Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Market Supplements Policy

1.         Policy Statement

The policy on the ‘Use of Market Supplements’ provides Cardiff University with a mechanism to address pay related recruitment and retention issues whilst ensuring compliance with provisions within the Equal Pay Act 1970, in which there is a requirement to justify financial differences between jobs of equal value. These issues often prevail from the external labour market and may in exceptional circumstances lead to both staff and candidates with scarce skills and expertise commanding relatively higher salaries than the grade maximum provided under the University’s pay and grading structure.


2.         Equality & Diversity Statement

Cardiff University is committed to equality of opportunity, and to promoting an ethos of dignity, courtesy and respect throughout the organisation.

The Human Resources Division promotes equality of opportunity by ensuring that all staff have access to its programmes, services and facilities.


3.         Objectives of the Policy on the Use of Market Supplements

In conjunction with the Higher Education Role Analysis (HERA) job evaluation mechanism, this policy will:

1) Ensure the award of market supplements is objectively justifiable.

2) Comply with best practice and equal pay legislation, i.e. providing a means for objectively justifying the need to offer different rates of pay to staff whose work is of equal value and introducing a mechanism for removing supplements when they are no longer warranted.

3) Seek to ensure that the University recruits and retains the best staff.

4) Seek to ensure consideration is given to the relative market value of acquiring the skills required and the financial impact of this on the School / Administrative Directorate.


In order to effectively introduce these principles, the policy has taken account of:

1) The Joint National Committee for Higher Educational Staff (JNCHES) Framework Agreement for the assimilation of individual staff to new pay structures and guidelines for the use of attraction and   retention premia.

2) The Equal Pay Act 1970.

3) Examples of good practice in improving recruitment and retention.


4.         Market Supplements Defined

4.1       A market supplement is paid in addition to the salary for a post or group of similar posts where market pressures would otherwise prevent the employer from being able to recruit or retain staff in sufficient numbers at the normal salary for jobs at that grade.  


5.         Eligibility for Market Supplements

5.1       Market supplements may be applied to any role, regardless of contractual arrangements with the exception of Professorial, Senior Professional staff and Clinical Academics.


6.         Types of Market Supplements

6.1       There are two means by which market supplements can be applied to help overcome issues of recruitment or retention. These are:

1) A lump sum payment which aids in the initial attraction of staff to a particular role (a recruitment supplement). These can be made as either a one-off payment - ‘a golden hello’ or in several stages to include an element of staff retention.

2) An ongoing retention supplement paid in addition to an individual’s basic salary in order to bring the total annual salary for the role up to the market rate.

6.2       Market supplements can be paid for:

1) A specified fixed term ~ where market pay rates have increased for some temporary reason.

2) An indefinite period, subject to a regular review, after which they can be increased, reduced or withdrawn.


7.         Awarding Market Supplements

7.1       Market supplements will only be awarded where there is clear, justifiable evidence that recruitment or retention difficulties[1] are caused by pay rates being low relative to those offered by other employers for similar posts.

7.2       Payment of a recruitment supplement will not result automatically in payment of a retention supplement for staff in similar posts.

7.3       Where an ongoing supplement is applied to a role the value will be determined by the difference between the University’s normal pay rate for the post, as determined by role analysis and the market rate for the role[2].

7.4       The market supplement will be paid in addition to basic salary and will usually be expressed as a gross sum. The supplement will be identified separately from other pay components on the pay advice slip.

7.5       Where recruitment or retention supplements are paid on an ongoing basis either for a fixed term or an indefinite period they will also be included in calculations for the purposes of other payments such as maternity pay, sick pay and overtime. The supplements will not however, be pensionable.


8.    Reviewing Market Supplements

8.1       The use of market supplements for the purposes of recruitment or retention will be reviewed by the relevant University committee as appropriate.


9.    Reducing or Removing Market Supplements

9.1       Should labour market conditions change and market pay rates fall, or where an employee moves to a different post that does not warrant a market supplement, their entitlement to that payment will cease and the supplement will be withdrawn in line with agreed notice.

9.2       Any appeal against the decision to reduce or remove a market supplement will be considered in line with the relevant University appeal mechanisms.

9.3       Where a staff member chooses to leave a role which attracts a market supplement and takes up a role in the University which does not, the supplement will be removed from the start date of the new role.

9.4       Where a staff member has received a lump sum recruitment supplement and leaves the University within two years of the supplement being awarded they will normally be required to reimburse a proportion of the full amount paid to them.


10.       Monitoring

10.1     The Human Resource Division will monitor the process of awarding market supplements in line with the Human Resources Strategy. The division will also take responsibility for reviewing the overall effectiveness of the market supplement procedures, and for monitoring the equal opportunity impact of the scheme.

[1] Published data sources will be used to determine the current market value of a role. Information on these published sources is available from the HR Division

[2] Published data sources will be used to determine the current market value of a role. Information on these published sources is available from the HR Division