External secondment procedures


1. External secondments are mutually agreed arrangements where an employer makes an employee available to work for another employer under specific agreed arrangements for a specific period of time. No change of employer is involved and the seconded employee retains the conditions of employment applicable to the original or 'parent' organisation. However, work arrangements, such as hours of work, may differ and the seconded employee may be expected to work within the host organisation's guidelines in relation to such matters.


2. 'Parent organisation' refers to the organisation the seconded employee is employed by and from which they are seconded.

3. 'Host organisation' refers to the organisation to which the employee is seconded.


4. Refer to the Delegations for the delegations relating to secondments.

Secondment arrangements

5. Protection of the interests of the University and its employees is paramount when considering a secondment. When considering a proposal, supervisors should:

  • Consult with their HR Business Partner about the secondment proposal and arrangements; and
  • Familiarise themselves with the issues associated with secondments before entering into any informal discussion about secondment proposals. Serious difficulties can emerge when unrealistic, impractical or inequitable arrangements and conditions are verbally agreed to in the initial discussion stage.

6. Secondment arrangements are subject to any relevant industrial agreements.

Financial arrangements

7. Before agreeing to the allocation of the costs of a secondment, supervisors should discuss the arrangements with their Financial and Business Services Advisor and should not make any decision which leads to a subsidy, direct or indirect, being granted to an external organisation.

8. Where a University employee is seconded to another organisation, the host organisation is normally responsible for costs associated with the secondment. These costs include:

  • Salary, allowances and any non-cash benefits;
  • Employer's contributions to superannuation;
  • Any associated travel and removal expenses;
  • Workers' compensation cover;
  • Public liability and professional indemnity cover (if applicable);
  • Payroll tax;
  • Pro rata annual leave and leave loading;
  • Pro rata long service leave;
  • Personal leave and other leave entitlements if any such forms of leave are taken during the secondment; and
  • An administration fee to cover the University's indirect overhead costs.

9. Where it is identified that there will be shared benefits from the proposal, the question of payment of costs should be recorded in the formal written agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) and its terms advised to the seconded employee.

10. Where the University is the major beneficiary of the secondment, appropriate costs will be borne by the University.

Formal agreement between the parent and host organisations

11. Before the secondment commences, the formal terms of Agreement should be drawn up and, after careful consideration, signed by both organisations and the seconded employee. The Agreement should incorporate the following:

  • A job description for the position to be occupied by the seconded employee during the secondment;
  • Remuneration arrangements;
  • Cost recovery arrangements for salary and on-costs;
  • Duration of the secondment;
  • Indemnities and liabilities;
  • Provision for the agreement to be terminated;
  • Ownership of intellectual property;
  • Responsibility of the host organisation to notify the parent organisation of any leave taken during the secondment;
  • Any confidentiality provisions;
  • Publication rights, if applicable;
  • Responsibility for removal and travel expenses if appropriate; and
  • Details of any requirement for the taking of leave that accrues during the period of the secondment.

12. When determining the ownership of any intellectual property, consideration should be given to apportioning ownership according to the proportion of the secondment costs met by the organisation involved.

Conditions of employment

13. University employees retain the right of return to their substantive position at the conclusion of a secondment. A condition of approving a period of secondment may be that the employee undertakes to resume full duties at the University on its conclusion and to remain with the University for a time not less than the period of the secondment.

14. Where the seconded employee's existing conditions of employment and those of the host organisation differ, reasonable effort should be made to maintain the seconded employee's existing conditions. This may not always be possible and in such cases, an agreement should be reached about the conditions which will apply during the period of the secondment before the secondment is approved.