Remuneration and Reward


DATE OF APPROVAL: University Council 11 November 2003

AMENDMENTS: 18 October 2005; July 2005; 8 October 2014 (Director Human Resources); Revised 17 January 2020 (Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture).

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture



Salary Sacrifice Guidelines and Conditions
Market Allowance Guidelines
Performance Based Remuneration Guidelines
Offshore Teaching Remuneration Guidelines
Academic Reorientation Program (ARP) Leave Guidelines


Applicable University Industrial Instrument
Performance Management Policy and associated Framework
Outside Work Policy and Offshore Teaching Remuneration Guidelines

Intellectual Property: Ownership and Commercialisation Policy and Guidelines
Vice Chancellor's Authorisation Framework




Policy statement

The University seeks to provide fair consideration, remuneration, reward and incentive to all staff undertaking and contributing to University activities.

The University aims to achieve this through development of appropriate remuneration, reward and incentive mechanisms and frameworks that are guided by:

  • internal and external fairness, and equity;
  • a commitment to pay equity and gender balance;
  • the competitive environments within which it operates, balanced against the economic and broader employment proposition offered to staff of UniSA; and
  • alignment with corporate objectives.

This Policy is informed by, and should be read in conjunction with, the associated Remuneration and Reward Guidelines (see 'Associated Guidelines' and 'Cross References' of this Policy).



Detailed below is the terminology utilised to describe the remuneration and reward structure at the University. Note that the definitions relating to the components of the remuneration and reward structure are cumulative as indicated.

The remuneration and reward structure for staff does not include associated employer related expenses that do not provide a direct benefit to the staff member (e.g. payroll tax).

Staff Remuneration and Reward Structure

Base Salary
Annual salary (as defined in the applicable industrial instrument) excluding any allowances or additional payments.

Total Remuneration
Base Salary plus:
- Regular allowances (paid in accordance with the applicable industrial instruments); and
- Annual leave loading.

Total Employment Cost
Total Remuneration plus:
- Employer superannuation;
- The cost of fringe benefits and non-fringe benefits; and
- The cost of fringe benefits tax.

Total Financial Reward
Total Employment Cost plus:
- Performance Based Remuneration payments;
- Allowances (short term or irregular);
- Payments made in accordance with the Outside Work Policy and Offshore Teaching Remuneration Guidelines;
- Other cash payments (in accordance with relevant frameworks); and
- Other non-recurrent payments.

Employment Proposition
Total Financial Reward plus:
- Organisational culture and staff alignment (i.e. what it means to be a UniSA staff member) includes intrinsic value derived from the University’s social and community commitment, contribution and standing;
- Organisational conditions of employment that do not have a direct financial benefit, (e.g. commitment to family friendly and flexible work policies and practice, study leave provisions); and
- Non-financial reward and recognition (e.g. Vice Chancellor's Awards).

Other Policy Definitions are detailed as follows:

  • Classification refers to the assignment of positions (for general staff) or staff members (for academic staff) within the University into the classification structures of the University, as per the relevant framework.
  • Financial Reward refers to financial benefits and payments to staff provided in recognition of their performance and contribution to the University.
  • Framework refers to industrial instruments, relevant legislation, University of South Australia Policies, Guidelines and Procedures.
  • Fringe Benefit, Non-Fringe Benefit and Fringe Benefit Tax is as defined by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Industrial Instrument refers to the applicable Collective or Enterprise Agreement, Award, Australian Workplace Agreement, contract of employment or legislation.
  • Non-Financial Reward refers to non-monetary benefits to staff provided in recognition of their performance and contribution to the University.
  • Non-Standard Remuneration refers to remuneration arrangements that are outside of the standard classification remuneration structure (e.g. market attraction/ retention allowances, performance-based remuneration, payments arising from the Outside Work Policy).
  • Performance Based Remuneration relates to actual one-off, non-recurrent payments of bonus/ incentive/ commission (where not explicitly defined in University of South Australia Policies & Guidelines).
  • Financial Reward is recognition, in the form of a monetary benefit offered to staff for their performance and contribution to the University.
  • Superannuation refers to the value assigned to employer superannuation contributions and/ or benefit accrual and any associated benefits of membership (i.e. insurance) that are provided to staff of the University.



  1. The University's remuneration and reward framework is informed by the following principles:
  2. Processes of remuneration management will be transparent, conducted in good faith and in accordance with appropriate levels of confidentiality.
  3. The University will encourage and reward outstanding performance and contribution to organisational success.
  4. Relevant best practice standards and the competitive environment will inform remuneration and reward.
  5. Remuneration and reward frameworks and decisions will be developed in a manner that is consistent with the University’s mission and strategic objectives.
  6. Remuneration and reward offerings will be sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of the individual staff member and the organisation.
  7. People involved in the decisions relating to remuneration and reward will be mindful of unconscious bias, diversity, gender equity and a commitment to pay equity.


Application of principles

All relevant managers will be informed about and contribute to remuneration and reward decisions for their staff in accordance with the Vice Chancellor's Authorisations.

Negotiation of remuneration and reward will be undertaken after appropriate approvals, and consideration of all remuneration and reward frameworks.

The University provides a range of benefits and mechanisms to encourage and support the recognition, reward, attraction and retention of staff. The range of direct financial rewards available (normally with conditions) to staff for undertaking University activities are:

  • salary
  • market attraction/ retention allowances
  • allowances
  • performance based remuneration payments
  • offshore teaching remuneration for academic staff
  • superannuation
  • academic staff promotion
  • professional and general staff re-classification to a higher salary level where the increased responsibilities and work value warrant a change in the classification level
  • opportunity to benefit from University activities such as intellectual property, consultancies, commercialisation and profit generation.

The University rewards staff for undertaking a range of University activities. The expected outcomes of a position, with reference to the relevant position documentation and agreed performance goals, are formally recognised through the classification processes (reclassification for professional and general staff and promotion for academic staff) of the University and the payment of base salary in accordance with the applicable industrial instrument.

The University has a range of allowances that are paid to staff. These allowances may sit within or outside of the applicable industrial instrument. Allowances available at the University include:

  • Market attraction/ retention allowances; and
    • These may be available where there is demonstrated and sustained difficulty in attracting or retaining key staff. Where the primary influence on a potential or current staff member's employment decision is the uncompetitive level of remuneration offered by the University, allowances will be offered for a fixed term period (of no greater than three years), with ongoing payment dependent on satisfactory performance (refer to Market Allowance Guidelines)
  • Other allowances
    • These include allowances provided for within other applicable industrial instruments, University Policy or Guideline (e.g. first aid allowance, higher duties allowance and on-call allowance).

Managers have the option to reward staff based on performance outcomes. A one-off payment may be made to a staff member who has attained or excelled against pre-agreed key performance indicators contained in the staff member's performance plan, as part of the annual performance cycle. A one-off payment may also be paid when an external market need for such an arrangement can be established. This form of payment does not imply ongoing or recurrence of such payment (refer to Performance Based Remuneration Guidelines).

Offshore teaching remuneration is provided to academic staff engaged in teaching in an offshore location as part of a recognised University teaching program (refer to Offshore Teaching Remuneration Guidelines).

All employer superannuation, non-salary financial benefits and any associated fringe benefits tax will be fully costed to the total employment cost package of the staff member where they are employed under a Total Employment Cost Package arrangement.

Staff members are personally responsible for any costs incurred by the University or themselves in receiving a benefit including Fringe Benefit Tax.

All remuneration received by staff for University activity will be processed through the University payroll system. It will comply with University policy (such as costing, on-costs and levies) and relevant legislative requirements.

Salary sacrifice is available to staff in accordance with the applicable industrial instrument (refer to Salary Sacrifice Guidelines and Conditions).

Where staff undertake activities that generate profits for the University, the University may provide additional reward for such activities in accordance with the Outside Work Policy.

Non-standard remuneration must be approved with reference to the Vice Chancellor's Authorisations Framework and the relevant policy or guideline of the University.

There are a wide range of benefits beyond the total financial reward that provide a valuable incentive and reward to staff. These form a key component of the employment proposition offered to staff by the University and will be actively promoted by the University.