1. Policy Statement

  1. The University recognises that members of staff may occasionally provide cover for posts at a higher grade on a temporary basis to ensure service provision is maintained. Where this exceeds a period of 1 month, the payment of a Temporary Responsibility Allowance (TRA) will apply. A TRA will not normally apply for longer than 12 months.
  2. A TRA will generally apply when a situation requiring cover arises that has not been planned for example when a member of staff is on long term sickness absence or as an interim measure in advance of a re-structuring exercise. A TRA may apply when an individual is covering part of a role on a part-time basis, whereas a secondment will usually be into the full role. A secondment may be into a role of the same grade or a higher grade whereas a TRA will often be into a higher grade. Where an absence has been planned the University's Internal Secondment Policy may be more appropriate. If guidance is needed on which policy applies in any particularly situation, this may be sought from the HR Partner.
  3. This policy sets out the parameters within which a TRA will apply.

2. Scope

  1. The TRA Policy will generally apply to professional and support staff. Whilst it would not usually be expected to apply to Academic, Research and Teaching (ART) staff there may be exceptional circumstances where it would apply. Where colleagues are required to cover teaching responsibilities due to an extended period of absence, departments should make suitable informal arrangements for cover. An exception would be where a member of academic staff is required to take on a substantial management role at short notice, such as that of Principal Investigator on a research project which may be taken on by a member of academic staff who is in a lower graded substantive role. Again, guidance may be sought from the HR Partner if a situation arises where a Head of Department considers that a member of ART staff may be eligible for a TRA.

3. Aims

  1. The aim of the policy is to ensure that when members of staff work at a higher grade than their substantive role on a temporary but substantial basis, they are paid appropriately.
  2. It is recognised that staff regularly and routinely take on additional responsibilities for short periods of time. These circumstances often provide development opportunities and do not give rise to a TRA as they are of limited duration. They may arise as managers seek the most effective means of covering key responsibilities in the short term. The need for staff to be flexible is inherent in such circumstances.

4. Eligibility

  1. In order to be eligible for a TRA, the member of staff must satisfy the following criteria:
    1. Be carrying out the essential/a significant proportion of the responsibilities of the higher graded role
    2. Be working at the higher grade for a minimum period of 1 month and normally no longer than 12 months
  2. It is expected that a TRA will be for an increase in one grade. However, in exceptional circumstances, a TRA may be for an increase in more than one grade.

5. Payment

  1. The TRA will be paid at the bottom spine point of the higher grade. However when an individual's substantive salary is already at the top of their grade and this overlaps with the bottom spine point of the higher grade, the next incremental point that provides an increase in salary will be paid.
  2. In recognition that this is a temporary arrangement, any TRA will be paid as a non-consolidated addition to salary. The member of staff in receipt of a TRA will retain their substantive terms and conditions of employment.
  3. If an individual is not carrying out all the responsibilities of the higher graded role and it is considered that a proportion of a TRA is appropriate, the following factors should be taken into account:
    1. The proportion of the higher graded role being undertaken in relation to scale and scope ie:
      1. The proportion of the week that is dedicated to undertaking responsibilities in the higher graded role
      2. The proportion of responsibilities that are undertaken in the higher graded role
    2. The critical nature of the responsibilities:
      This should be discussed with the HR Partner to enable a reasonable and appropriate proposal to be put forward and to ensure consistency of approach.

6. Incremental date

  1. When an individual's incremental date falls within the period of a TRA, the increment will be applied to their substantive salary which will attract the appropriate pension contribution.
  2. When an individual increments in their substantive role their salary will be increased in the usual way. The TRA will continue to be paid as a non-consolidated addition to salary and will be adjusted to maintain the grade/spine point of the TRA.
  3. If, in exceptional circumstances, an individual is in receipt of a TRA for longer than 12 months, they will increment to the next spine point in the higher grade and the value of the increment will remain as a non-consolidated addition to salary.
  4. When the member of staff reverts back to their substantive post, they will do so at the incremental point they would have been in had there been no TRA.

7. Annual pay award

  1. Where the annual pay award falls within the period of a TRA, the individual's salary will be increased accordingly.

8. Procedure

  1. Circumstances that indicate a TRA may be appropriate could arise for a number of reasons including the unplanned absence of a member of staff or as an interim measure in advance of a re-structuring exercise. In such circumstances, the Senior Manager or Head of Department (HoD) should consider the best option for providing this cover.
  2. The Senior Manager or HoD should discuss the potential application of a TRA with their HR Partner before making any commitment to a member of staff about the award of a TRA.
  3. If a TRA for an existing member of staff is the most appropriate option, in order to make the most suitable temporary appointment whilst ensuring transparency, consistency and equality of opportunity, a streamlined selection exercise should be considered and applied depending on the circumstances. Guidance from the HR Partner should be sought to determine the appropriate course of action.
  4. This would normally involve identifying the individual(s) who may have the appropriate skills and experience, discussing the opportunity with them, inviting expressions of interest in temporarily working at the higher grade, assessing applications - including interviewing applicants - and selecting the most appropriate individual based on objective criteria.
  5. When the appropriate individual has been identified, the Senior Manager and HoD should complete the relevant sections of the TRA form and submit this to their HR Partner. The TRA should be approved through HR with input from relevant managers - which may be done at a Faculty level.
  6. If it is anticipated that a TRA will need to extend beyond 12 months, the Senior Manager or HoD should discuss this with their HR Partner as soon as possible. The TRA extension should be approved through HR with input from relevant managers - which may be done at a Faculty level.

9. Monitoring

  1. A periodic review of TRAs will be carried out to monitor effective application of the policy and equality data.

10. Related documents

  1. Temporary responsibility allowance request form [online]

Document control

  • Last reviewed: 30 November 2006