Employee Compensation

Credit Language

PA 12: Employee Compensation – version 2.2

Frequently Asked Questions

How has this credit changed between STARS 2.1 to 2.2?

Substantive changes have been made to this credit. Clarifying language was added to address common questions and misinterpretations. Criteria for contractor compensation has been revised, and definitions of employees and significant contractors added. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the 2.2 Summary of changes.

How can we determine our local living wage?

This credit is based on a living wage for a family of four (two adults and two children). This family size was selected to help harmonize the many different standards and poverty indicators used in different countries and is not assumed to be the most common or representative family size in any particular context.

North America

Europe

Australasia

International

Which hourly wage figure should be used from the MIT living wage calculator?

If using the MIT living wage calculator ensure that you use the Living Wage for 2 Adults 2 Children. Note: Anything below $12 should be double-checked.

Can benefits be included in Part 3 for total compensation?

Yes, the descriptive response for Part 3 should support that the assessment is based on TOTAL compensation of the institution’s lowest paid regular (i.e., permanent) employee (including benefits). Total compensation may include in-kind benefits that address basic needs (e.g., food, housing, transportation, healthcare, retirement) and are funded by the institution. If the lowest paid employee does not receive benefits, then benefits must be excluded from the total. Institutions must include all regular part-time and full-time workers in Part 3.

The lowest paid employee (likely part-time) earns less than the living wage. All employees (part-time and full-time) earn the living wage.
The lowest paid employee (likely part-time) does not receive benefits. No points may be claimed. 0.5 points may be claimed.
All permanent employees (part-time and full-time) receive benefits. 0.5 or more points may be claimed based on the extent to which minimum total compensation exceeds the living wage. More than 0.5 points may be claimed based on the extent to which minimum total compensation exceeds the living wage.

Example Responses

  • McGill University – Good responses and documentation. LICO was used for determining living wage in Quebec. Good reporting example for other Quebecois institutions.
  • National University of Ireland, Galway – Comprehensive responses. Notes field includes link to Living Wage Ireland and also includes calculations for determining the proportion earning above the living wage. 
  • University of California, San Diego – Comprehensive responses, including a University of California systemwide “Fair Wage/Fair Work Plan”. Good reporting example for other UC institutions.
  • University of Tasmania – Good description of living wage methodology, particularly for an institution in Australasia.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Numeric Outlier: Part 1 – Low amount under “The local living wage” may indicate that a standard other than (2 Adults, 2 Children) was incorrectly applied. Low responses should be double-checked. U.S. institutions: MIT Living Wage Calculator; Canadian institutions: Living Wage Canada; Other institutions: a local equivalent or the local poverty indicator for a family of four.
  • Part 3 – Descriptive response should support that the assessment is based on TOTAL compensation (including benefits) of the institution’s lowest paid regular (i.e., permanent) employee. If the lowest paid employee does not receive benefits, then benefits must be excluded from the total. Regular part-time workers should not be excluded.

Did you find this article helpful?