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Bonus Payment Policy & Procedure (for General Staff)

Category Human Resources
Type Policy
Approved by Director Human Resources, 2000
Date Policy Took Effect 1 July 2000
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration
Review Date 19 August 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this policy and procedure is to ensure that recommendations for, and the approval and payment of, General Staff bonuses are applied in a fair and consistent manner in accordance with the University’s overall remuneration strategy and structure, and its employment contracts.

Organisational Scope

This policy and procedure applies to all General Staff at the University.

Policy Content

Contents

1. General Principles
2. Policy
3. Procedure

1. General Principles

(a) The University acknowledges that, from time to time, an additional monetary payment in the form of a bonus may need to be made to a staff member to recognise and reward the achievement of a certain specific task or set of tasks.

(b) The University believes that the investment in a bonus payment should occur as soon as possible after the achievement of the particular task or set of tasks for which a bonus payment is to be made.

(c) Recommendations and approvals of bonus payments will not form part of the Performance and Development Review

(d) The University believes that the approval of a recommendation for a bonus payment should be devolved in terms of a sensible delegation of authority code.

2. Policy

(a) There may be circumstances where a staff member has undertaken substantial additional work or special projects over and above normal duties, which warrant recognition. In such a case, the granting of a one-off bonus payment may be appropriate.

(b) A bonus payment should not be made for work which has already been rewarded in other ways. For example, a bonus should not be paid for work which has already been recognised through payment of a Higher Duties Allowance or by way of salary movement following the Performance and Development Review. A bonus must not be used in place of a higher duties allowance or overtime payment in circumstances where the staff member is entitled to such a payment under their employment contract.

(c) A recommendation for a bonus payment to a staff member:

  1. should be made by the staff member's immediate supervisor, or the staff member through his/her immediate supervisor, to the Vice-Chancellor or Divisional Head (see item 2.f below) through: the Manager or Head of Department and/or Head of Cost Centre; Dean (if applicable); and Divisional Head;
  2. should be made on the prescribed BPR form;
  3. should be accompanied by a full justification in accordance with the policy and procedures set out in this document;
  4. may be made at any time during the year;
  5. should preferably be initiated immediately following the achievement of the specific task (or set of tasks) for which a bonus is being recommended, but no later than twelve months after the task/s have been achieved; and
  6. should not normally be made more than once in every 12 months to the same staff member.

(d) The Vice-Chancellor or Divisional Head, as the case may be, reserves the right to amend/request further justification/approve/not approve a recommendation for a bonus payment.

(e) Bonus payments should be in multiples of $100 with a minimum of $200 and, as a general guide, should not normally exceed 2 percent of a staff member's annual salary. When deciding on the amount to recommend for a bonus payment, the nature of the work performed should be taken into consideration. Unless it is clearly stated that the bonus payment is to be pro-rated for part-time staff, the payment will not be pro-rated.

(f) The following delegation of authority for the approval of bonus payments will apply:

  1. Divisional Heads - up to and including $1,500
  2. Vice-Chancellor - exceeding $1,500

(g) Any members of the General Staff, irrespective of length of service, are eligible to be recommended for a bonus payment.

3. Procedure

(a) Immediate supervisor or staff member completes Form BPR (Bonus Payment Recommendation Form) appropriately.

(b) A full justification for the recommendation is required on Form BPR.

(c) The Vice-Chancellor or Divisional Head, as the case may be, considers the recommendation and either:

  1. Amends or requests further details or
  2. Approves or does not approve the bonus payment

(d) Once approval has been obtained, the Divisional Head:

  1. writes to the staff member concerned informing him/her about the payment and the reasons for it; and
  2. submits to Payroll Input, Human Resources the following:
  • the original, authorised Form BPR and
  • a copy of the letter written to the staff member

(e) Once the Payroll Input team within Human Resources receives Form BPR with the letter to the staff member, they will process for payment. The Form and letter will then be filed on the staff member's personal file.

(f) Where a staff member has personally applied for a bonus payment to be made (as in paragraph 2(c)(i) under "Policy" above), and the payment has been declined or has been reduced by a Divisional Head, the staff member may submit a request for review to the Director, Human Resources for consideration by the Vice-Chancellor. A request for review should be submitted within three weeks of receiving advice about the payment. The review will be carried out on the papers available to the Director at the time.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Download Bonus Payment Recommendation Form

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions and Remuneration on dan.wilson@otago.ac.nz  or (03) 479 8092.