Executive Remuneration

Guide Dogs’ approach to pay and remuneration
We’re constantly striving to make Guide Dogs a great place to work. At all levels, we need to recruit and retain talented individuals to ensure the charity can successfully help thousands of people living with sight loss feel confident and supported in the world.

Rewarding our staff
At the end of 2014 we had 1,368 members of staff. Our people are dedicated and skilled at what they do and we are constantly striving to ensure that we reward our people fairly

The current pay structure was introduced at Guide Dogs in 2010 and we now have eight broad salary bands. All roles are allocated a grade using a careful evaluation of the size of the role, using the Hay Group Method of Job Evaluation, which is the most widely used method of job evaluation.

All Guide Dogs staff, excluding Directors, are eligible for an annual pay award and progression pay. The annual pay award is a cost of living rise, while progression pay rewards staff who meet their objectives and make a significant contribution to Guide Dogs’ success as a charity.

Guide Dogs Directors do not receive an annual pay award; their pay progression is decided purely on the achievement of their objectives.

Living Wage
As a responsible and fair employer, Guide Dogs from 1st April 2015 all employees have been paid at or above the Living Wage. Over the past three years, we’ve also awarded staff at lower graded roles larger percentage salary increases than staff at other grades, to ensure their salaries remain fair and competitive.

Guide Dogs is led by its Chief Executive and the Executive Board. Together, they are accountable for driving the delivery of our vision and strategy. The Executive Board is responsible for the day-to-day management of Guide Dogs.

The members of the Executive Board as at 7 July 2015 were:

  •     Richard Leaman, CB, OBE, Chief Executive
  •     Jayne George, Director of Fundraising and Marketing
  •     Mike Holt, Director of People and Business Services
  •     Tim Lowth, Director of Finance, Planning and Performance
  •     Steve Vaid, Director of Mobility Services (Deputy CEO)

Our approach to Executive Remuneration
Guide Dogs is committed to greater transparency over pay in the voluntary sector and supports the recommendations in the National Council of Voluntary Organisations’ (NCVO) Report of the Inquiry into Charity Senior Executive Pay, and for that reason is publishing information on pay policy and remuneration levels for its chief officers in this annual report and our website.

The current pay and terms and conditions for Executives were introduced in 2011 and are determined by our Remuneration Committee operating as a sub-committee of the Board.

The policy aims to:

  • Develop and sustain a high performance culture from the top of Guide Dogs.
  • Recruit and retain the talented people needed to maintain and improve our already high performance, and lead the organisation through the challenging changes we are facing.
  • Recognise Executives for their personal contributions.

There are a number of principles that underpin the Board’s approach to

Executive pay:

  • The amount paid should reflect the market for comparable jobs in comparable organisations, the performance of the organisation and the skills and contribution of the individual performing the role.
  • Increases to pay depend on delivering results; this means it is a performance-related pay scheme.
  • Performance is defined in a rounded way, including not only achievement of annual targets but also leadership and other behaviours as well as success in developing the capability and services of Guide Dogs over the longer term.

Benchmarking and salary ranges
Executive roles are allocated to a salary range based on a number of factors including the level of knowledge, skills and experience required and the responsibilities and accountabilities associated with the position. This assessment of the size of each Executive role is carried out by the Hay Group. Each Executive Director is paid within a salary range applicable to their post, and progression within that range is dependent on their performance.

Salary ranges are reviewed annually and any decision to change them is taken by the Remuneration Committee. As part of the review, consideration is given to the level of pay in the sector using benchmark data collected by the Hay Group.

Other benefits
Benefits for Directors are in line with benefits available to all staff. This includes a flexible benefits allowance of up to 3% of salary. Employer’s pension contributions are conditional on employee contributions and the same as equivalent contribution levels for all staff.

Across the Association as a whole, the ratio between median salary and highest salary at the end of 2014 was 1:5

Total remuneration of Executive Board 2014
The table below shows the total remuneration of the Executive Board. This includes salary, allowances in lieu of pension scheme participation, benefits in kind, and pension contributions.



Total remuneration

Richard Leaman

Group Chief Executive          



Jayne George

Director of Fundraising and Marketing


Tim Lowth

Director of Finance, Planning and Performance


Steve Vaid        

Director of Mobility Services / Deputy CEO


Mike Holt

Director of People and Business Services