Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
Human Resources - Central Unit
Date Approved
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

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University Policy on: Discretionary Allowances and Payments

Overtype “Policy Name” with the name of the policy.  This must convey specifically, accurately and succinctly what the policy addresses eg Award of Honours, Study Leave.

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines the core principles common to all discretionary allowances and payments granted to attract and retain employees who have special skills or expertise, and to recognise and reward outstanding performance.

This must be in Normal, Policy style.

Provide a brief summary of the reasons for the policy and issues it addresses.  This section is designed to stand alone.  The aim is to provide the reader with enough information to make a decision about whether or not this is the policy they are looking for.  It must not be longer than 200 words. 

Example 1

This policy defines the nature and purpose of study leave provisions for academic staff and sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that apply.

Example 2

This policy seeks to rationalise the award of honours across the University by addressing such issues as: entry standards, course content and structure, supervision, assessment, examination, grades, classifications, benchmarking and the maintenance and provision of documentation relating to these matters.  It is based on resolutions of the Academic Board flowing from the 1999 report of the Honours Working Party.


"Approved Delegate" means a position granted authority to act on behalf of the Vice Chancellor with varied levels of authority in line with the University's Delegations.


"Base Salary" means the salary point in the relevant University salary scale paid to the employee concerned.


"Employee" means a person employed by the University.


"Remuneration Committee" means the University Committee chaired by the Vice Chancellor to determine and review the University's remuneration policy and monitor salary and allowance movements.


"Standing Remuneration Committee" means the University Committee comprising the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and at least one of the Director, Human Resources or the Associate Director, Equity and Diversity.


"Supervisor" means the person who is responsible for day-to-day supervision of the employee.


"University" means The University of Western Australia.

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Policy statement:


The University is committed to attracting, developing and retaining the highest quality staff. To meet this commitment, the University will offer competitive remuneration for skills which are in high demand, and recognition and rewards for outstanding performance.


Discretionary allowances granted to attract and retain employees who have special skills or expertise, and to recognise and reward outstanding performance include:


Attraction Allowance


Retention Allowance


Market Allowance


Performance Allowance


Bonus Payments


A comparison table of discretionary allowances, which can be used to determine which allowance is applicable to a particular circumstance, can be found at Overview of Discretionary Allowances.


1 Principles of discretionary allowances


1.1 Discretionary allowances and payments form part of the University's remuneration and performance management regime, and it is important that all the elements of performance management support and compliment one another.


1.2 The allowances and payments link closely to the Performance Appraisal Report (PAR), which places the onus on supervisors to proactively identify and reward outstanding performance, in addition to ensuring accountability and consistency of the application of allowances.


1.3 Monetary rewards are not the only, and often not the most effective means of recognising achievement. University Policy: Reward and Recognition provides practical guidance on rewarding individuals and teams through a range of formal and informal mechanisms.


1.4 The general principles of allowances and remuneration are determined by the University's Remuneration Committee.


1.5 Temporary discretionary allowances will attract 9% employer superannuation contribution, which will be paid to accumulation funds. Ongoing discretionary allowances will attract 9%17% (as applicable) superannuation.


2 Approval process


2.1 Applications for all discretionary allowances and payments must be made using the Discretionary Allowance Form.


2.2 Decisions to recommend allowances must be made in accordance with the University's principles of Equity and Achievement Relative to Opportunity and policies on:

· Professional Development Review (PDR)

· Performance Appraisal Report (PAR)

· Reward and Recognition


2.3 The business unit's:

· Operational Priorities Plan (OPP)

· Strategic Plan


2.4 In considering recommendations for any allowance the Dean/Standing Remuneration Committee will take into account the existing distribution of allowances within the faculty/division, the reasons for the recommendation, current remuneration for that category of employee and any other relevant factors.


2.5 Any applications, approved by the Dean, which do not meet the eligibility/purpose of the relevant policy will be referred by Human Resources to the Standing Remuneration Committee for consideration.


3 Allowance review


3.1 When an employee successfully applies for promotion or reclassification through normal procedures resulting in an increase in base salary, the allowance will be reviewed to determine if the allowance or level of the allowance is appropriate in the context of the new position. The allowance would ordinarily be absorbed or reduced at this time.


3.2 The awarding of an allowance will also necessitate a review and rationalisation of any existing allowances for that individual.


4 Governance and accountability


4.1 In conjunction with the delegated authority for approval of discretionary allowances and payments, no delegate is authorised to approve an allowance or payment to a direct report or if there is actual or a reasonable perceived conflict of interest. In these instances, application is to be approved by the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor or Director, Human Resources.


4.2 It is proposed the Standing Remuneration Committee will meet four times per year and may deal with particular cases and conditions. All applications to the Committee are to be submitted to HR Services-Employment in the first instance.


4.3 Human Resources will provide a report annually to SDVC, Deans and Directors detailing any bonus payments granted throughout the year and all discretionary allowances. Deans or equivalent will be required to report annually on the quantum, rationale, and distributive justice of allowances in their faculty or division.

Policy or Procedure?

Policies are statements of the principles1 which govern decision-making.

Procedures are the functional steps used to implement policies.

1 Principles in this context are to be understood as being both broad and detailed.

The policy statement makes clear the intent of the policy.  It must be written in clear, precise and direct language.  Short sentences are preferable.  Any specialist words or acronyms must be defined at the beginning of the statement.  (A guide to writing styles will be available soon.)

If the policy includes procedural elements you will need to identify these as Procedures by including this word above the relevant text.  The procedures style from the styles drop-down list must be applied to the whole of the procedures text, including the word Procedures.  Note: Administrative procedures can be approved by the relevant Director.

Related forms:


Discretionary Allowances Form



Provide links to any forms associated with the policy (eg Approved Leave form) and/or to information on on-line submission.

Note: Forms are a means through which policy is processed, not made.  Forms must reflect policy and must not be used to create policy.


TRIM File No:


Insert the appropriate TRIM file number.  All policies must have a TRIM file for storing information relating to policy development and other related information.  Note this is not the policy number.  Apply for a TRIM file number at http:/


Contact position:

HR Services-Employment

State the name of the position that is to be contacted for any queries regarding the policy, eg University Secretary.  Note: As this will link through to the University’s Contact Directory, the position name must be given exactly as it appears in that directory.



Related Policies or legislation:

Performance Appraisal Report - Policy and Procedures


Professional Development Review - Policy and Procedures


Overview of Discretionary Allowances


University Policies on:


Attraction Allowance


Market Allowance


Retention Allowance


Performance Allowance


Bonus Payments


UWA Code of Ethics and a Code of Conduct

Provide details of, and, if appropriate, web links to, other policies, legislation or committee resolutions that relate to the subject of the policy, if known, eg Statute(s), University General Rule(s).  If unsure what these might be, try one or more of the following:

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If related policies are stored in University Policy format on the University Policies site, please provide the relevant policy number(s). 



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