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Employee Recognition Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To provide opportunities to recognise and acknowledge Employees for their contribution and commitment to the University.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all Employees.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure outlines the process for the acknowledgement and recognition of Employees for their contributions to the University.

4 Procedures

4.1 Employee Recognition Program

The Employee Recognition Program is a peer to peer based informal recognition program that encourages and empowers all Employees to recognise the contributions of others in the workplace.

This program is a corporate, non-monetary recognition program that provides Employees with a range of options and tools to acknowledge colleagues for their contributions and/or commitment to the University. Colleagues can include other Employees, supervisors, managers or teams and recognition and acknowledgement is encouraged multi-directionally and cross-institutionally.

Further information and guidelines regarding the program are available from the Human Resources website.

4.2 Employee achievement Awards

The University has established a range of achievement Awards for Employees under the Employee Achievement Awards Procedure and associated schedules which provide further detail on eligibility, the application process and the form of acknowledgement.

4.3 Other recognition initiatives

In addition to the corporate recognition programs in sections 4.1 and 4.2, the University also encourages the use of other recognition initiatives at the discretion of the work unit.

Any costs associated with the initiatives in 4.3.1 to 4.3.3 are budgeted and funded by the relevant cost centre.

4.3.1 Personal gifts and small incentives

The University acknowledges that an effective way of recognising Employees can be by way of a one-off non-cash gift, or small incentive of a personal nature, to the value of less $300 (inclusive of GST).

Personal gifts and small incentives for Employees that are less than $300 (inclusive of GST) in value and are not frequently provided, may be classed as minor benefits by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in accordance with the tax exempt body provisions of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986. These are exempt from Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).

The criteria for determining if a gift or small incentive falls under the ATO guidelines for a minor benefit are based on the following:

  • the frequency and regularity with which similar or identical benefits are provided (he more frequent a gift or incentive is provided the less likely it is to qualify as an exempt benefit)
  • the total value of the minor benefits provided in the year
  • the practical difficulty for the employer in determining the taxable value of the minor benefits
  • the circumstances in which the minor benefits are provided including whether the benefits are provided or considered as a way to remunerate an Employee.

Examples of personal gifts or small incentives which may be exempt from FBT include gift vouchers, gift baskets, and other similar small personal items. In accordance with ATO guidelines, these may only be provided on an ad hoc and irregular basis.

It is important to note that whilst gifts or small incentives should not be regular in their frequency, the reason for the recognition and the value of the item should be consistently applied. The relevant delegate will need to take into account the effect any FBT may have on a cost centre and advice should be sought from the Financial and Policy Accountant in Financial and Business Services.

Recognition of an Employee in accordance with the conditions above must be approved and purchased in accordance with the University's Financial Management Practice Manual.

4.3.2 Provision of work related items

The University may also recognise Employees by providing an eligible work related item to the Employee.

Any of the following benefits provided by the University to the Employee for use primarily in respect of their employment may be exempt from FBT in accordance with the provisions of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986:

  • portable electronic device
  • item of computer software
  • item of protective clothing
  • briefcase
  • tool of trade.

Some of these items can only be provided once within a FBT period.

Relevant delegates should seek further advice from the Financial and Policy Accountant in Financial and Business Services before procuring any work related items.

4.3.3 Public acknowledgement

The University also acknowledges that one of the most effective methods of recognising Employees is by way of formal public acknowledgement of particular efforts and achievements. This may be through:

  • written feedback/congratulations (e.g. emails to the faculty/section or wider University community)
  • congratulations/acknowledgements at committee meetings
  • publication in faculty/section newsletters and/or websites
  • University publications including USQnews.

Managers and supervisors are encouraged to utilise these acknowledgement channels and should contact Corporate Communications for assistance with regard to features in the USQnews or USQ Connections portal.

4.4 Monetary rewards

Monetary rewards are defined as payments to Employees for exceptional performance and are out of the scope of this procedure.

The University utilises a range of monetary payments to Employees to reward performance. The schemes may include accelerated incremental progression, additional increments, academic promotion, and attraction and retention allowances and loadings. Employees are referred to the relevant policies and procedures for further information.

All rewards with a financial commitment must be budgeted for and paid by the respective cost centre. There is no central University provision for such programs.

5 Delegated responsibilities


Level of Delegation

Category 4 Delegate or above

Approval of monetary rewards, personal gifts and small incentives, and work related items.

6 References


7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date


Relevant Legislation

Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986

Related Policies

Financial Management Practice Manual

Performance, Development and Recognition Policy

Related Procedures

Attraction and Retention Loadings Procedure

Employee Achievement Awards Procedure

Performance Planning and Review Procedure

Promotion to Level B for Academic Employees Procedure

Promotion to Levels C, D and E for Academic Employees Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Human Resources Website


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary


A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only


In the context of this procedure, Awards are defined as formal recognition of achievements by Employees. It typically involves a planned event or presentation where Employees are recognised by the University for their achievements.


Recognition, acknowledgement, thanks, contribution, non-monetary, gifts

Record No


Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

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