Policy on Employee Transfer and Transfer Letter

Policy on Employee Transfer is an important matter that organizations need to have sound reasons for transferring people. Organizations' leaders need to have a clear policy on staff transfer that forms part of their human resource policy.

It has been found that employees commitment to their jobs, their motivation, productivity and retention rate depend on whether they are truly interested in the jobs assigned to them.

However, sometimes job seekers will take any job when they find it difficult to find a job opening in their area of interest.

It is easier to move people around when there are a number of different job vacancies. Of course, this is not possible every time. And it goes against the principle of finding the right person for the right job.

Transfer Policy needs to address matters including the following:

  • The right of your organization to deploy or transfer employees;
  • The terms and conditions under which employees can apply for transfer to another job;
  • Transfer Procedures;
  • Transfer back to former job, and
  • Effects on Remuneration and seniority.

Policy on Employee Transfer Statement

You need to clearly state your organization's policy on employee transfer in order to prevent any misunderstanding or misconception among employees.

For example, the statement may read as follows:

    "ABC plc recognizes that employees productivity depends on their motivation to commit their time, energy and ability in the performance of jobs suited to their interests.

    ABC plc therefore provides transfer opportunities to serving employees to apply for transfer to jobs that can fully engage them and hold their interest.

    The terms and conditions for any application for job transfer as well as the procedures are stipulated in the attachment to this document."

Transfer Procedures

The appendix to Policies on Employee Transfer will contain the terms and conditions and stipulates the procedures required of the applicant and management.

These include:

  • To whom the employee must address the application for transfer, what the application must state, necessary documents required to support the application such as letters of reference, and procedure for any follow ups on the application
  • Information and documents required by management before considering the application such as the employee's performance record, attendance record, skills and knowledge demonstrated by the applicant, and whether the employee falls under any exception stated in the transfer policy

When Employees can Take Advantage of Transfer Policy

You can make employees eligible to apply for transfer under Policy on Employee Transfer when certain conditions are satisfied or exist.

Some examples are stated below.

  • After the employee has served for a certain length of time, put as 'employees may apply for transfer after having served at least (one year) in the present position.'
  • Reduction in headcount is necessary as the result of economic recession or some other unavoidable events.
  • Job elimination is necessary for certain sectors due to down-sizing or cessation of certain operations or business activities.
  • There is a change in employment terms and conditions, such as working hours, salary, status of position.
  • The organization is undergoing reorganization, merger or takeover.

Reservation of the Right to Transfer Employees

You need to reserve the right to transfer any of your employees.

Your Policy on Employee Transfer may provide for most occasions. However, it is advisable to write to employees informing them of your organization's transfer policy and that they agree to it.

This needs to cover cases of transfer, secondment, job enrichment arrangement by job rotation, one-off or temporary work and the right to re-designate job grades including to a lower grade.

It can happen that the industrial law in the country where your organization carries out its business activities stipulates specific requirements on employee transfer. Get to know the laws applicable.

If it is shown that your organization has not satisfied the provisions of the law, the law courts may decide that it is a case of 'constructive dismissal.

Thus, it is clear that legislation or the common law may limit management's right to transfer employees. Check and verify. Seek legal opinion.

Sample Letter in the Reservation of the Right to Transfer

What follows is a sample of a letter reserving the right to transfer employees. The wordings can vary depending on the existing legal position in the adopted home country of your organization. Such laws will affect your policy on employee transfer.

Sample Transfer Letter



Dear ...........

  • (state name),or
    Sir / Madam,


    Kindly be notified as follows:

    1. ABC plc (name of organization) (hereinafter referred to as "The Company") hereby reserves at its absolute discretion the right to transfer or second you to any department / branch / division / unit / subsidiary or associate company within the group under its Policy on Employee Transfer.

      This right may also extend to any organization where the company directors may have a shareholding or directorship interest in.

    2. The company also reserves the right to assign you to serve in any area or zone of service at its absolute discretion at any time during your employment with the company.
    3. Further, the company may reassign you to a job in a lower job grade as a result of a reorganization.

      You will continue to be paid in accordance with your original salary scale until you reach the maximum of the scale.

    4. The company may from time to time transfer you for purposes of exposing you to different aspects of its operations.

      This is done after evaluating your performance and the ability to perform at a higher level.

      This job enrichment or job rotation exercise is designed to enable you to understand the diverse needs and nature of our operations.

    5. In addition, the company also reserves the right to instruct you to perform certain works for any of its related companies, inclusive of its subsidiary or associate companies.

      Since the work is a one-off, temporary or non-permanent in nature, you should not unreasonably refuse to carry out these instructions when directed to do so.

    Please indicate your agreement to these terms and conditions in the space provided below. The duplicate copy is for your retention.

    Thank you.

    Yours sincerely,

    (Name of Holder)
    Managing Director


    To: Managing Director
    ABC plc

    I hereby agree to the terms and conditions as stated above.

    Signature :

    Name :

    Position :

    Date :

    This is how a letter implementing a policy on the transfer of employees. You may use your own words as long as these convey the same meaning and implications.

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