Reward in crisis - perspectives on pay and reward in 2020

In June 2020 UCEA offered members the opportunity to attend a series of online seminars looking at pay and reward during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The seminars were recorded and our members are able to watch these and access the PowerPoint slides.

They provide members with case studies, perspectives and analysis on important reward topics within the context of an extraordinary social, organisational and economic environment. With investment in staff comprising over half of the sector's expenditure, robust reward practices will be vital to managing through these difficult times. Strategic approaches to reward will also be important in contributing to sustaining staff morale and motivation.

The seminars (listed below) cover different topics chosen as relevant to HEIs’ reward strategies in 2020 and beyond. 

UCEA members can request access the recordings by emailing

2020 Vision - Reward priorities for higher education in context (5 June)

Following reflections on HE pay before the pandemic, this seminar looks at the impact of Covid-19 on reward practices at two universities. It closes with a look at Korn Ferry's monthly pulse survey of reward practices at over 4,000 companies across the globe and what reward management trends we might see emerge in the coming year. The contributions are:
  • Where was HE pay prior to the pandemic? - Laurence Hopkins, UCEA
  • Reward priorities at the University of Sheffield - Suzanne Duke, Head of Reward, University of Sheffield
  • Pay and reward in the context of coronavirus - Audrey Fraser, Head of Reward, Engagement and Policy, Imperial College London
  • Reward strategy and practice during and after the crisis - Peter Smith, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry.

A complete package - total reward during and after the Covid crisis – (8 June)

This seminar looks at the wider reward package and organisational environment and featured a new framework for reviewing and renewing reward strategies from reward expert Duncan Brown. An institutional perspective is provided from the University of Lincoln and an out-of-sector perspective by the Direct Line Group.
  • Rewards after the Pandemic: A framework for reviewing and renewing your reward strategy, policies and practices, Duncan Brown, Visiting Professor, University of Greenwich and Principal Associate, IES
  • Total reward during a crisis - Ian Hodson, Head of Reward, University of Lincoln
  • Engagement, wellbeing and reward at Direct Line Group - Laura Smith, Senior Executive Compensation Manager, Direct Line Group.

Fair and equitable pay - A new normal? - (19 June)

Front line workers are in the spotlight while some executives in listed companies are volunteering for pay cuts – what implications does this have for reward in our sector? This seminar looks at both ends of the pay spectrum with the Educational Competencies Consortium (ECC) discussing job evaluation and low pay and includes a look at senior remuneration with reward consultant Chris Charman.
  • Fairness, transparency and markets - the HE pay picture, Laurence Hopkins, UCEA
  • Issues and options for low pay - Trudy Stedman, Member Engagement and Reward Consultant, ECC
  • Executive pay and your remuneration committee - Chris Charman, Director, Mervelles.

These online seminars replaced our successful reward workshops in the 2019-20 academic year, which we have run annually since 2013.

For queries on our seminars and events email