Human Resources

Recognition Awards


The purpose of Recognition Awards is to recognise and award individuals and teams who have excelled in their performance by provision of a one-off cash sum which is paid within the employee’s salary payment.

Who does this apply to?

Either the individual’s line manager, or managers who wish to fund a Recognition Award for an individual outside of their team, may grant Recognition Awards.

By submitting the award form, you must confirm that you have authority to commit expenditure against the relevant budget code.

What do I need to consider?:

When a Recognition Award may be used

A Recognition Award should only be considered for performance which goes beyond the expectations of the job role.  The performance will be for a time-limited period, either short- or medium-term, and the nominator must be able to identify how the department/service or the wider University has benefited.

Broad categories for an award would include:

  • Responding positively to emergency, unexpected or unplanned events;

  • Positive commitment to planned projects over and above day to day responsibilities;

  • Taking responsibility for improving policies, procedures, systems;

  • Positive contribution to supporting innovation and change which enhances University life.

More detailed examples are given below, under “What else do I need to know?”.

A Recognition Award is NOT appropriate for work which can be reasonably expected to fall within the individual’s normal remit.  In addition, where an individual employee is undertaking additional duties at a higher level for a longer term, the line manager should consider whether a review of the role through the regrading process should be considered.  In these circumstances, line managers are advised to consult their HR Business Partnering team contact.

Amount of award

A Recognition Award may be made for the following amounts - £100, £250, £500, £1,000, £1,500 and £2,000.  Each amount will be subject to tax and national insurance.  Repeat awards given within two years totalling more than £500 should be discussed first with the appropriate UEB member to ensure that they are appropriate.

Awards for £100-£500 should be made when the line manager can evidence a benefit to the department/service.  Awards of £1,000 or more should be made only when the exceptional performance has a significant benefit which impacts the strategic direction of the University.  

In determining the level of the award, the line manager should be clear about the extent of the employee’s involvement in the event/activity/project, with greater involvement and independent action warranting a higher award.

What do I need to do?

To nominate an individual for a Recognition Award, the following steps must be followed:

1) As line manager you must decide on the amount of the award, ensuring consistency is maintained across the school/department/service. If you are not the recipient’s line manager then you should contact them to agree the          suitability and amount of the award.

2)   If you are not the budget holder, you must ensure that the budget holder is informed before you complete the form.

3)   Complete the online Recognition Awards form and submit for inclusion in the next available salary payment (this may be in a subsequent month if the relevant payroll deadline has passed).

5)   The line manager and budget holder (where different to the nominating individual) and relevant University Executive Board (UEB) member will each receive an email notification.

6)   The employee will receive a personal letter of thanks from the Vice-Chancellor which will be forwarded to the nominating manager to give to the employee.


What else do I need to know?

Examples of Recognition Awards

This is not intended as an exhaustive list but aims to provide support to managers in deciding the appropriateness of an award.

  • Contributing to sorting out an emergency or other unplanned event which has repercussions for the usual smooth-running of the University;

  • Undertaking additional duties over a time-limited period which enables the department/ service to achieve a defined and planned aim/outcome;

  • Taking responsibility for improving policies, procedures or systems;

  • Developing imaginative ideas to drive the University forward;

  • Introducing creative and/or new ways of doing things;

  • Considered any constraints that limit innovation and work within them to create novel approaches that make the most of existing resources;

  • Support students’ academic, personal, social and cultural needs to impact positively on the student experience;

  • Evidence of activity that enhances the student learning experience.

Equality Impact Assessment

Regular reports will be provided to budget holders by the HR Systems Team on the use of recognition awards in their area. Annual reports will be provided to UEB with an analysis across staff groupings to help ensure fairness and transparency.

How do I get help?

Use this contact form to get in touch.