meaning pay is lower in relation to the median) in order to contribute towards financing improvements at lower grade

    • Having established the top of the standard progression zone, in order to be compliant with equality legislation, there are a maximum of five spine points in each grade below the bar point. This is the case for all grades except 1/2, 3 and 4 for the following reasons:
      • The standard progression zone provides pay progression during the period of service when a member of staff is becoming proficient in a role, reaching fully competent at the bar point. Roles within grades 1-4 tend to be less complex requiring less time to reach full competency.
      • Reducing the number of ‘automatic’ points also improves the starting position of the grade (G3) in order to allow for a reserve point at the top (to allow for the expansion of the NLW) and maintains the starting point of the grade as in G1/2 and 4.

    Discretionary Zone

    • Additional increments are awarded on the basis of sustained and additional added value activity. There are more discretionary points in the higher grades (G7+) where roles increase in complexity and size and where staff have more opportunity to, and are expected to demonstrate additional value to the organisation.

    Why are some of the grades shorter than they are now?

    In order to comply with equality legislation, the pay scales are designed to have a maximum of five pay points in the standard progression or ‘automatic’ zone (see question above)

    Was your methodology scrutinised?

    Yes, Korn Ferry Hay, an independent reward consultancy, conducted a critical friend review of the reward strategy work.

    Is this pay scale competitive for technical staff and other specialist roles?

    Salary benchmarking was undertaken when the pay scale was constructed, however it is acknowledged that some roles will carry a higher market salary. For this reason, the University can handle any market adjustments through Market Supplements. (see Market Supplement section below).

    Why do some grades have a lower boundary?

    The position of the bar point or grade boundary is determined by the positioning of the median salary, with the exceptions of grades 4, 6, 9 and 10. This is explained in the section above.

    Why have the skip points been removed?

    The skip points were added when the Framework Agreement was implemented in 2006 as a way of protecting the salary expectations of staff at that time. These were maintained by Kent whilst other universities phased them out over time.

    The skip points are inflationary, no longer relevant to the staff who were in their roles in 2006 and cannot be justified, particularly in the current financial climate.

    Why are Grades 1 & 2 going to be paid the same?

    The pay scale must accommodate the growth of the National Living Wage (NLW). The Government has set a target for the NLW to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024. The pay spine therefore needs to keep pace.

    Grades 1 and 2 have been combined as roles within these grades were thought to have the greatest synergy and reserve pay points have been put into the scale to allow for future growth. The amalgamation of the two grades allows the University to improve its offering to its lowest paid staff and allow standard progression up to sp.6.

    Will there still be ‘automatic’ increments?

    Yes, there will still be ‘automatic’ increments, these provide salary progression for staff whilst they build competency in a role (see above). No application is required to progress through these points on the scale.

    When can increments be withheld?

    Increments will be withheld where sanctions have been issued at a panel hearing as part of a formal performance management process. Following successful completion of performance management, standard progression would resume but not be backdated.

    What about the Gender Pay Gap?

    The Equal Pay Audit in 2015 highlighted that the University has a significant pay gap at the Professorial and Senior Management (P&SM) level. The reward strategy set out to address this through segmentation of the P&SM scale (detail below) which will allow equal pay comparisons to be made.

    Work has also been done to supplement the reward strategy work and address wider pay gap issues including:

    • Manager-led reviews to ensure staff who are reluctant to put themselves forward are included
    • Additional data to managers – to ensure managers have anonymised equality data and reward application histories for their staff
    • EDI training for committee members and managers – this is a requirement for committee members, monitored and reported on
    • Committee composition – Committees are required to have a diverse membership, with an equal balance of genders
    • RPD completion – there is an RPD completion box on the salary award application form to improve completion rates and encourage discussions to take place. RPD completion rates are reported on annually and work is ongoing to embed the practice within the organisation
    • The University Remuneration Committee has oversight of all salary award committees and practices and receives comprehensive statistical reports to enable monitoring and oversight.
    • The new Additional Reward Framework was designed with input from a working group which included a senior EDI representative. It aims to provide a range of rewards at all levels.

    The University is always looking for ways of improving its processes and welcomes suggestions.

    Was an Equality Impact Assessment carried out?

    Yes, an Equality Impact Assessment was carried out and mitigations put in place to reduce the impact of the changes which ensure current salaries are not reduced, that anyone due an increment this year still receives one and the overall earnings potential for most grades remains unchanged.

    Following application of mitigation measures, the impact is reduced to three small groups totalling 26 contracts. Two groups do not experience a reduction in current salary and ‘mark time’ until the spine point below catches up and for the other group there is no impact until year 3 and 4.

    Why are higher grades not affected?

    Higher grades are affected, both in terms of pay scale construction and cost-saving initiatives:

    • The pay scales for grade 10 and to a lesser extent, grade 9, have been constructed differently and are not based on one pay point above median pay. The grade 10 pay scale is unchanged and the bar point has been lowered for grade 9. The savings made at this level have been used to offset the cost of allowing staff at grade 4 and 6 to ‘mark time’ (see below). It also reflects sensitivities to senior pay and the fact that staff at this level are expected to make significant discretionary effort.
    • The same principles have been used to determine the segmentation of the pay scale for the Professorial and Senior Management which is also based around a market median salary. This is explained below.

    Separate to the reward strategy, as detailed above, senior staff paid on the Professorial and Senior Management pay scale will be impacted by a two-year pay freeze and a one-year suspension of the additional salary award process.

    What will happen to staff at the top of grade 4 and 6? What is 'marking time'?

    The salary benchmarking exercise concluded that grades 4 and grade 6 were too long and were therefore re-drawn. This has resulted in spine points being removed from the new proposed pay scale.

    In order to prevent the immediate reduction of salaries for staff paid at the top of grade 6 (sp. 31) and at the top of grade 4 (sp. 18 and 19), staff will ‘mark time’ which means that they will not receive a cost of living increase until the new top discretionary spine point catches up. It is estimated that this will take approximately three to six years, although this will depend on the level of annual pay awards.

    Why will some staff progress automatically to discretionary points this year, but others will have to apply to move to these points in the future?

    Why will some staff progress automatically to discretionary points this year, but others will have to apply to move to these points in the future?

    In grades 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9, the bar point has been lowered and points on the scale that used to be in the standard progression range are now in the discretionary range. This relates to points 16 (G4), 28 & 29 (G6), 36 (G7), 43 (G8) and 49 (G9).

    Therefore, in order to allow staff to receive the progression they were expecting this year at the point of transition, affected staff will receive an increment, putting them into the discretionary zone of the grade. This arrangement applies for this year only and therefore, staff lower down the grade will need to make an application for a discretionary point when they reach the bar point of the grade.

    What about staff in Europe?

    All staff based in Europe who receive salaries based on the UK Pay Framework will be affected by these changes alongside their UK colleagues.


    Academic & Research staff pay

    Why can’t staff paid from grant income be treated differently?

    Although grant income/research funds may be used to fund research activity, the members of staff are Kent employees paid on the University’s pay spine and therefore they remain subject to the same terms and conditions of employment as other staff.

    Why do Research Staff get more ‘automatic’ increments than Professional Services staff in Grade 6?

    Whilst researching salary data for staff in Grade 6 we found that the median pay for research roles was consistently one spine point higher than for other Grade 6 roles.  Rather than creating a separate grade for research roles the most practical option was simply to allow one further standard progression increment at sp28 so that researcher salaries also reached 3% above median pay.

    Why do Academic Staff move automatically from Grade 7 to Grade 8?

    Unlike Professional Services Staff, most Academic staff appointed at grade 7 will have a 3-year probation following which they are expected to have embarked upon a successful academic career and demonstrate ongoing career progression and contribution to their academic field, with reference to the University’s criteria for promotion, allowing progression to Grade 8. 

    Progression beyond Grade 8 requires a promotion application.

    Why do Academic and Research staff get promotion but Professional Services staff do not?

    Academic promotions are intended to recognise the personal growth of an individual and set expectations for their future performance.  One of the key principles that underpins academic promotions is that, as a member of academic staff develops their skills, experience, expertise and esteem, their role will grow with them.  Promotion is a formal recognition of growth and development to date which sets expectations for future performance.

    These expectations and principles are different from Professional Services staff who undertake a specific role where grade is determined by job evaluation.  However, over a period of time, and where there is an identified operational need, professional development and opportunities to undertake tasks of greater demand can result in a role regrade.

    Senior Pay

    Why are changes to the Professional and Senior Management pay spine necessary?

    At the moment, all Professors and Senior Managers are paid on one single pay spine (the P&SM scale). The only significant gender pay gap at the University is within this pay spine and recommendations from the Equal Pay audit and from pay specialists KornFerryHay are to reform the pay scale.  In addition, our research has identified that market pay rates and career progression are very different between these two groups.

    How are Professorial and Senior Management pay scales changing?

    Two separate pay scales, based on the existing pay points of the P&SM scale have been designed, one for Senior Professional Services staff (SPSS) and one for Professors.  The SPSS scale has two segments to reflect the different size of senior roles with the size determined by Hay job evaluations, in the same way as grades on the 1-10 Pay Framework.

    The Professorial scale also has two segments, a standard scale for the majority of disciplines and an adjusted scale for a small number of disciplines that attract consistently higher median market pay across the HE sector.

    What is the Early Career pay zone?

    Both the SPSS and the Professorial scales have an Early Career Pay Zone below the Target Pay Zone.  The pay points in this zone will be utilised for individuals who are relatively new to the role / have relatively less experience in the role than their peers or have yet to demonstrate the expected career trajectory/contribution required in the Target Pay Zone.

    As is the current practice, both SPSS and Professorial staff will be required to make an annual application for a salary award as they progress through this zone.

    What is Standard Maximum and Target Pay Zone?

    Both the SPSS and the Professorial scales have ‘Standard Maximum’ pay set 3% above the median market pay indicating the top of the ‘Target Pay Zone’, in exactly the same way as the bar point on the Grades 1-10 Pay Framework.  This is new and is one of the methods being utilised to address the gender pay gap.  The use of a Target Pay Zone will enable the University to monitor equal pay by ensuring there is ‘objective justification’ for any pay gaps based on either career stage or personal performance. This will add structure and transparency to the process already in place for determining senior salaries.  Within the standard progression zone (and above) increments are not automatic but are via application (just as at present).

    What about the pay points above Standard Maximum?

    On both the SPSS and the Professorial scale, there are pay points on the scale above the Standard Maximum point. These Standard Maximum+ points are intended to work in the same way as discretionary pay points on the Grades 1-10 Pay Framework. They will be used to recognise superior performance / sustained and continuous activity to the highest standards to ensure appropriate pay for added value and progression and reward for those who demonstrate continuing worth to the institution. The pay points will be awarded via application (just as at present).

    What are Spot Salaries?

    On both the SPSS and the Professorial scale, spot salaries may be paid which will be higher than the pay points indicated on the pay scale.  The facility to pay a spot salary is needed to ensure that the University can attract and retain top talent or individuals with scarce skills. 

    Which spine point will staff be transitioned to?

    All SPSS and Professorial staff will transfer to the new pay scales on their current salary point.  All future progression will be via application against relevant criteria (just as at present). 

    What if I think I am in the wrong pay zone?

    The Pay Zones for both the SPSS and the Professorial scale are new and individuals will not be assessed against the progression criteria relevant to the various zones as part of the transition to the new pay arrangements.  Instead, individuals will be placed on their current pay point and will have an opportunity to apply for a salary review in the future via the usual process, ideally following an RPD.

    Before the next salary award process, following implementation of the new pay scales, the criteria for progression will be reviewed and updated to ensure there are clear links with the Academic Career Map and evidence requirements.

    What about staff paid on the Clinical Academic scale?

    Staff paid on the Clinical Academic scale will not be affected by these changes, as this scale is not determined by the University.

    Additional Reward / Pay Mechanisms

    How will the departmental/divisional budget for additional awards be calculated?

    The Finance Team will indicate what proportion of a department’s/ division’s salary budget should be allocated for additional awards on an annual basis.  The proportion will vary according to the University’s financial position, but all areas will be allocated the same percentage.

    Each area is then able to allocate this budget for salary awards for their staff, apportioning the money across the different tiers of the Reward Framework as is most appropriate for the area in question.

    Can I still apply for discretionary/additional increments?

    Yes.  Within the Additional Reward Framework there is a facility to apply for increments at Tier 2.

    Can I still apply for a one-off payment or a team award?

    Yes.  Within the Additional Reward Framework there is a facility to apply for one-off payments and team awards at Tiers 3 and 2.

    Can my manager apply for me?

    Yes, all applications can be either manager led or be made by the individuals or teams directly.

    How do RPDs (appraisals) fit into this process?

    All Kent staff should have regular (yearly) RPDs.  An RPD conversation (usually with your Line Manager, unless for Academic roles) is about work priorities, to set objectives and discuss your career development. The focus of an RPD is about connecting your role with the University’s vision, department/division objectives and identifying individual development opportunities.  This conversation provides an opportunity to talk about whether an additional salary award application would be appropriate and what evidence there may be to support this.  Ideally, evidence from RPDs should be used in support of any application made.

    At present, RPDs are not carried out regularly in all areas, so provision of RPD evidence is not mandatory for an additional salary award.  However, the University intends to move towards closer links between RPD and additional reward in the future.

    What is the difference between the annual Cost of Living award and automatic increments?

    The annual Cost of Living award (known as CoL) is determined at a national level by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES).  It is effective from August each year, although it can be applied retrospectively if negotiations are delayed.  In the last few years the Award has been approximately 1% to 2%.  The increase is added to all the pay points on the Grades 1-10 pay scale.  In recent years, pay points in Grades 1-3 have increased more due to the changes in the Living Wage.

    Automatic increments (now known as Standard Progression) are given to staff on the Grades 1-10 Pay Framework.  Within each Grade there are 4 or 5 standard progression points and between 1 and 4 discretionary points (which are applied for).  Staff will receive standard progression between the bottom of the grade and the ‘bar point’ each October (depending upon start date and unless an increment has been withheld following a formal performance management process).

    Why will the University pay the tax on lower awards but not on the higher awards?

    The award given in Tier 4 and award one in Tier 3 are intended to be relatively low cost awards which can be given at any time without any application being required (Tier 4 only).  If these awards were taxed they would be devalued by a significant proportion.  In addition, as these awards are likely to be used to recognise staff in customer facing roles, many of whom are within the lower paid grades, the giving of this award may have the unintentional effect of impacting upon an individual’s entitlement to any State benefits they may be receiving.

    What is a Market Supplement?

    A Market Supplement is a job-based payment.  It is paid monthly as a taxable and pensionable allowance, calculated either as a percentage of salary or a specific value.  It is used to supplement the salaries of specific roles where there is a demonstrable difference between the salary paid within the Grade and the median market salary for the job in question.  The difference is usually due to the job being a scarce skill.  Market Supplements are usually for an initial period of 2 years then reviewed.  Where the salary difference is likely to be long term they can be converted into a permanent supplement where evidence indicates this over time. N.B. Due to the 12-month pay freeze, no new market supplements will be paid until 1 October 2021.

    What is a Personal Value Allowance?

    A Personal Value Allowance (PVA) is a person-based payment.  It can be paid monthly or as a bonus for the completion of a particular project.  It is most often used as a retention payment to secure an individual in possession of specific skills or knowledge where there is a strategic imperative for doing so.  This may be to ensure completion of a project or to hire an individual on a fixed term contract where interim work can often attract a higher salary. N.B. Due to the 12-month pay freeze, PVAs will not be paid until 1 October 2021.

    How pay is affected on the Grades 1-10 Pay Framework

    How the new Additional Pay Framework works


    Any queries that remain after reading the FAQ should be emailed to

Registry, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 764000 or contact us

Last Updated: 11/08/2021