Update on 2020-21 pay round

An update on pay for the 2020-21 year

Higher Education pay is negotiated at a national level led by the New JNCHES national bargaining group on behalf of the participating Universities. The negotiating round on pay for 2020-21 was postponed in March 2020 by agreement of all negotiating parties due to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, the pandemic has continued to bring wide-ranging challenges to our sector and beyond, including financial challenges.

Given the financial pressures and uncertainty facing the HE sector no uplift is being offered to basic pay on the salary scale for 2020-21. The exception being that, where required, the lower band will be increased in accordance with the National Living Wage levels.

We remain committed to the New JNCHES national bargaining arrangements. It is also important to us that we recognise continued exceptional contribution of colleagues.

Therefore, here at Leeds, our local reward processes continue, including annual increments, promotions and other contribution-related pay increases (discretionary/additional increments), which are subject to separate processes local to the University.

As a result, many colleagues across our University, will still see an increase to their pay during this academic year.

In summary:

UCEA has agreed to a New JNCHES autumn meeting to review the financial position of the sector and if circumstances allow, is willing to begin negotiations for the 2021-22 pay round earlier than usual.

Local discussions on wider aspects of pay and employment terms


At Leeds, constructive discussions with all three of our campus trades unions have begun related to a review of employment terms, starting with a particular emphasis on the use of fixed term contracts.

This is a long-standing commitment of the University and one we’re pleased to be pursuing in close liaison with our union colleagues, made possible by the recent conclusion of union discussions related to our approach to organisational change.

Gender and ethnicity pay gap

We are very actively engaged in a range of actions and interventions seeking to close the gender and ethnicity pay gaps and whilst we are encouraged by the downward trajectory in the gender pay gap in recent years we acknowledge that closing the pay gaps will not happen overnight and that there is more to be done. Our commitment to equality for all and how we aim to achieve this is outlined in the actions identified in our Equality Framework.

Posted in: