A secondment is the re-assignment of an employee on a temporary basis in order to carry out a set of tasks in lieu of their usual duties. The tasks can either be outside of their job description e.g. a different role, or the same role but at another organisation.
Different types of secondment
- Internal – the temporary transfer of a University employee either within a department, a School or in the wider University.
- External (Outbound) – the secondment of a University employee from the University to an external organisation.
- External (Inbound) – the secondment of an employee from an external organisation to the University.
Secondment opportunities are open to all staff categories and there is no requirement for a minimum length of service.
Secondments are typically used to temporarily redeploy a member of staff with a particular skill set and ability to undertake a specific project or to cover a period of leave e.g. maternity leave. They are also used to share knowledge and skills with organisations the University partners with as well as acting as an opportunity for the employee to acquire skills and experience which will benefit both their own career development and their home department upon their return.
Secondments are flexible in nature and can be arranged on a full-time or part-time basis and vary in length from a couple of weeks to 12 months*.
*Requests for secondments in excess of 12 months must have prior approval from the relevant Head of Department following a discussion with the Clinical School HR Team.
All secondment are subject to Head of Department approval and must meet the operational needs of the business.
- Development opportunities – a chance to acquire new skills and knowledge.
- Scope for career development.
- Networking – an opportunity to build and develop relationships within the University or with external organisations.
- Offering development opportunities to existing staff.
- Build on the skills/knowledge base within the University.
- A way to build and/or develop relationships with other organisations or within the University.
- Supports the University’s recruitment/retention strategy including for REF purposes.
- External inbound secondments open up the opportunity to gain opinions and ideas for an outside perspective.
Setting up/Applying For A Secondment
The employee should discuss their intention to apply for a secondment with their line manager and notify them of their wish to apply for such a role at the earliest possible opportunity.
Line managers should discuss the potential secondment with the relevant departmental HR Team before reaching a final decision.
Subject to line manager approval the employee should apply for the secondment as per the recruitment instructions. If there are business/operational requirements which may make it difficult to release an employee from their substantive post then the departments/institutes HR Team should consult with the Clinical School HR Team before reaching a final decision.
All internal secondment offers are subject to Head of Department/Institute approval.
Potential external secondment agreements should be brought to the departments/institutes Business and Operations Manager/Departmental Administrator (or equivalent) attention as soon as reasonably possible in order to seek advice from the HR Schools Team.
A CHRIS 71 should be completed and sent through to the relevant HR Adviser along with any additional relevant information.
The University has a set of secondment template agreements which should be used for external secondments. Based on the information provided, the Clinical School HR Team will tailor the template taking into account the specific nature of the secondment. Request to use alternate templates and/or secondment wording must be discussed with the Clinical School HR Team in advance.
All externals secondment require Head of Department/Institute approval with the final agreement signed by the Employer, Host and Secondee.
For all types of secondment, it is essential that all parties are clear about their obligations, expectations, accountabilities and objectives. If there is any uncertainty then this must be addressed before the secondment commences.
For further information about setting up a secondment agreement and the roles and responsibilities of the employee, department and central HR, visit the procedures webpage.