There are differences between and acting appointment and a covering appointment. If rampant it causes headaches to management.
A wrong or poor understanding of the difference of the difference between acting and covering appointment leads to wrong decisions. This causes confusion as well as fear among employees. It can induce negative behavior. It can demoralize them.
An acting or covering appointment may not comply with existing laws. No employee likes this to happen to happen.
And this is something that employers need to keep in mind.
As an Employee
If you are an employee, you do not to face such a situation.
No one in the right mind will want to end up in this situation. You want clearly defined tasks and responsibilities specified in your appointment, not some vague verbal statement.
If you have a choice, you would want to avoid the hassles of working for others. Earning a living doesn't necessary mean that you need to have a regular job. There are many people who carry out odd jobs.
Strangely, you see that these people do manage to survive. And you wonder.
If you have a regular job you may sometimes feel that you are in the wrong job. Or is it because there is something wrong with the job?
Your employer may require you to perform so many tasks. You believe that some of these are not related to the job you have been recruited for. You feel unhappy, irritated and annoyed.
You do not know what is happening. Your superior gives some reasons such as multi-tasking or that someone is away on sick leave. You become more confused and ask why. You feel you want to move out.
As a worker, you may not know whether your employer can force you to perform those extra duties. You ask whether the employer is breaking some rules.
As an Employer
If you are an employer, you may not realize whether you are breaking the law or you are doing things right.
Sometimes, you notice that the employee's performance worsens and you wonder why. Your employee leave but you do not understand why.
Knowing the relevant regulations before making any decision on anything affecting employees is in order. Get hold of information that can shed light how to handle issues relating to acting verses covering appointment.
Many issues on appointment matters come up from time to time. It is good to understand the basic difference between an acting appointment and covering another job. This will help you make the right decision on acting and covering appointments.
When as an employer, you instruct an employee to do the work of another employee who is away, that is covering the duties and responsibilities of that other employee. This means that the employee is doing two jobs at the same time.
For example, the inventory clerk is made to cover the duties of the purchasing clerk who is on long medical leave.
When you tell an employee to perform another job, usually at a higher level, and you do not require that employee to perform his or her current job, that is acting in that other job.
For example, a workshop supervisor is made to act in the position of Assistant Manager (Technical). Another supervisor may cover his duties or one of the senior technicians is made to act as a supervisor.
Payment of Extra Compensation
In both cases, it is normal that an extra compensation is paid. It is fair and reasonable.
Does your policy provide for acting or covering appointment without compensation? This is unfair and manipulative. It demotivates people. It is unethical management practice.
As an employer, you need to re-look at such policy. It is important that you truly understand the actual intention when taking decision on any appointment issue.
Do not use reasons such as "multi-skilling" unless the two jobs are closely inter-connected or complimentary in nature. For example, you cannot include "removal of waste (sewerage)" to the list of duties of a security guard. Outsource activities like this unless you have general cleaners.
In the case where two jobs are very similar and one person can effectively perform them, it is better to make the two jobs into one, make one employee perform that job and pay him or her a higher base salary. In this case, you don't have to decide on the acting verses covering appointment issue.
However, your types of activities may not require any such decisions. Under some working arrangement, covering another person's job is practically impossible.
In a factory, for example, where employees are assigned respectively to watch over different stages of a mechanical operation, it is not possible for one employee to perform another employee's job while performing his own specific task. It is impossible and dangerous.
If you clearly understand the difference, it is not very hard to decide any matter regarding acting verses covering appointment issues.