Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/7.14 Remuneration for senior staff

Policy Owner

Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer

Approval Date


Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review


7.14.1 Application
7.14.2 Total remuneration
7.14.3 Performance bonus
7.14.4 Flexible Remuneration Scheme
7.14.5 Higher duties
Related Documents
Modification History

7.14.1 Application

The senior staff remuneration policy applies to all positions at the University classified at levels Senior Staff Group A-E (SSGA-SSGE).

This policy does not apply to the position of Vice-Chancellor and President.


7.14.2 Total remuneration

a) Classification and Remuneration Structure

The University’s senior staff classification structure for SSGA-SSGE is based on work point value, with a total remuneration range applied to each classification level (QUT staff access only). Total remuneration is inclusive of:

  • ‘total salary’ (salary, tenure surrender and loading where applicable)
  • leave loading
  • superannuation.

The total remuneration ranges have been, and will continue to be informed by the general market. Total remuneration ranges will be reduced by 15% for staff who have tenure.

b) Annual general market review

An annual general market review will be undertaken, and include advice from an external provider. The information and advice from the external provider may be used by the Governance, Nominations and Remuneration Committee Committee to make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor and President to help inform the decision of a percentage change to the total salary for all senior staff.

If a percentage increase is endorsed it will be paid to all senior staff (including those that may be paid above the maximum of their applicable remuneration range), and will apply from 1 January of the applicable year.

Any percentage increase will also be applied to the senior staff total remuneration ranges.

c) Movement within a total remuneration range

Senior staff (SSGA-SSGE) who are positioned at a remuneration point within a range are eligible for consideration of a movement within that range where there is demonstrated exceptional performance against agreed specific performance targets/key performance indicators, as articulated in the staff member’s performance agreement.

The relevant Executive Dean/Head of Division may recommend movement within the remuneration range to the Performance Pay Committee in exceptional circumstances. The Performance Pay Committee may then make a final recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor and President, who has authority to approve any movement within the remuneration range. Recommendations are to be made, with supporting information/evidence of the exceptional performance. The Performance Pay Committee may convene at any time to consider recommendations.

Any adjustment to total remuneration will take effect from a nominated date as approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

d) Above range remuneration

In exceptional circumstances, with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor and President, senior staff may receive total remuneration higher than the maximum range for their level, via a loading for a fixed period.


7.14.3 Performance bonus

a) Eligibility

To be eligible for a performance bonus, a senior staff member must work in the position for at least nine (9) months of their PPR-SS cycle. Periods of leave are not considered to be work and are therefore excluded for the purposes of determining eligibility.  

Recommendations in circumstances when the senior staff member has worked for less than nine months of their PPR-SS cycle will only be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and President (on the recommendation of the Performance Pay Committee) or the Governance, Nominations and Remuneration Committee (as appropriate in accordance with B/9.3.8 and B/9.3.9) in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances may include new or returning appointees to senior staff positions who have completed less than nine months of their PPR-SS cycle and who are able to demonstrate achievement against agreed specific performance targets/key performance indicators as articulated in their performance agreement objectives.

b) Performance pay bonus

Subject to B/7.14.3(a) all senior staff (SSGA-SSGE) are eligible for a performance pay bonus.

The performance pay bonus is calculated on total salary as at 31 December in the year the bonus is earned.

In recommending and determining the size of a performance pay bonus two factors are considered; the staff member's individual performance as outlined in the performance agreement for the previous 12 month period and the relevant organisational unit's performance over the same period. The relevant organisational unit (i.e. University, Faculty/Division, School/Department) is the level above the location of the senior staff member. For example, a Head of School's individual performance is assessed combined with the performance of the Faculty.

The performance of the relevant organisational unit is determined as follows:

  • University - determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President
  • Faculty - determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President on advice of the Provost
  • Division - determined by the Vice-Chancellor and President
  • School/Department - determined by Executive Dean of Faculty/Head of Division.

As part of the annual performance review the supervisor will consider the performance objectives achieved throughout the 12 month period. Where the supervisor determines that the performance by the senior staff member during this period exceeds a satisfactory level, i.e. high or exceptional, the supervisor will:

  • make a recommendation regarding the percentage of performance pay bonus to be awarded to the senior staff member
  • send the recommendation on performance pay bonus to the authorising officer along with any supporting documentation (for example, documentation could include a one page summary of achievements completed by the senior staff member).

The authorising officer will consider the recommendation and hold further discussions with the supervisor if required. The authorising officer will then confirm a recommendation (PPR-SS Action form) and forward that recommendation to the Performance Pay Committee (B/9.3.8) or Governance, Nominations and Remuneration Committee (B/9.3.9) as appropriate.

The range of performance pay bonus will be 0-12% of the staff member's total salary.

Performance pay bonuses are one-off payments made as a lump sum, awarded each year, are non-superannuable and subject to PAYG tax. A staff member may elect to salary sacrifice all or a percentage of their performance pay bonus into their relevant superannuation fund. This election must be made prior to the period during which the bonus payment is earned.

c) Exceptional performance bonus

In exceptional circumstances the Vice-Chancellor and President may award a one-off exceptional performance bonus in excess of 12% to a maximum of 20% of the senior staff member's total salary as part of / or outside of the staff member's annual performance planning and review cycle.

Exceptional circumstances under this provision mean where a senior staff member, through outstanding performance, contributes significantly to the University's position as a leading teaching and research provider.

The Vice-Chancellor and President will consult with members of the Performance Pay Committee (B/9.3.8) in making a decision to award such a one-off exceptional performance bonus.

Exceptional performance bonuses made under this provision are one-off payments made as a lump sum, are awarded at the time of the decision by the Vice-Chancellor and President, are non-superannuable/non-salary sacrificeable and subject to PAYG tax.


7.14.4 Flexible Remuneration Scheme

This scheme is available to senior staff provided their appointment is for a minimum period of 12 months. Participation in the scheme is voluntary.

The University’s intention is to provide a scheme which involves the staff member reducing their total remuneration in return for non-cash benefits offered by the University. The staff member is required to meet the full cost of the provision of such benefits and associated taxation and administration costs.

a) Benefits

The type of benefits available to a staff member will be dependent upon the suitability of a benefit to the length of a staff member’s appointment.

Benefits to be provided by the University may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Payment by the University of the staff member’s superannuation contribution to UniSuper or QSuper
  • Lease of a motor vehicle through novated and associated lease arrangements
  • Additional contributions to a superannuation scheme such as UniSuper or QSuper
  • Items exempt from Fringe Benefit Tax and items concessionally taxed for Fringe Benefit Tax purposes and items otherwise tax deductible.


7.14.5 Higher duties

A senior staff member temporarily performing the duties of a designated higher duties classified position (e.g. acts in a vacant position or replaces a staff member on leave) for 10 working days or more, will be paid an appropriate increase in total remuneration to reflect the range of duties expected to be performed.

Superannuation contributions to the UniSuper Scheme are paid based on the higher duties total salary from the first day of the period of higher duties exceeding 12 months. Superannuation contributions to the QSuper Defined Benefit Plan, if applicable, are paid based on the higher duties total salary from 1 July of each year if the period of higher duties has been continuous from at least 1 July of the previous year.


Related Documents

MOPP B/9.3 Performance planning and review for senior staff

MOPP B/9.5 Managing unsatisfactory performance - Senior Staff

MOPP B/7.11 Superannuation


Modification History





18.03.22 All Executive Director, Human Resources (Acting) - D22/36119 Administrative update to align with revised Human Resources delegations and ensure consistent terminology around 'bonuses'
09.11.15 All Vice-Chancellor Revised policy




New policy