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Interim Pay and Reward Lead

The University of Derby is looking to recruit an experienced pay and reward professional on an interim basis to lead our important pay, rewards and benefits agenda and help us achieve a culture of high performance across our institution.

You will act as our internal expert on matters concerning pay and benefits, providing internal consultancy advice to HR Partners and managers on fair and competitive pay and reward. Reporting to the Head of Policy and Employee Relations, you will provide expertise and strategic direction to the development of pay policies and our reward portfolio, liaising with internal stakeholders such as payroll, taxation and pensions, systems, our trade unions as well as developing your external networks.

You will have significant experience of the full range of pay and reward activity including pensions, benefits schemes (e.g. benefits platforms, health insurance, holiday trading and cycle to work), as well as salary benchmarking and job evaluation. You will be able to operate at a senior level to drive forward this important agenda, operating independently to manage a challenging portfolio of pay and reward activities and strategic projects. You will have experience of and the professional credibility to advise at the most senior levels of the institution, including writing complex reports for the Remuneration Committee on senior remuneration packages. Strong numerical, Excel and analytical skills, as well as the ability to juggle competing priorities to deadlines, will be key to success in this position.

The role is based at our vibrant campus on Kedleston Road in Derby although some remote/home working is available.

Principal accountabilities

  1. Working collaboratively, propose, develop, and effectively implement appropriate pay and reward policies and strategies, ensuring alignment with business requirements, compliance with employment law and best practice. This will include but is not limited to policies/strategies concerning pay and pensions, employee benefits, reward and recognition schemes, work/life balance and flexible working schemes and terms and conditions of employment.
  2. Provide expert advice and guidance to colleagues at all levels on related pay and reward matters, underpinned by a strong understanding of the legislative and business/sector, and operational context.
  3. Effectively project manage and deliver new and existing pay/reward policies and initiatives, leading on trade union consultation and/or negotiation where appropriate and wider consultation with key stakeholders.
  4. Manage the cyclical review and renewal of existing reward and benefit schemes maintaining a focus on value for money, compliance with procurement and data regulations, and an awareness of the impact on the total reward package.
  5. Initiate and write complex reports for the university’s governance committees (e.g. the University’s Executive Board, the Remuneration Committee etc.), ensuring they are supported by clear analysis and recommendations, and reflect where necessary current legislation, relevant benchmarking data, and best practice approaches.
  6. Source and appropriately deploy data derived from a range of external salary benchmarking databases/sources, analysing the data, and using findings to support pay and reward recommendations.
  7. Ensure that our pay and reward strategies and policies are HE appropriate by leading on market analysis and benchmarking against external markets. Provide recommendations that will meet the strategic needs of the university.
  8. Manage the annual pay review cycle including leading the trade union negotiations.
  9. Keep abreast of new and anticipated employment legislation, government policy changes and other significant developments within and beyond the sector affecting pay and reward (e.g. pay gap legislation, changes to national living wage, etc.), providing specialist advice to support the university in maintaining a culture of positive employee relations and legislative compliance.
  10. Provide expertise and up to date guidance on relevant pension provisions.
  11. Manage the university’s job evaluation scheme and ensure regular benchmarking and market related pay research is undertaken to enable the university to remain competitive.
  12. Promote the university’s equality, diversity and inclusion agenda as part of the culture of the organisation. In particular, be aware of how pay and reward proposals can impact (positively or negatively) in respect of equal pay or on internal pay gaps.
  13. Maintain own professional development, ensuring an up-to-date knowledge of modern pay and reward approaches, and an awareness of underpinning legislation.
  14. Undertake any other duties, which could reasonably be considered to fall within the purview of the role.
  15. Role model the university values and challenge behaviours and/or performance in others (both internal and external to the HR Department) that are not compatible with these values.

Person specification

Essential Criteria


  • Degree qualified or equivalent demonstrable experience.


  • Proven extensive experience in successfully designing, communicating and implementing modern reward strategies and associated pay/reward policies.
  • Proven experience of supporting or leading on trade union consultation and/or negotiation and building strong and mutually beneficial employee relations.
  • Experience of job evaluation schemes.
  • Experience of undertaking salary benchmarking activities including using complex data sets to analyse and support recommendations.
  • Experience of writing complex reports to a senior audience providing concise, accurate pay/reward data and information, and making appropriate recommendations in respect of fair and competitive remuneration for groups of staff and individuals.

Skills, knowledge & abilities

  • Ability to work at a leadership level with a high degree of independence to ensure the smooth running of the reward agenda including the ‘business as usual’ activity as well as individual projects and change initiatives.
  • Highly developed IT, numeracy and analytical skills to be able to work with complex data sets to support recommendations around pay and reward.
  • In-depth knowledge of core compensation concepts and best practice.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of pensions.
  • Good written and face to face communication skills, with the ability to clearly articulate findings/recommendations to a range of audiences with different levels of technical understanding.
  • Comfortable providing support and challenge to senior leaders through the provision of evidence-based insights. Ability to build positive relationships and quickly gain the trust and confidence of key stakeholders.
  • Evidenced ability to manage high volume, competing demands, delivering value-added improvements while maintaining service standards.
  • Confidence and skill to identify an issue and address it end-to-end; developing proposal from initial concept, building a case, delivering and evaluating.

Business requirements

  • Flexible approach and ability to work outside of standard working hours as required.


As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.

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