Employee Secondment Requires Policy and Rules

Implement some form of employee secondment plan. This will allow your organization to move people around the organization, whether within the same organization or to related organizations.

This is one effective way of managing talents. If you cannot move people you limit the capability of your organization to improve services you need extra pair of hands or a good worker with effective decision making skills.

This is one method how you can make maximum use of the competence, abilities and skills of your people.

Employee Secondment as Part of Career Development Plan

As an incentive for people to change their place of work without much objection, promote them upon secondment to another area of the business or to a subsidiary company. This also demonstrate the appreciation by the organization of employees' abilities. Do not underestimate the motivational effect of doing this.

Issue Letters of Secondment
Ensure that you issue proper letters of secondment to employees required to go on secondment. Specify among other things the starting date and the end date, and that the employee concerned will return to his or her old job at the end of the secondment.

The letter must also state that the secondment is subject to extension and that all other terms and conditions remain the same.

Promotion Upon Secondment

If the employee is promoted upon going on secondment, state clearly the promotional post and the salary grade of the higher position.

State the starting and end dates, among the other things. There is no probationary period for promoted employees including cases in employee secondment.

You may face objections and even hostility from some employees who are reluctant to move to another place of work or organization.

Employee on Secondment Apply to Revert to Former Position
Is an employee who was seconded to another area of operations allowed to revert to his or her former job?

Usually, the employee is allowed to apply to return to his or former job. It would appear that the employee had brought along his post, being the substantive holder. Now, he or she is bringing back the post with him or her upon returning to the former place of work.

If he or she was promoted and asked to return to the former organization - the seconder employer - he or she will retain the higher post. If there is a person who is holding a similar position in the seconder organization, you can assign him or another job of equal prestige and worth or value. Giving him or her a job of less value - perceived or otherwise - may give rise to employer-employee disputes.

Dismissal of Seconded Employees
Who has the power to dismiss seconded employees?

The accepted principle is that the entity that has the power to hire has the power to fire. Does the hire and fire principle apply to seconded employees?

The same principle should apply in employee secondment. The secondee organization has not acquired the power to fire. The seconded employee is not its employee. The secondment is not a new employment.

(Note, however, that a newly-decided case in the U.K. which held that the secondee company was the employer.)

It is suggested that when you issue letters of secondment, make it clear that the employee on secondment is still subject to the Disciplinary Rules and Regulations of your organization.

Apparently, the secondee company will make a report on misconducts or misbehavior of the employee on secondment to the seconding organization, namely, the actual employer. Officials from the real employer will conduct investigation and arrange for a domestic inquiry.

Right to Return to Work for Seconding Organization
The seconded employee should be given the opportunity to return to the seconding organization if he or she wants to. The actual employer should not give the excuse that there is no vacant post available.

However, the position may change if the seconded employee accept an appointment by the secondee employer, most often to a higher position. In this case, the position is located at the secondee employer. It would appear that if the employee on secondment accept the new appointment, then he or she enjoys the benefits of the new appointment but may lose those in the former position.

Seek Professional Advice on Employee Secondment
It is necessary that your organization seek legal advice on matters such as employee secondment. This is necessary especially where the matter is clearly complicated.

Can you treat employee on secondment under the same flexible working arrangement to which employees in the secondee employer are subjected?

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