Recognizing ‘Above & Beyond’ Faculty & Staff

The following information below applies to staff in the following employee groups: Management & Professional (AAPS, XMP, and SUD), Technicians and Research Assistants, Executive Administrative Staff, and Farm Workers.

Note: Unionized staff are not entitled to receive honoraria. If you are unsure about rules pertaining to payments to unionized staff, please contact your Human Resources Advisor. If you are unsure about applicable payroll codes, please contact your Payroll Representative.

Defining an Honorarium

An honorarium is a payment made to a faculty or staff member for work that is above and beyond what is typically covered by their regular salary, to express gratitude, or to confer distinction on the recipient. Honoraria are one-time payments, and are not typically paid on an ongoing basis.

The process outlined in this document refers to honoraria for non-union staff.

Guidelines for paying honoraria to non-union staff members are outlined below. Separate guidelines exist governing the payment of honoraria to faculty members.


An honorarium may be paid to staff members for various reasons. Reasons may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. completion of a project that went beyond the normal scope of the job
  2. a display of superior skills or knowledge
  3. exceptional team contribution
  4. additional hours of work
  5. annual performance-based merit pay program (in lieu of an addition to base salary)
  6. recognize an exceptional hire, retain a staff member, or recognize an important referral

Honoraria are approved on a case-by-case basis on a without prejudice and without precedent basis, and may vary between units. The manager of the staff member, in consultation with the head of the unit, will determine the amount of the honorarium request. With the exception of item 5 above, the amount of an honorarium is generally up to 5% of the staff member’s salary for a particular time period.

Processing Honorarium Payments

Documentation Required

A honorarium is to be recorded as a lump sum payment on a Staff Honorarium Form (PDF), and should be accompanied by the rationale for payment, as well as any other supporting documentation.

Review & Approval Process

The following review and approval process should be followed for honorarium requests:

1) All honoraria are subject to the approval of the head of the unit and the respective Dean/Principal/Associate Vice-President equivalent.

2) Upon approval by the Dean/Principal/AVP equivalent, the Staff Honorarium Form should be forwarded to one of the following, depending on the amount of the honorarium:

  • Honoraria for amounts less than $5,000 (total) should be forwarded to the Vice-President, if required, or Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) for approval.
  • Honoraria for amounts of $5,000 or more (total) should be forwarded to the Compensation unit of Human Resources. The Compensation unit will review honoraria of $5,000 or more for the purpose of ensuring equity and consistency across departments. After review, the Compensation unit will forward the Staff Honorarium Form along with a recommendation to the respective Vice-President, if required, or DVC for final approval.

3) Once the Staff Honorarium Form has been signed off by the Vice-President, if required, or DVC, it should be forwarded to the Payroll department for processing.

Benefits & Tax Implications

Honoraria payments are subject to income tax, as well as the usual payroll deductions (e.g., CPP, WCB, and EI). Honoraria payments do not attract other wage-sensitive benefits, such as pension, Basic Group Life insurance, and Income Replacement Plan/Disability Benefit Plan. AAPS dues are deducted where applicable.