5. Employment and Payment for Services

See also:

5.2 Awards to staff

(a) Merit awards

The University merit award scheme was reinstated by the Personnel Committee in 2013. For full guidance on eligibility, please refer to the Personnel Services website.

(b) Long-service awards and gifts to staff on retirement

Cash awards to staff for long service are subject to tax and National Insurance in the same manner as basic pay.

Non-cash awards are similarly subject to tax and National Insurance except where the University makes a contribution towards a gift for an employee that satisfies the following conditions.

  • The individual must have at least 20 years' service with the University and not have received a similar reward in the previous 10 years;
  • A gift is provided (and not money or tokens);
  • The total value of the gift does not exceed £50 for every year of service.

For employees who meet the above conditions departments may make a contribution from departmental funds, subject to the monetary limits detailed above.

Any gifts to employees who retire with less than 20 years' service with the University, other than a retirement meal or event, must be treated in the same manner as gifts to employees, as detailed in section 11.6.

For details about retirement meals or events, see section 11.4 of this document.

Note: Money collected by colleagues is not assessable for tax and does not count towards the value defined above.

(c) Research awards or grants

Awards or grants may be made by outside bodies to individuals or groups to enable travel, attendance at conferences, purchase of equipment, etc. for the purposes of furthering research or education.

Where the recipients are staff it is essential that payment is only made for allowable business expenses as defined in this document and fully supported by receipts if paid via expenses. Round-sum payments or payments for which no proof of purchase exists must be treated as taxable on the recipients.

For awards to students see section 6.1.

Note: In addition to these rules it is important that any particular terms and conditions imposed by the funding body for the use of such awards are adhered to.

(d) Other awards to staff

Other types of award may be received by staff from time to time. These may include teaching awards, or awards for merit in research or clinical excellence. Unless such awards are won as part of an open competition, they will always be subject to tax and National Insurance in the same manner as basic pay.

(e) Awards won in open competition

Awards or prizes won in open competition are not usually subject to tax. ‘Open competition’, however, means a contest that is not limited purely to staff within an organization, but open and promoted to members of the general public and not requiring specific qualifications to enter.

This might include competitions run by the University or by third parties in which members of the University take part.