Starting salary guidance

The University recognises the need to ensure equity and consistency in determining starting salaries for all staff. This is important not only to fulfill the legal requirements of current equal pay legislation, but also to ensure fairness for both new employees and existing staff across the University. The guidance below sets out a range of steps and requirements which must be followed in order to ensure that equity and consistency are achieved.

New appointees

  • All intended salary offers for Professional Services (including UECS and Wivenhoe House Hotel) must be discussed with the Resourcing Adviser before an offer is made, as any verbal offer will constitute a formal contractual obligation (see also Grade 11 salaries below).
  • All new appointments will normally be made at the start of the salary scale upon which the appointment has been advertised.
  • Variances in starting salaries may be made (normally no higher than the third point up a scale), but reasons for so doing must be discussed with the Resourcing Adviser before an offer is made.
  • Recommendations of salary offers for academic posts are made in accordance with the guidance for the academic recruitment process (.pdf).

Grade 11 salaries

  • Appointment salaries for all Professorial posts are as agreed by the Vice-Chancellor.
  • Appointment salaries for Grade 11 posts in the Professional Services areas are as agreed by the Registrar and Secretary in consultation with the Resourcing Manager/Adviser.

Internal appointments

  • Existing staff members appointed to a different post at the same grade will retain their current salary and incremental progression.
  • Existing staff members appointed to a different post at a higher grade will normally receive at least one incremental point more than their current salary level or start at the beginning of the salary scale where the scale minimum is higher than their current salary scale.


  • The salary arrangements for appointees to secondment arrangements are as for internal appointees.
  • On completion of a secondment (and return to their substantive post), the secondee’s salary will revert to what it would have been had the employee not been on secondment.

Funding of posts

  • The guidance set out in this document applies to both internally and externally funded posts.
  • The availability of funding in a grant will not normally be viewed as overriding justification for placing a member of staff at a higher or lower point on the designated grade.

Exceptional circumstances

There may be situations where it is appropriate for a higher salary than normal (including discretionary points) to be agreed in recognition that an individual brings attributes, experience, knowledge and/or skills that are exceptional and beyond the essential criteria of the post. Other factors that may influence the starting salary are external market factors, the successful candidate’s current salary and the salaries of existing members of the University staff in similar roles. However it cannot be assumed that the University will necessarily match or exceed a candidate’s current salary. If the candidate’s current salary level is a factor in the offer being made outside of this guidance, then the Resourcing Team may need to request evidence of their current salary.

In these circumstances, for academic posts, the Executive Dean will agree the salary with the Deputy-Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor (if Chair) prior to making the formal offer.

For Professional Services posts, if a salary cannot be agreed within the parameters of this guidance note, then an outline of the justification for the proposed salary from the Head of Department/School/Section should be forwarded to the Assistant Director of Human Resources (Employee Relations & Reward) who will seek to reach agreement on this matter. In exceptional circumstances where agreement cannot be reached the matter will be discussed with the Director of Human Resources, and if necessary escalated to the Registrar.

Market supplements

If there is a market supplement available for a role this should be established prior to advertising.  For more information see the market supplements policy.

Further support

For further information, contact the Resourcing Adviser.

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