University agreement on market related grading schemes


The National Framework Agreement requires institutions to use analytical job evaluation as the basis for assigning posts to the new salary structures. The purpose of job evaluation is to ensure that internal salary relativities are equitable and based on consistent analysis and criteria. The National Framework Agreement recognises that these relativities may not reflect the salaries being paid in the wider labour markets from which the University recruits, and hence makes allowance for the salary levels in the evaluated grade for a particular type of post to be supplemented in order to ensure that institutions are able to recruit staff of the appropriate quality to meet the requirements of the University’s mission.

This procedure seeks to provide for salary supplementation which:

  • does not conflict with the statutory framework for equal pay for work of equal value and,
  • only permits supplements on the basis of objective assessment.


Salary supplements will only be approved on the basis of objective evidence that the salary scale for a post is insufficient to recruit a candidate of the appropriate quality in relation to the University’s mission, who meets the essential criteria in the person specification for the post.

The sources and the nature of the objective evidence available in particular cases will vary, and a body of case-law will develop as the University gains experience with the procedure. Initially, the following types of evidence will be used to assess a proposal for salary supplementation:

  • authoritative salary surveys carried out by well-known and reputable commercial and professional bodies, such as the Reward Regional Surveys, IDS, CIPD
  • post/salary monitoring of THES, Guardian Education, Jobs AC (UK), Oxford Times by the HR Directorate
  • salary monitoring through the Oxford Public Sector Employers network group
  • EOC and JNCHES written guidance on the use of salary supplements.

The recognised trade unions will have access to all data used.

    • Proposals for supplementation may also be considered if there is evidence that turnover in a particular post has been directly caused by higher salaries offered elsewhere for similar posts; and that failure to recruit over one or two advertising/interviewing rounds has been caused by low salary offers.


    • Salary supplements will be approved only by the Director of Human Resources: Decisions in any individual case may be challenged through the Grievance procedure.
    • Supplements will be set either as a salary range that will replace the evaluated salary range (for the period of the supplementation), or as a single sum. In either case, they will be set so as to be consistent with the evidence on the appropriate salary to recruit a competent person who meets the essential person specification criteria for the post, and has the appropriate qualities for the post in relation to the University’s mission.
    • Supplemented salaries will be paid monthly through the normal salary system, but will be identified separately from the base salary for the post in staff documentation and records.

Supplements will be considered as pensionable pay, and will count as normal pay for calculating deductions and for calculating additional payments.

When a supplemented salary is approved, it will apply to all posts which have the same role description and essential person specification criteria and will be pro rata to fte for part-time staff. Further consideration may be given to posts with similar role descriptions following written application to the Director of Human Resources.


    • Market related (supplemented) salaries will be reviewed annually in June/July, using the same comparative survey data identified above. Individuals in receipt of a market supplement and the recognised Trade Union(s) will be notified of the review and invited to submit appropriate evidence. Any change in the level of supplementation will be determined by the Director of Human Resources and in consultation with the recognised Trade Union(s) and implemented with effect from 1st August or such later date as may be appropriate. The outcomes of the annual reviews will be presented to the Joint Staff Committee. Any changes in the level of supplementation will apply from the month following the determination. Any reduction will be limited to a maximum of 5% of the previous aggregate salary.
    • Salary supplementation will be audited annually in July/August. The audit will be of the total number of posts covered, and their distribution by School/Directorate, occupation, gender, disability status, age and ethnic origin of the recipients. The results of the audit will be presented to the Joint Staff Committee.

December 2004