Human Resources

Discretionary Pay Review

The Discretionary Pay Review (DPR) process normally runs from October to November each year subject to approval from the Remuneration Committee of Council.  In 2022 it will run from 3rd October to 25th November.

Each School/Division will hold its own moderation session before submitting their nominations to the Reward Team so please speak to your line manager about the submission deadlines in your area and submit to your Head of School/Division. 

The DPR process is designed to encourage and reward exceptional performance which help to drive the University’s mission and strategic goals.

This is the only route to award bonuses or accelerated increments each year for Academic, Technical & Professional Services staff and to award bonuses or salary increases for Professorial staff. 

Historically, the DPR is only accessible to Sussex contracted employees who have been in post on the effective date of the award (01 October) for over 6 months and are not subject to a capability process or a performance improvement plan, and are not members of the ULT.

Please note that the for 2022 significant changes have been made to the DPR criteria, these changes have been made as the University desires to recognise the contributions of staff at all levels and to make the rewards as accessible as possible to all staff groups.  The changes are:

  • The process for staff in grades 1- 9 has changed so that staff will be split into 2 different cohorts and 10% of staff from each cohort will be eligible for recognition: 
    • Cohort 1 - Grades 1 – 6
    • Cohort 2 - Grades 7 – 9 
  • Team Bonuses will be awarded in addition to the 10% threshold assigned to the above cohorts.
  • The minimum amount received for any award will be £750 (pro rata). 
  • The DPR process for Professorial staff remains unchanged, as such 33% of Professorial staff will be eligible for recognition under the terms of the DPR scheme.  Please see guidance documents for further information and guidance.

The DPR is not to be used where a manager considers the requirements of the job have grown or changed significantly such that the job itself has changed; nor should the DPR be used for individuals who are covering duties attached to a vacant role, an absent colleague or are temporarily acting-up in to a higher post. Both of these situations should be discussed with the relevant HR Business Partner or Associate in the first instance.

Full guidance and forms are available below:

DPR Process Guidance Grades 1-9 2022 [PDF 187.08KB]

DPR Process Guidance Professoriate 2022 [PDF 166.12KB]

DPR Award Form Grades 1-9 2022 [DOCX 29.18KB]

DPR Award Form Professoriate 2022 [DOCX 22.86KB]


Why are there different eligibility rates?

The difference in eligibility rates (i.e. 10% vs 33%) is because while most staff are on an grade that includes Spinal Points, which therefore allows for annual incrementation, the Professoriate are on a fixed pay point, in order that they may also benefit from salary progression the University will recognise 33% via the DPR in order that they too may be recognised for their achievements within the role, i.e. the reason spinal points exist.

All queries should be sent to, and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible.