A pay or salary range which is divided into a series of fixed, even steps between the minimum and maximum salary points. Ideally, employees are appointed at the bottom of the scale and then progress towards the top, depending on seniority, skill acquisition, or performance. Fixed incremental scales of this kind are a particular feature of public-service employment, where annual increments are awarded for each year of service. The reform of the public services in recent years, however, has led to some displacement of seniority with performance-based progression. Where the latter is used, high-performing employees might be awarded two or more increments at any one time or a ‘merit bar’ might operate that restricts the upper reaches of the scale to those with a high-performance rating. [See grade and salary progression.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.