Secondment Policy


1.    Scope

1.1 This policy applies to all employees of the University who wish to apply for a secondment opportunity. This may be an internal or external secondment (see paragraph 3).

It is necessary that;

(i) the employee has completed probation;

(ii) If the post is externally funded, then written permission will need to be obtained from the funding body and submitted as part of the consideration for a Secondment.


2. Policy Objectives

2.1. A secondment is a development opportunity, for a defined period, enabling employees to experience work in a different Institute/Department of Aberystwyth University or in another organisation.

2.2. The University recognises that secondments give employees an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge outside of their substantive role. Secondments also provide the opportunity to enhance organisational flexibility by offering a way of filling short and long-term skill gaps within an Institute/Department. External secondments can offer exchange of expertise between organisations.

2.3. The University is committed to equality of opportunity and will ensure that a fair and consistent selection procedure is used for all secondment arrangements across the University.

3. Types of Secondment

3.1. Secondments vary in duration, type and circumstance. Short-term secondments are defined as up to 3 months, whilst those that are long-term are normally defined as up to 3 years.

3.2. There are 3 types of internal secondment and each will depend on the circumstance:-

(i) An internal secondment opportunity of less than 3 months can be offered to an employee without advertising the role. Discussions must take place with the relevant line manager in the first instance and where agreement is reached to release the employee, the employee can then be approached about the role. 


(ii) Internal secondment opportunities of more than 3 months will be advertised throughout the University on the internal recruitment page, starting with prior consideration. Employees who wish to apply for an advertised secondment opportunity will follow the E-Recruiter process as advised on the job advert.

(iii) An employee who wishes to request an internally advertised fixed term role of more than 3 months duration can be considered as an internal secondment In such circumstances, the employee must submit a completed pro forma to their Head of Institute Director/Department or nominee in the first instance.  The Head of Institute/Department comments must be obtained before the request is forwarded to the Director of Human Resources.  A final decision will be made by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Chief Operating Officer) or depute.


3.3. There are 3 types of external secondments:

(i) External (outgoing) secondments are used when an employee remains under contract with the University, but is based with (and paid by) another organisation for a defined period of time. During such secondments, the employee retains all their main terms and conditions of employment including continuous service rights.


(ii) External (outgoing) secondments may also be used when an employee remains under contract with the University and continues to be paid by the University including employee and employer pension contributions. During such secondments, arrangements will be made by the University to invoice the host organisation for the total salary costs on an agreed payment plan.

For external (outgoing) secondments the following process must be followed:

  • Employee to submit a pro forma application to the Head of Institute/Department Director 4 months prior to the proposed start date of the secondment;
  • A copy of the secondment offer from the host organisation must be provided in the application;
  • Institute Director/Head of Department to supply supporting /not supporting comments including impact on Institute/Department;
  • Finance Business Partner to provide salary costs if 3.3(ii) is to be considered;
  • Completed pro forma to be returned to HR, Employee Services Team for review by the Director of Human Resources;
  • Final decision to be made by the Pro Vice Chancellor (Chief Operating Officer) and communicated by the Employee Services Team;
  • If the secondment is agreed, any replacement post, to cover for the secondee, should be submitted via the E-Recruiter approvals process.

In addition, an appropriate risk assessment must be completed for all external secondments and the secondee must adhere to the guidance contained within the University’s Travel Policy, details of which can be found at .


4. Secondment Arrangements

4.1. A University employee is temporarily transferred to another department /institute of the University for a defined period at the end of which the employee returns to their substantive post. Human Resources will confirm in writing details of the secondment arrangement which will act as a temporary variation to the employee’s contract of employment. The employee will continue to progress through the salary scale and receive any increments due during the period of secondment.

4.2. Employees undertaking a secondment will normally return to their substantive position. Where this is not possible, alternative employment, or similar (no less favourable) terms and conditions, may be offered except in the situation that their post is made redundant during the secondment. The Redundancy Avoidance Policy will be applied.

5. Policies and Procedures applicable during the secondment.

5.1 A secondee on an external placement will be expected to adhere to the host organisation’s policies and procedures during the secondment. Exceptions to this should be documented within the external secondment agreement.

5.2 Incoming secondees will receive appropriate Information Services access and access to staff facilities.

5.3 Internal secondees should be offered the opportunity to attend team meetings relevant to their substantive role with the agreement of their new line manager. The benefit of attending such meetings should be outlined when requesting release and each request considered on its merits.

5.4 External secondees should maintain regular contact with their line manager during the secondment.  The line manager is responsible for forwarding the secondee relevant communication from Aberystwyth University.

5.5 Arrangements will be made between the secondee and line manager in completing the Effective Contribution Scheme documentation in line with the policy.

6.Policy Review  

6.1. The Director of Human Resources will co-ordinate a review of this Secondment Policy every 3 years to maintain compliance with legislation and good practice.

6.2. The review will be undertaken in liaison with the recognised trade unions and any proposed amendments will be submitted to Professional Development, Staffing and Equalities Committee for approval.

7. Equality Impact Assessment 

The University is committed to embedding the Equality Scheme into its policies, procedures and practices. This policy has been equality impact assessed in accordance with this scheme.

Version 15/06/2018