Sample Policy: Promotion


This policy aims to provide guidelines for emplacement of staff recommended for promotion on our internal salary structure for the purpose of determining their new compensation plan.

Operating Units and / or Locations Covered

All business entities in (Name of geographical region, country or state).


This policy applies to all permanent staff or fixed term contract staff.


The HR Department has the responsibility for determining and recommending the new job grade and/or promotional increment for support by the Department Head and approval by CEO.


Term Definition
Cross organizational promotion A promotion that occurs when an active employee in a department / budget entity is promoted into an open/vacant position in a higher salary range in another department / budget entity within the organization.
Inter/Intra-departmental promotion A promotion that occurs when an active employee in a department/budget entity is promoted into an open/vacant position in a higher salary range within the same department/budget entity.
Key Position Position that is core to the operation of the business unit, for example department head, agency head.
Off-cycle pay decisions Pay decisions are those related to pay actions which occur at a time other than the annual salary review/merit increase process.
Promotion A promotion is the appointment of a current employee to a position in a higher salary range, pay grade, band or level than the one to which the employee is presently assigned

It is an advancement to a position that requires performing accountabilities of higher level of responsibilities or complexities and the assignment of a new title.

Transfer This is a change in assignment in which the staff moves from one job to another job in the same level of hierarchy requiring similar skill involving approximately the same level of responsibility, same status and same level of pay.
Exempt Staff Employees that are exempt or fall outside of Part IV of the Employment Act of Singapore.
Non-Exempt Staff Employees that fall within the ambit of Part IV of the Employment Act of Singapore.
First Quartile The first quartile of the salary range is usually intended for individuals who are new to the grade, are in a learning situation, and/or do not have substantial experience in the new position.
Second Quartile The second quartile of the salary range is intended for employees who have gained experience and skill and who are becoming more proficient in the position for which they were hired. They generally meet expectations in their positions.
Midpoint The midpoint of the salary range usually represents the market rate for this position, and represented fully experienced employee at that level.
Third Quartile The third quartile of the salary range is typically reserved for experienced employees who frequently exceed expectations.
Fourth Quartile The fourth quartile of the salary range is normally reserved for individuals who are consistently exceptional performers and who have extensive experience.


Form Title Form Number
Personnel Action Recommendation Form

Posting of Job Vacancy

7.1         If the job opening or vacancy arose because of replacement, the opening will be announced to all staff and kept open for a period of minimum 3 work days in order to allow for all employees to apply for the position. In the case of critical positions or where positions are difficult to fill and a suitable job candidate is readily available the CEO has the discretion not do communicate the vacancy.


8.1       Promotion shall be based on merit, competency, character (managerial or leadership position) and vacancy, not solely on years of service.

8.2       The staff may be eligible for promotion, if they have satisfactorily met of the following:

  • Successful completion of the required probationary period.
  • Has been in service for a minimum of 6 months, excluding no pay leave and hospitalization leave.
  • Have been assessed as Meeting Expectations or better on his or her most recent annual performance review if employee has been in service for 1 year or Above Expectations or better on his or her probationary review.
  • No disciplinary action beyond a verbal warning and/or has not been on a performance improvement plan as a result of unsatisfactory performance during the current performance review period in their present position.
  • Meets or exceeds the competencies and requirements of the new position.
  • The staff is likely to be an experienced staff who frequently exceed expectations in his or her current job. The current salary placement would likely to be at least in the third quartile.

8.3       Staff selected for promotion should be given opportunity to express their interests.

Promotional Adjustments

9.1       Promotional increases are typically between 5%-15%, depending on the increased level of responsibility, date of last increase and other factors as outlined below.

Criteria Assessment Factors
Modest Increase (5% to 8%) Moderate Increase (9% to 12%) Significant Increase (13% to 15%)
Degree of increase in responsibilities Moderate                                                                        Significant
Current salary relative to others in the new pay grade High                                                                                          Low
Demonstrated ability to perform Consistently Demonstrates                           Consistently Exceeds

9.2       The minimum increase is a 5 percent increase or the minimum of the new salary range, whichever is higher.

9.3       If the staff’s present salary is less than 15 percent lower than the minimum a promotional increase must bring the staff’s salary to at least the minimum of his/her new pay level or range. If the staff’s present salary is more than 15 percent lower than the minimum salary of the new salary range, then raise the staff’s salary a portion of the way to the new minimum. Schedule a performance review within 6 months and consider increasing the salary to the minimum, based upon the results of the review.

9.4       Where the employee’s existing pay is higher than the minimum of his/her new pay level or range, then a promotional increase should bring employee to a salary increase level within the salary range of the new position, based on the promoted employee’s related skills, knowledge, experience, performance; the salaries of the other employees in the same position and his or her ability to perform the duties of the duties of the new job.

9.5       The maximum increase is to the same relative position within the new salary range or at the midpoint of the new range, whichever is higher.

9.6 Employees over the maximum for their new grade will not receive a salary increase.

Effective Date

10. The effective date of a promotion shall be at Management’s discretion.

Communication on Salary Adjustments

11. No commitment should be made to employee regarding salary prior to the approval of the promotion.

Alternatives to Promotion

12.1    If an employee has made regular use of their newly acquired new skills or their responsibilities have increased within their current job, however not significantly enough to warrant a grade or level change or job reclassification, the following 2 options other than promotion exist. An example is an employee whose current salary placement is in the second quartile and had been delegated more responsibilities.

12.2      Where the salary adjustments have been made before the annual salary review, Management shall decide whether the job incumbent would be included in the annual salary review exercise and if included, whether any further salary adjustments would be pro-rated either by amount, percentage, effective date or other methods.

Guidelines for Increase in Responsibility

  • A pay increase, typically up to 5%, may be considered with increase in job responsibility.
  • An increase would be warranted in the event of major changes in responsibilities or a measurably higher degree of complexity within the current role.
  • An increase in the volume of activity or transactions will not typically warrant additional pay.
  • Similarly, an increase in the number of staff will not always lead to a pay increase for supervisory employees (if responsibilities remain similar).

Guidelines for Acquiring New Skills

  • A pay increase, typically up to 5%, may be considered when an employee has acquired and makes regular use of significant new skills/knowledge.
  • An increase may vary depending on market forces and, in some cases, a request may warrant a market study.
  • There are two categories of skill acquisition:
    • Acquisition and use of premium skills/knowledge: Such skills or knowledge is rare but critical to the department/organization for either a specific initiative or an ongoing process. An example: Specific, computer or software skills may be relatively rare in the market and generally require specific, focused training.
    • Acquisition and use of special skills/knowledge that an employee demonstrates: These are not required by all individuals currently in the position, but they significantly enhance the value of the individual and benefit the department/organization. An example:An employee’s facilitation skills may enhance the effectiveness of all team members and the productivity of the team

    Approval Process for Promotions

    15.1    The Business Unit Head submits the recommendation for promotion by completing and sending the Personnel Action Recommendation form to Human Resource Department for processing.

    15.2    Once the Human Resource Department has verified that the form has been duly completed according to the requirements of the Promotion Policy, the Human Resource Department shall make the recommendation for the promotion and promotional increment as follows:

    Non-Key Position Key Position
    Non-Exempt Staff Approval by Department Head only Not Applicable
    Exempt Staff Approval by Department Head only Recommendation by Department Head; Approval by CEO

    15.3    Any salary increase above 10% or any increases that will bring the salary above the mid-point of the new salary range will require justification and approval by CEO.



    Process Map