Policy Human Resources Market Loading Policy

Market Loading Policy

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Due to competing market pressures, it can be difficult to attract and retain staff in particular disciplines.

Market loading may be applied to positions in identified critical areas to provide remuneration in excess of the salary level, which would normally be paid as an incentive to attract critical staff.


This policy applies to all ongoing employees covered by the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement.

Policy and Procedures

1.  Payment method

A market loading may be paid to staff, in addition to the salary paid for the University determined level or HEW level for the position that they occupy. The market loading is a non-superannuable allowance. There are two ways that a market loading can be paid:

  1. It may be negotiated in the course of an offer of employment following the advertisement of a position. An advertisement may refer to the possibility of negotiating a salary at a higher level than the specified level for the position; or
  2. A recommendation that a market loading be awarded to a filled position may be made on the basis of the relevant criteria being met, including:

The difficulty in retaining suitable staff in the position at the time;

Organisational need for the contribution, knowledge and expertise expected to be made, or being made, by the position.

2.  Value of market loading

In all reference related to market loading the amount shall be expressed as a percentage of the salary and not a dollar figure.

The amount of permissible market loading that can be applied is between 5% and 20% of the determined salary level for that position, and is usually applied in increments of 5%.

Market loading in excess of 20% will only be considered in exceptional cases.

3.  Duration of market loading

The term during which a market loading is to be awarded will be specified in writing. It may vary from a relatively short period (eg. for the duration of a special project), or while the incumbent remains in the current position, on a year by year basis.

The market loading for a specified position is to be reviewed annually.

In the case of a Professional or Technical position:

Should that position be reclassified, any market loading being received by the incumbent will be absorbed into the new level of pay.

Staff who transfer to another position within the University do not retain their market loading in the new position. Any market loading for the new position will be considered in accordance with this Policy.

4.  Funding for Market Loading

Budget estimates of salary commitments for the following year will reflect the University determined levels of positions, not including market loading. Market loading will be paid from the operating budget of the employing unit.

5.  Authority to Approve Market Loading Level

In the case of a market loading for an Academic position, approval must be granted by the Director, Human Resources.

In the case of market loading for a Professional or Technical position, approval must be granted by the Director, Human Resources.

6.  Summary Report of Market Loadings

A summary report on market loadings across the University will be prepared by Human Resources in March each year.

Related documentation and legislation

JCU Enterprise Agreement


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainHuman Resources

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority

Human Resources Committee

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Implementation date



NANA21/11/2023Administrative amendment to update reference to JCU Enterprise Agreement to current version.Policy Officer




Minor amendments to authority to approve to align to the HR Delegations Register

HR Project Manager




Minor amendments to roles to reflect current organisation structure

Deputy Director, Human Resources




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy




Policy replaces Market Loading – Academic Staff and Market Loading- Professional Staff



Market loading