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HR: Annual Staff Review

Exceptional contribution payments (ECPs)

What is an Exceptional Contribution Payment?

Exceptional Contribution Payments (ECPs) are permanent pay increases through additional increments on a member of staff's pay scale. ECPs apply to staff graded 1 to 9 only (separate arrangements are in place for grade 10 staff).

They are made when:

"Overall performance has been of an exceptional standard. The reviewee has demonstrated an outstanding and sustained contribution to University and departmental objectives far beyond that normally expected. The contribution has been consistent in out-performing against agreed objectives and performance has far exceeded normal expectations for the role."

ECPs are made in the form of consolidated increments to salary. This can be by accelerated incremental progression through the pay scale, or movement into the contribution points at the top of each scale.

When are ECPs awarded?

ECPs are awarded in August each year following recommendations from academic and service Heads of Departments. Nominations have to be made to Divisional Heads by 31 March each year.

Who can receive an ECP?

All staff up to, and including Grade 9 can receive an ECP. Separate arrangements are in place for Grade 10 staff.

Below are some examples of reasons to award ECPs:

  • Developing ideas for new services and seeing through to implementation;
  • Inspirational management of more junior staff;
  • Detailed work on preparation of a REF submission;
  • Exceptional teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Exceptional analytical skills;
  • Exceptional leadership of, and input into, a large scale project;
  • Consistently exceeding targets in terms of outputs and timetable;
  • Accepting additional responsibilities to free colleagues from time consuming tasks.

How is an ECP recommended through the ASR process?

The ASR reviewer must clearly highlight the reasons why an ECP should be awarded in Section A3 (Reviewer's Comments) of the ASR form. 

A copy of the whole ASR form, and any other relevant evidence, should be sent to the Head of Department.

The Head of Department should consider nominations and compile a list of staff he/she supports for an ECP. The list is then submitted by the end of March to the Divisional Head for consideration.

Heads of Department should inform those individuals who have been put forward, explaining that a nomination is not a guarantee of success.

The Divisional Head then considers nominations across all their departments.

Is there a limit to the number of ECPs a member of staff can receive?

There is no limit on the number of contribution payments a member of staff can receive (other than reaching the top contribution point for their grade). 

However, if an individual has been recommended for more than one contribution payment, Heads of Department will be required to undertake a review of the case to assess the appropriateness of other options e.g. an application for promotion/re-grading, before the recommendation for an ECP is forwarded to the Divisional Head.

Can a member of staff nominate him/herself?

Self-nomination is not the usual route for an ECP but if a member of staff feels that they have a compelling case, they can apply by writing to their Head of Department. They must provide a copy of their ASR form and any other relevant information.

How are decisions communicated?

Those awarded an ECP will be informed in writing by the Divisional Head. Details of awarded ECPs also go to the relevant Head of Department.

The Divisional Head will inform the Head of Department of the reasons why nominations have not been awarded.

Heads of Department are encouraged to provide feedback to the individuals concerned to explain why a nomination was not awarded.

What is the difference between an ECP and a Discretionary Award?

ECPs are permanent pay increases made in the form of additional increments and are for sustained exceptional contribution.

Discretionary Awards can vary in amount and are made in the form of one off lump sum payments to reward one off exceptional contribution or achievements. Discretionary Awards can be made to individuals or to teams/groups. The Award does not necessarily have to be in the form of a cash payment.