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HR Tips Q2 2019 – University Staff Transfer (and Secondments)

Coordinating and managing staff transfers in an effective manner is important, both to ensure that our staff are afforded the opportunity to grow and build their careers within the University and to ensure that business goals and objectives continue to be delivered effectively to the University.

In your role as a manager and given the size of the University’s workforce, it is inevitable that you will have staff who propose to transfer to other positions within the University.

This quarter’s HR Tip will guide you through and set out your obligations in managing this process for a smooth and easy transition.

Please note that Staff Transfers and Secondments do not apply to casual staff members.

What to do when a staff member transfers to another position within the University

If you have a staff member who has accepted a different position within the University, they do not need to resign from their current position. When the staff member accepts their new position, they will be issued with a new employment contract through the on-line AppoINT system. By accepting this new position in the AppoINT system the staff member will automatically relinquish their existing position.  The staff member should discuss an appropriate notice period with you prior to commencing in another position. You may want to discuss this with the manager of the new position and reach an agreement that suits everyone. Backfilling the vacant position in your team will be subject to standard recruitment practices.

Professional Staff secondments

 If a continuing staff member wants to accept a fixed term role they may ask to take on the role as a secondment. This means that the staff member would take on the fixed term role and then return to their substantive continuing role when the secondment ends. Encourage your staff member to discuss their intentions with you. They will need your approval before filling a fixed term position as a secondment. Secondments support career development and in the case of professional staff, the University maintains a secondment register to encourage secondments.  Although you are not obliged to accommodate a secondment request, you are strongly encouraged to do so if it can be supported in conjunction with your business requirements.

If a transfer is by secondment, the staff member needs to complete and sign a Secondment Recommendation Form and have it authorised by both you and the secondment supervisor. You do not need to complete any other documentation to effect this transfer.

Staff transfers and Leave Balances

 In all cases of transferring to another position in the University, the staff member does not need to resign from their current position. Any leave balances will transfer with the staff member to the new position and, provided there is no break in service, will not be paid out to the staff member.

To avoid a break in service, the new position would need to commence immediately following the end of the previous position. If there is to be a small break between positions, then to avoid a break in service, the staff member could take accrued annual leave or leave without pay.  This will result in leave entitlements transferring across to the new position.

Staff transfers and Working Arrangements

 Flexi-time or any time-off-in-lieu arrangements will not transfer with the staff member to the new position. In addition, any voluntary flexible working arrangements, such as a reduced fraction or compressed weeks, will not automatically transfer, and would need to be renegotiated for the new position.

The staff member will need to return any property belonging to the School or Branch of the previous position before taking up the new position.

Generally a new probationary period will not apply when a staff member is taking up another role in the University, however if the nature of the new role is considerably different to their previous role, a probationary period may apply. If you are the recruiting supervisor and you are unsure as to whether a probationary period should apply for the staff member transferring into the new position, please contact your HR Advisor to discuss.

If you are the staff member’s new manager, you will also need to organise induction for your new staff member in the same way you would for any new staff member joining the University. This will include introductions, appropriate access, log in details and any required local training, including health and safety requirements.

Where Can I get more Information

 For any questions about staff transfers and secondments, contact your Human Resources Advisor.

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