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Staff Loadings and Responsibilities Allowance Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) Western Sydney University operates in a dynamic sector where there is ongoing competition for expertise and skills in academic, administrative and specialist fields. Loadings and allowances are one way to attract and retain individuals who are crucial to the strategic goals of the University.

(2) This policy provides the principles and procedures for recognising high performing employees.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The University has created incentives to attract employees who will or have contributed to the University in distinctive ways, and to reward and retain those who are contributing to their discipline / field at an exceptional level. The University may:

  1. pay a recruitment and retention loading in addition to a base salary;
  2. pay a responsibilities allowance; or
  3. appoint an employee at Level E step 2.

(5) Loadings, allowances and appointments under this policy must be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President, except loadings before an offer of employment is made which will be approved by the Employment Executive.

Recruitment and Retention Loadings

(6) Before approving a loading, the University must be satisfied (based on the most objective information available) that:

  1. there is a competitive, short supply labour market;
  2. the person is or could be highly sought after within that market; and
  3. the person performs at an outstanding level.

(7) Loadings are available to senior managers, and professional or specialist general or academic individuals employed on an ongoing or fixed term basis.

(8) The University will not consider blanket applications for loadings to be paid to all employees or a group of employees within a specific discipline.

Loadings Criteria

(9) A Dean or Director may recommend a loading payment for an employee who meets the criteria specified below. The recommendation must be substantiated with clear, objective evidence.

(10) The loading payments and criteria for academic employees are:

  1. 5 - 10%: demonstrated sustained exceptional achievement in:
    1. teaching and/or curriculum development;
    2. research or institutional planning; and/or
    3. governance at the University.
  2. 11 - 20%: demonstrated sustained exceptional achievement in two of:
    1. teaching and/or curriculum development;
    2. research or institutional planning; and/or
    3. governance at the University.
  3. 21% and above: demonstrated sustained exceptional achievement in all three areas of:
    1. teaching and/or curriculum development;
    2. research and institutional planning; and/or
    3. governance at the University;

(11) and recognition nationally and internationally as a major and influential figure in his or her discipline.

(12) The loading payments and criteria for general employees are:

  1. 5 - 10%: demonstrated sustained exceptional achievement in the core competencies of the position.
  2. 11 - 20%: demonstrated sustained exceptional achievement in the core competencies of the position and recognition as a knowledgeable professional expert in the position.
  3. 21% and above:
    1. demonstrated sustained exceptional achievement in the core competencies of the position;
    2. consistently demonstrated capacity to perform highly effectively in the position over three or more performance cycles; and
    3. strategic contribution to the University.

(13) Exceptional achievement for academic employees may include recognition as Fellow of a learned academy, international disciplinary prizes or honours, and sustained national competitive achievement (e.g. Federation Fellow).

(14) Continuation of loading payments for the second and subsequent year(s) of employment is contingent upon the employee achieving at least a rating of "exceptional" against each of the agreed key performance targets set in their annual performance planning review.

Appointment at Level E Step 2

(15) Appointment as a Professor Level E Step 2 is by invitation of the University only, in accordance with the current Academic Staff Agreement.

Confidentiality

(16) The release or divulging of the details of any loading or allowance payment is a breach of confidentiality unless approved by the Employment Executive.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - New Employees and Loadings

(17) The Dean or Director may seek approval from the Vice-Chancellor and President or Employment Executive nominee to offer a loading to a recommended applicant at the pre recruitment stage or before an offer of employment is made.

Recruitment

(18) The selection panel may recommend payment of an appropriate level of loading to a recommended applicant.

(19) The Chair of the selection panel will complete an Application for Staff Loadings as Part of Recruitment Form as part of Recruitment on behalf of the selection panel stating the rationale for the recommendation and including:

  1. information demonstrating that the recommended applicant is sought after within the defined market;
  2. evidence of the recommended applicant's professional achievements;
  3. the recommended applicant's qualifications and reputation within the discipline or work area; and
  4. information on the state of the relevant labour market.

(20) The Chair must forward the selection panel's recommendation to the Employment Executive for consideration. The Employment Executive will make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(21) In exceptional circumstances, the Chair of the Selection Panel may forward the recommendation and supporting documentation directly to the Vice-Chancellor and President or Employment Executive.

Contract of Employment

(22) Where payment of a loading is approved, the contract of employment must specify a fixed period in which the loading is payable and that the candidate must demonstrate a sustained exceptional level of achievement across key performance targets, as well as making a strategic contribution to the University, during the period.

(23) Within three months of commencing appointment with the University, the new employee and their supervisor will agree on the key performance targets. The agreed targets will form an addendum to the primary contract of employment.

Part B - Existing Employees and Loadings

Performance Planning Reviews

First Loading

(24) A supervisor may consider payment of a loading to an employee following the outcome of an annual performance planning review.

(25) Employees cannot nominate themselves for the payment of a loading.

(26) Loadings normally apply for an initial period of one year and will be subject to the annual review in the performance planning review process.

(27) The Staffing Committee will consider submissions for loadings in May annually.

(28) Where loading payments commence six months or less before an employee's next annual performance planning review date, the annual review period may be extended to align with the next review.

(29) The supervisor must complete and submit an Application for Payment of a Staff Loading to an Existing Staff Member or Continuance of a Loading Form to the relevant Dean or Director. The Dean or Director will endorse the submission where appropriate and submit it to the Staffing Committee for consideration. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(30) In exceptional circumstances, the Dean or Director may forward their recommendation directly to the Vice-Chancellor and President for approval. The Vice-Chancellor and President may seek further information as required.

(31) The Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President will forward the approval and documentation to the Office of Human Resources (HR) in time to meet the HR's annual processing deadline.

Continuation of a Loading

(32) The supervisor must complete and submit the Application for Payment of a Staff Loading to an Existing Staff Member or Continuance of a Loading Form to the Staffing Committee for consideration. The Committee will make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(33) A loading payment will be discontinued if the result of the annual performance planning review is that the required performance levels have not been met.

(34) Where a loading payment is discontinued, no further request for a loading payment to the employee will be considered for at least two performance planning review cycles.

Securing Employment in a Competitive Labour Market

(35) In order to retain the ongoing services of an existing employee whose skills are highly valued by the University, a Dean or Director may wish to nominate an employee for a salary loading. They then must provide the following information to the Staffing Committee for consideration:

  1. Application for Payment of a Staff Loading to an Existing Staff Member or Continuance of a Loading Form, as relevant;
  2. a detailed rationale for the nomination including evidence that the employee's exceptional skills and performance are sought after in a short supply labour market, for example a copy of a letter of offer at the same or higher level; and
  3. the individual's ability to attract entrepreneurial income or research funding if relevant.

(36) The Staffing Committee will make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(37) In exceptional circumstances, the Dean or Director may make a recommendation directly to the Vice-Chancellor and President. The Vice-Chancellor and President may seek further information as required.

Job Classification Changes

(38) The Office of Human Resources will notify the Dean or Director where the position of an employee who receives a loading changes through Academic Promotion, Job Evaluation or appointment to a higher level position. The Dean or Director will undertake an interim performance review of the employee and review the loadings in accordance with the loadings criteria.

(39) Academic promotion, job re-evaluation or appointment to a higher position does not mean that a loading will automatically continue in the new position.

Payment of Loadings

(40) Loadings will be paid through the University Payroll, as part of the normal fortnightly salary. Loadings are taxable and superable.

(41) A loading may be used for salary packaging within the parameters of the University's salary packaging arrangements. A loading may not be used to salary sacrifice the purchase of a University vehicle for private use unless the recipient is an eligible employee as defined in the Salary Sacrifice (Vehicles) Policy.

(42) The Executive Director, Human Resources will ensure regular reports are provided to the University Executive on the payment of loadings.

Appeals

(43) The decision of the Vice-Chancellor and President to approve or not approve the payment of a loading is final and no appeal may be made.

Part C - Responsibilities Allowances

(44) A responsibilities allowance may be paid to an employee who is invited by the University to undertake a specific role which is in addition to their substantive duties, eg Provost.

(45) A responsibilities allowance is not appropriate as a reward for work carried out by an employee as part of their substantive duties.

(46) Responsibility allowances are taxable but superable on the basis of the length of the payments. Individual superannuation advice is available from the Office of Human Resources.

Part D - Appointing a Professor at Level E Step 2

(47) A Dean may make a recommendation to the Employment Executive that an employee be appointed at Level E Step 2. The employee must already hold a loading greater than 20%.

(48) A recommendation for appointment at Level E Step 2 must be supported by written justification.

Part E - General requirements

(49) Any alternative incentive strategy must be reported and acquitted in accordance with University financial accounting requirements.

(50) All costs associated with the payment of a loading or allowance are borne by the relevant cost centre.

(51) A copy of the relevant documents relating to the application, approval and payment of a loading, allowance or appointment under this policy will be placed on the employee's personal TRIM file.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(52) Nil.