The University encourages an Employee Recognition Program to enable the prompt acknowledgement and reward of individuals or groups of employees who achieve high standards of performance in the workplace.
(Approved by Council October 1994)
The University utilises a number of mechanisms to reward and recognise individuals or groups of employees who achieve high standards of performance. This is achieved through both monetary and non-monetary means.
Monetary Rewards are payments to employees in recognition of their performance and contribution to the University.
Non-monetary Rewards are benefits to employees in recognition of their performance and contribution to the University.
The University recognises the importance and benefits of both monetary and non-monetary rewards for employees, and as such the Employee Recognition Program aims to utilise a mix of these schemes to acknowledge high standards of performance in the workplace.
Relevant Delegates should, as an integral part of good management practice, promptly acknowledge high standards of performance within their section.
All rewards which consist of a financial commitment are budgeted for and paid by the respective Faculty or Section and there is no central University provision for such programs.
The University utilises a range of monetary payments to employees to recognise exceptional performance. The schemes include accelerated incremental progression, higher duties allowances and secondments, academic promotion, attraction and retention allowances and loadings. Employees are referred to these policies for further information.
Relevant Delegates should acknowledge exceptional employee performance or performance above normal expectations in the form of a public presentation, letter of appreciation or similar at an appropriate faculty/sectional gathering. This acknowledgement may or may not accompany the presentation of a personal gift or small incentive or work related item as outlined in Sections 2.3.2 and 2.3.3.
Some Faculty/Sections have established their own specific awards to recognise and reward individuals and groups of employees who achieve high standards of performance. These awards normally recognise exceptional performance by employees beyond what is required of the position and/or which makes a significant contribution to enhancing the status of the area (eg Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching). These Faculty/Section awards usually consist of both a monetary reward and an acknowledgement plaque or similar. Additional information is available from the relevant Delegate of the Faculty/Section and the LTS website.
The University acknowledges that an effective way of recognising and rewarding high performing 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 provisions of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986, and as such are exempt from fringe benefits tax.
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. The 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; and
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 fringe benefits tax include movie vouchers, gift baskets, perfume and University corporate gifts, provided these items are 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 (in accordance with ATO guidelines), the reason for the reward and the value of the reward should be consistently applied. The relevant delegate will need to take into account the effect any FBT may have on their cost centre. Further advice should be sought from Financial Services.
Where an individual cost centre wishes to reward an employee in accordance with the conditions above, personal gifts and small incentives must be approved and purchased in line with – Expenditure Policy and Conflicts of Interest and Gifts Policy.
As an alternative to an individual cost centre purchasing a personal gift or small incentive to reward an employee in accordance with the conditions above, personal gifts and small incentives may be selected from the range of gifts available from the Corporate Travel Office at no cost to the work area. Recommendations for the awarding of a gift or small incentive in this circumstance should be made on the employee recognition program reward/gift claim form and submitted in accordance with USQ’s of this program.
The University may also recognise and reward high performing employees by providing an eligible work related item to the employee.
Any of the following benefits provided by the University to the employee in respect of their employment may be exempt from FBT in accordance with the provisions of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986:
mobile or car phone (only if primarily used in the course of the employee's employment);
tool of trade;
electronic diary or personal digital assistant or similar;
an item of protective clothing required for the employee's work;
computer software for use in the employee's work;
notebook computer, laptop or similar portable computer (only if limited to one per employee per FBT year);
conference registration costs.
Recommendations for a work related item should be submitted by the employee's manager/supervisor to the Category 4 Delegate or above of the Faculty/Section in recognition of exceptional employee performance.
Faculties/sections should seek further advice from Financial Services before establishing a recognition and reward system utilising the provision of work related items.
The University also acknowledges that one of the most effective methods of recognising high performing employees is by way of formal public acknowledgement of particular efforts and achievements through:
written feedback/congratulations (eg emails to the faculty/section or wider University community);
congratulations/acknowledgements at Committee meetings;
publication in faculty/section newsletters and/or websites; or
University publications including USQNews.
Managers and supervisors are encouraged to utilise these acknowledgement channels and in particular should contact Marketing and Public Relations for assistance with regard to features in the USQNews.
Peak Approval Authority:
Related Legislation / guidelines:
Strategic Plan/Goal & Objectives:
Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:
Associated USQ policies:
Next Review Date*:
Expiry Date of Policy*:
Level of Delegation
Vice-Chancellor or Chief Operating Officer
Category 4 Delegate or above
Approval of rewards
Next Review Date*: