Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Human Resources
Authoring Organisational Unit
Human Resources - Central Unit
Date Approved
26/06/2007 Revised 24/10/2007
Approving Body
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor And Registrar

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Merit Allowance

Note: This policy was superseded as part of the Discretionary Allowance Review July 2012. Please refer queries to the Director, Human Resources.

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

This policy defines the nature and purpose of the Merit Allowance in recognition of outstanding performance, and sets out eligibility criteria and other conditions that apply.

This policy does not apply to casuals.


"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 who has an ongoing or fixed term contract under the terms of the following Agreements (as amended or replaced from time to time): Academic Staff Agreement, General Staff Agreement or an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA) except where the AWA has specific employment provisions which override this policy.

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

"University" means The University of Western Australia.

Policy statement:

1.1 On recommendation of a Dean (or equivalent), the Director Human Resources may approve payment of a merit allowance in recognition of outstanding performance.

1.2 Merit allowances can be negotiated at any point during the appointment but it is most likely to occur subsequent to a formal review of activities.

1.3 Merit allowances will be limited in number. In general, merit allowances should not be paid to an Employee who has not reached the limit of the existing incremental scale for the position occupied. These employees should be recognised by way of an accelerated increment.

1.4 Written applications may come from Employees through the Supervisor, directed to the Dean (or equivalent). Supervisors may initiate applications on behalf of Employees.

1.5 The Dean (or equivalent) shall formally assess each application before forwarding it to Director Human Resources. Unsupported applications should include the Dean's reasons for the decision. Supported applications should include a written recommendation stating -

  • the contribution the employee is making to the University and on what basis it has been considered as exceptional and deserving of a merit allowance
  • the amount and term of the proposed merit allowance, and
  • the source and adequacy of funding for payment of the merit allowance.

1.6 Merit allowances shall be paid for the proposed term as a fixed dollar sum, calculated as a percentage of the Base Salary of the position at the time the allowance is awarded and are not superannuated. It does not include any other allowance paid to the Employee and is not superannuated.

1.7 Merit allowances may be recommended for an initial period of up to three years. Any application for extension is to be considered as a new application and can be approved for a maximum of two further years.

1.8 The Dean (or equivalent), in making recommendations for merit allowances, shall identify the source of funding. Funds may be drawn from any available faculty or school source. In the absence of identifiable funding no merit allowance shall be granted.

1.9 In considering recommendations for merit allowances, the Director Human Resources will take into account the existing distribution of allowances within the faculty, the reasons for the recommendation, and any other relevant factors.

1.10 Where the Director Human Resources does not concur with a recommendation, the Dean (or equivalent) shall be notified in writing.

1.11 Deans (or equivalent) will be responsible for -

  • assessing applications
  • forwarding all supported and unsupported applications to the Director Human Resources
  • advising all applicants of the outcome of their application

1.12 If an applicant disagrees with a Dean's or Director Human Resources' unfavourable assessment a request for review (in writing) can be forwarded to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, with a copy provided to the Director Human Resources.

1.13 Employees who are subject to disciplinary or unsatisfactory performance procedures may have any merit allowance ceased.

1.14 When an Employee successfully applies for promotion through normal procedures and this results in an increase in Base Salary, the amount of the merit allowance will be reviewed.

1.15 Deans (or equivalent) shall report annually to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor the number and aggregate amount of market allowances within the faculty.

Related forms: N/A

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

HR Services-Employment

Related Policies or legislation: