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In-Band Bonus

The In-band Bonus allows additional flexibility to give non-base adjustments when a bonus is more appropriate than a base pay adjustment or when management requires additional time to address university budget constraints. The range of increases for an In-band Bonus is 1% to 10%.

For the most part, non-base pay compensation (bonuses) such as the In-band Bonus should be a consideration when budget constraints limit the university's ability to financially fund a base pay increase. It is important to note that the receipt of an In-band Bonus does not ensure or predict any future In-band Adjustments or In-band Bonuses.

Criteria for In-band Bonuses are:

  • Change in duties
  • Professional/Skill Development - application of newly acquired job-related knowledge and skills obtained through education, certification or licensure
  • Retention
  • Internal alignment

The total base and/or non-base pay increase an employee can receive for In-band Adjustment, In-band Bonus and Lateral Role Change combined cannot exceed 10% within a fiscal year.

The following employees are NOT eligible for In-band Adjustments or In-band Bonuses:

  • Employees at the maximum salary of their assigned pay band
  • Employees who are in their probationary period of employment
  • Employees who have received a 10% pay increase for a Lateral Role Change, In-band Adjustment or In-band Bonus in the same fiscal year

Wage employees are not eligible for In-band Bonuses.

The amount of the bonus is not calculated into base pay when determining other pay practices such as promotions or upward role changes.

Unlike the Exceptional Recruitment and Retention Incentives (see below), In-band Bonuses are not restricted solely to specific positions, roles, and/or career groups that have significant recruitment and retention problems and are critical to the agency's mission and on-going operations.

Unlike in-band adjustments, in-band bonuses must be paid out of the department's own budget and can be awarded, if approved, at any time during the year. The In-band Bonus will be paid as a lump sum.

Each In-band Bonus must be approved by the Human Resources office, which will apply similar considerations to applications as apply to requests for In-band Adjustments. Before being awarded, the In-band Bonus must be approved by the Director of Human Resources and the appropriate division head. For that reason, the supervisor should not communicate the possibility of a bonus to the employee until the bonus has been approved.

To award an In-band Bonus, a supervisor should:

  1. Consult with the department's budget authority to determine if funds are available from the department's budget for the payment of the Bonus. Under no circumstances may the funds for an In-band Bonus originate from the department's full-time position budget.
  2. Consult with an HR representative to determine appropriateness of the bonus and amount.
  3. Complete a PAR and PAW. Be sure the PAW form clearly justifies the bonus award.
  4. Obtain appropriate division head's signature on PAR.
  5. Submit both to Human Resources for consideration.
  6. Within 7 workdays, Human Resources will respond to the request. If approved, the PAR will be sent to payroll.

Retention Bonus

A Retention Bonus of up to 10% of annual salary during a fiscal year may be offered to current, full-time classified employees in positions, roles and/or career groups where applicants are extremely difficult to recruit and retain and their functions are deemed critical to the agency's operation and mission. These employees must agree to work for the university for one year beyond the date of the bonus payment. The Retention Bonus may be paid as a lump sum or in scheduled payments and must be funded out of the department's own budget. A formal written agreement, which includes requirements for satisfactory performance and duration of employment, must be executed with each employee outlining pay back terms if the agreement is not met. Supervisors wishing to pay a Retention Bonus should contact their HR Representative.

Payment of a retention bonus must have the prior contacts and approvals BEFORE the bonus is offered to the employee:

  • Consultation with Human Resources
  • Approval by appropriate division head

The following must receive notification of bonus once it is awarded:

  • Department of Human Resource Management
  • Office of the Secretary of Education

Sign-On Bonus

A Sign-On Bonus of up to 10% of annual salary (not to exceed $10,000) for new (non-JMU) employees hired into positions deemed as critical. These employees must agree to work for the university for one year beyond the date of the bonus payment. The Sign-On Bonus may be paid as a lump sum or in scheduled payments and must be paid out of the department's own budget. A formal written agreement, which includes requirements for satisfactory performance and duration of employment, must be executed with each employee outlining pay back terms if the agreement is not met. Supervisors wishing to pay a Sign-On Bonus should contact their HR Representative.

Payment of a sign-on bonus must have the prior contacts and approvals BEFORE the bonus is offered to the employee:

  • Consultation with Human Resources
  • Approval by appropriate vice president

The following must receive notification of bonus once it is awarded:

  • Department of Human Resource Management
  • Office of the Secretary of Education

Annual Leave

The university may grant or advance up to 30 days (240 hours) of annual leave during a leave year to new and existing full-time classified employees as an incentive to accept or continue employment with the university. The employee must agree to work for the university for one year beyond the date that the additional leave is granted. A formal agreement must be executed, which includes requirements for satisfactory performance, duration of employment and pay back if terms are not met. This policy also allows the university to pay off annual leave hours. Working with Human Resources, the supervisor should negotiate the exact amount of Annual Leave that will be provided to the new employee at the start of employment and enter this amount into the leave system.

Granting Leave
The university may provide up to 30 days (240 hours) of Annual Leave per leave year to new and existing employees as an incentive to accept employment or continue in employment in a position, Role and/or Career Group that is extremely difficult to recruit and retain and is deemed critical to the university's operation and mission.

Advancing Leave
The University may advance up to 30 days of Annual Leave, rather than granting an additional amount of Annual Leave. For example, working with Human Resources, a hiring supervisor may give a new employee two weeks (10 days) of Annual Leave at time of hire and the repayment of this leave would be outlined in the pre-employment agreement.

Criteria and Process
The incentive options will not be applied to all employees in a specific role or career group, although multiple positions may be identified within or across work units, if the position(s) are determined to be critical to James Madison University's mission and key operations. The size of the incentive, whether provided as a bonus or leave, will be determined by the significance and criticality of the position(s); strong consideration will also be given to internal equity and the relative value of the incentive compared to the base compensation of included employees. Human Resources will guide managers in the equitable and effective use of incentive options.

The use of incentive options will normally be planned in advance and incorporated in an overall staffing strategy coordinated between Human Resources and the managers of the affected organizational units.

Individual agreements will be reviewed and approved by the Director of Human Resources.

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