1. Policy Statement
1.1 Cardiff University supports the use of secondments, recognising them as
- developmental for the individual,
- an additional means of advancing career paths
- adding to the skills base of the organisation
- an opportunity to deal with short term or problematic work levels
- an opportunity to build or develop further strong relationships with other businesses.
Secondments vary in type and in many different circumstances. A fair and consistent procedure is used for all secondment arrangements across the University.
1.2 This policy and procedure document is supported by
- supplementary guidance notes for secondee and management.
- A glossary of terms (Appendix A).
2. Equal Opportunities statement and monitoring arrangements
2.1 Cardiff University is committed to equality of opportunity and to promoting an ethos of dignity, courtesy and respect throughout the organisation for all Cardiff University employees, visitors and secondees. An impact assessment of this policy and procedure has been undertaken and the Human Resources Division will report details of all secondments to the Equality and Diversity Committee in order to ensure that there are no discriminatory effects of this procedure.
This policy and procedures document seeks to provide
3.1 a definition of the different secondment arrangements available;
3.2 standard methods of setting out the requirements of a secondment agreement;
3.3 standard secondment agreement documentation;
3.4 guidance on the role of secondments within management and HR processes;
3.5 a standard method of recording secondments to enable monitoring in line with legislative requirements.
3.6 a process for recruitment of secondees in an efficient and effective manner.
4.1 External (outgoing) secondments are used when a Cardiff University member of staff remains under contract with the University but is based with another organisation for a defined period of time. During such secondments, the member of staff retains all Cardiff University terms and conditions including continuous service rights and existing payment and pension arrangements. The secondment agreement with the host organisation will need to include financial arrangements.
4.2 External (incoming) secondments are used when an individual comes to work for Cardiff University while maintaining their contract with another employer. This is for a defined period at the end of which the individual returns to their employer. The individual remains an employee of the seconding employer and at no time is eligible for the terms and conditions of employment at Cardiff University. The secondment agreement with the seconding employer will need to include financial arrangements.
4.3 Internal Secondments are used when a Cardiff University employee is being temporarily located in another part of the University with a view to returning to their substantive post at the end of the period. These individuals will no longer be issued with a fixed term contract but with a secondment letter stating details of the arrangement which will act as a temporary variation to their contract of employment.
5. The Process
Secondments are an effective way of bringing additional experience to the University and of providing personal and career development for staff without losing them permanently to another department or another organisation. All types of secondment need to be considered carefully in the context of business needs, resources, commitments and, in some circumstances the need to backfill a post by using a fixed term contract.
5.1 External (outgoing) secondments
5.1.1 Secondments are usually arranged for a defined period of up to 12 months in the first instance. Any extension needs to be agreed by the Head of School/Department who will notify the Human Resources Division of this request. The secondee will then return to their substantive post with the University at the end of the secondment.
5.1.2 Once the arrangement is agreed locally, the Head of School/Department (or his/her representative) sends a completed and signed form SA3 Application For The Use of An External-Outgoing Secondment to Human Resources. Human Resources will prepare a secondment agreement which sets out the obligations, expectations and accountabilities of each party and the performance objectives or outcomes expected of the secondment. The agreement will need to be signed by the University, the secondee and the appropriate signatory from the host organisation. The normal financial procedures will apply for this and any necessary backfill arrangements.
5.1.3 Arrangements to fill the vacated post within the School/Department should be made in line with the normal recruitment process by use of a fixed term contract or internal secondment as appropriate.
5.1.4 Whilst on secondment, secondees will maintain the same terms and conditions relating to their employment at Cardiff University. Any increments and pay awards due will be made as normal. Continuous service will be maintained.
5.1.5 As the employer, Cardiff University must play a role in any performance, discipline or grievance matters the host organisation may raise relating to the Cardiff University employee.
5.1.6 Cardiff University will continue to pay the employee for the duration of their secondment and will invoice the host organisation, normally on a quarterly basis.
5.1.7 It is expected that the secondee will produce a short report about their experience on their return to the University.
5.2 External (incoming) secondments
5.2.1 External (incoming) secondments can be used in three ways:
- to bring a named individual into the University for a defined time period with a view to them returning to their ongoing employer at the end of that period;
- as an advertised opportunity for specific knowledge exchange or transfer from partner organisations or to bring in specialist professional skills that would otherwise be unavailable to the University or;
- as an alternative appointment arrangement following the advertisement of a fixed term post.
5.2.2 Vacancies are not routinely advertised as a secondment unless they are specifically to meet the needs for knowledge exchange/transfer or bring current professional skills into the organisation on a short to medium term basis. An advert for a fixed term post may include a statement that applications for secondment are also welcome. Secondments will not normally be considered in response to an advert to fill an open ended or permanent vacancy.
5.2.3 If considering offering a secondment to a named individual (other than one named in a grant), the Head of School/Department should set out the business case to the Director of Human Resources for restricting the opportunity.
5.2.4 Following financial approval and provision of a job description, the Head of School/Department (or his/her representative) sends a completed and signed form SA2 Application For The Use of An External-incoming Secondment to Human Resources. Human Resources will prepare a secondment agreement which sets out the obligations, expectations and accountabilities of each party and the performance objectives or outcomes expected of the secondment. Arrangements that have an effect on grants or external funding will need to be approved and drafted by collaboration between Human Resources and RACDV. The agreement will need to be signed by the University, the secondee and the appropriate signatory from the host organisation.
5.2.5 Secondments are usually arranged for a defined period of up to a 12 month period in the first instance. Any extension needs to be agreed by the Head of School/Department who will notify the Human Resources Division of this request.
5.2.6 The substantive employer continues to pay the secondee’s salary and invoices Cardiff University, normally on a quarterly basis.
5.2.7 Secondees normally work under the terms and conditions set out in their substantive contract. The Cardiff University School/Department would need to put administrative arrangements in place to record any annual leave taken and periods of sickness absence and inform the substantive employer of these. The substantive employer would be expected to assist as appropriate in any performance, discipline and grievance matters relating to the secondee. External secondees are not employees of Cardiff University and cannot be offered a Cardiff University contract of employment.
5.3 Internal Secondments
5.3.1 Internal secondment can be used when an existing member of staff applies and is appointed to a fixed term post elsewhere within the University. The filling of the vacated post by a secondment allows the secondee to broaden experience and develop further while retaining the guarantee of a return to the substantive post at the end of the secondment. The acquisition of additional skills, knowledge and experience adds to the skills base of the seconding department.
5.3.2 If the secondee is covering an existing post but is not required to carry out the full range of duties, the pay/grade shall be determined by the use of job evaluation.
5.3.3 The School/Department completes and returns to Human Resources form SA1 Application For The Use of An Internal Secondment. HR will issue a secondment letter, varying the contract of the individual; stipulating details of the secondment and confirming that the individual will return to their substantive post on a specific date.
5.3.4 Any backfill arrangements will need to be made in line with the University’s normal recruitment process and by use of a fixed term contract if the successful candidate is external to the University.
5.3.5 Secondments are usually arranged for up to a 12 month period in the first instance. Any extension to this, will then need to be agreed by the Head of School/Department and the Human Resources Division must be informed of this intention.
5.3.6 Secondees will maintain their continuous service, annual leave record at that time and will be subject to the terms and conditions of the secondment post. Probation does not normally apply to those on secondment and they are not entitled to redeployment as they have a substantive post to return to.
5.3.7 Any increments and pay awards due will be made to the substantive post as normal so that the employee returns to the same salary that they would have received had the secondment not occurred.
The policy will be reviewed on a regular basis and updated to reflect new employment legislation when required.
Glossary of Terms
The legal document that sets out the details, terms and conditions of the external-incoming or external-outgoing secondments. This is signed by all parties involved and works as a form of contract.
The individual who is being seconded
The increase in an individual’s pay through an annual increment (if entitled) or the cost of living award.
The original and underlying role than an individual is employed to do. The post is kept open for them to return to at the end of the secondment.
Applicable to external secondments only. If a Cardiff University staff member is being seconded out, the organisation they will go to will be the host organisation. For incoming secondees, Cardiff University will be classed as the host organisation.
Open ended vacancy
A vacancy that is long term ad has no specified end date (non fixed term).
The system of evaluating a job based on the principle of equal pay of equal value, using the demands of the job to determine the pay grade for the role. The HERA system is used at Cardiff University to underpin this and provides a questionnaire that is completed by the Head of School/Directorate that will provide all the necessary information to set the grade.
Knock on arrangements that are made to fill the post of a staff member who has temporarily vacated post.
The process of seeking alternative employment for those facing redundancy i.e. following the end of certain fixed term contracts.