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My HR Knowledge Bank

Welcome to My HR Knowledge Bank.  You will find frequently asked questions on all current HR Policies and procedures, links to all policies, useful forms, guidelines and toolkits.

SECONDMENT

Can a manager refuse to support a secondment?

Before applying for a secondment an employee must gain approval from their manager. Using the Secondment Request Form the reasons for applying for the secondment should be set out clearly including the potential benefits to the employee and to the Council.

The manager should consider both the employee’s development needs and the service as a whole and ensure the equitable treatment of all potential secondees.

If a request for a secondment is rejected, the manager should explain to the employee their reason for the refusal.

The Council's Secondment Request Form can be accessed here.

 

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Does the Council support secondments to external organisations?

Yes, but the secondment must not be financially detrimental to the Council. All costs and responsibilities for the secondment, including pay, pension, additional employer costs, etc need to be considered prior to the secondment being agreed. In normal circumstances, this would be picked up by the employing organisation.

The secondment should also only be considered if it is either determined by a joint partnership agreement involving the Council or if clear benefits to the Council can be demonstrated.

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How can a post be covered for a period of maternity leave?

There may be someone in the team who would be suitable for the job but there may be others in the Council equally capable of filling the role. Care needs to be taken to ensure equality of opportunity for all potential applicants. This applies particularly where there is a promotional secondment, or the secondment is likely to be for a long period of time e.g. 12 months.

The secondment can be advertised as a temporary vacancy via e-Recruitment to appear on the Council's Intranet site (as the manager will be aware in plenty of time about the need to cover the post). If the post requires specific knowledge, skills or experience that can only be found within a certain smaller 'pool' of staff, the opportunity can be made known to this group of staff directly using email distribution lists etc.

Whichever method is chosen, Human Resources support should be sought in determining how staff are to apply, and to make appropriate interview arrangements.

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How long can secondments last?

Secondments should only last for up to 12 months as per the Secondment Policy.

The Council's Secondment Policy can be accessed here.

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What happens if someone is seconded to another department but there are changes going on around their substantive post?

During the period of the secondment the substantive post holder and line manager should maintain regular contact with each other. Any concerns about changes should be raised with both the current manager and the person who manages the substantive post.

The host manager and permanent manager should also be in regular contact during the secondment period so any changes going on relating to the substantive post should already have been discussed between them.

The employee must be kept fully informed of any organisational or service changes, as they would be if they were present in that workplace.

The manager is responsible for ensuring that any developments, changes and general information about the service is communicated to the employee. If concerns about this not happening are not alleviated after speaking to the managers, please contact the appropriate Human Resources representative.

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What happens to an employee's substantive post if they are seconded to work in another department?

The substantive post may be filled on a temporary basis. When the secondment finishes the post holder should return to their substantive post, or if this is not possible due to organisational changes, to a post commensurate with the substantive grade and salary.

The arrangements with regard to this should be confirmed in writing before the secondment commences and it would be advisable for the employee to consult with the manager beforehand about whether the post would be held open and for how long they would be prepared to do this. See the Secondment Policy for further information.

The Council's Secondment Policy can be accessed here.

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What is a secondment?

A secondment is the planned and voluntary transfer of an individual, with the agreement of their manager, from one post to another normally for an agreed period of time.

It differs from an honorarium arrangement in that the post holder will take up the full duties of the post and temporarily relinquish their substantive post, which may be backfilled. The Secondment Policy and Honorarium Policy provide further information.

Both Council policies can be accessed here.

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