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Secondment Procedure

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose


(1) These procedures govern arrangements for secondments within La Trobe University (‘the University’) and between the University and other institutions or organisations.

(2) A secondment is a co-operative arrangement between two Schools or Organisational units, or the University and an external organisation, where an individual is temporarily transferred to another position or organisation.


(3) The University can enter into contracts with other organisations which may include entering into Specific Service agreements (e.g. Health Service Partners) not covered by these procedures.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) These procedures apply to staff whose managers grant approval to participate in a secondment opportunity. 

(5) Also refer to the Workforce Management Policy.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Internal Secondments - Eligibility

(6) Casual staff are not eligible for secondments. Staff on fixed term appointments where the period of secondment exceeds the remaining contract period are also not eligible for secondments.

Length of Secondment

(7) Internal secondments are usually organised for an initial term of 12 months. Secondment arrangements will be reviewed at the conclusion of that period.


(8) Deans and managers must consider all costs, including costs relating to leave, superannuation, workers compensation, payroll tax and administrative costs before discussing secondment proposals.

Return to substantive position

(9) Staff members on secondment will normally return to their substantive positions at the end of the agreed secondment period.

(10) The staff member may resume in their previously held position before the date of expiry of the internal secondment with the approval of the same authorities appropriate to the secondment.

Substantive position no longer exists

(11) In cases of structural changes during the course of the secondment, the substantive position may no longer exists, or be substantially altered.

(12) In such instances, the individual who has been seconded must be included in any consultation process and the area of origin must comply with the provisions of the Agreement.  

Return to equivalent position

(13) It may be agreed between the area of origin and the staff member that at the end of the period of secondment the staff member will not return to their previous position, but retain their continuing employment status at the University. Such agreements require the approval of the Executive Director, Human Resources (or delegate).

(14) In these circumstances, the area of origin must ensure that a position is available at the end of the secondment period or the redundancy provisions under the Collective Agreement will apply.

Filling the vacated position

(15) The vacated position may only be filled on a fixed term basis to a date no later than the last day of the internal secondment period, unless it is agreed between the area of origin and the staff member that at the end of the period of secondment the staff member will not return to their previous position.


(16) Probation provisions do not apply to internal secondment arrangements.


(17) The receiving Dean or manager must advise Human Resources of the details of the internal secondment, before the proposed commencement date by raising a Job Card.  For more information, contact the Recruitment team at Human Resources. 

Secondment within the School

(18) These procedures also apply to a secondment within the School from one position to another.

External Secondments – Remuneration and Benefits

(19) An external secondment is a temporary movement of a staff member from the University to an outside organisation.

(20) Generally an external secondment initiated by an individual is a period of leave without pay for service and leave purposes. In an external secondment the staff member will be responsible for superannuation payment arrangements as with leave without pay (See Leave Entitlements Policy).

(21) The receiving institution will pay the salary, travel and other costs of the seconded member. 

(22) For secondments initiated by the University see Paid Additional Work Within the University - Full Time Staff Procedure).

Authorities / Delegations

(23) A secondment must be approved by the staff members manager at the area of origin and the receiving area, and in addition, secondments within and between schools require the approval of:

Positions within School: Dean
Positions between Schools: Executive Director, Operations with the Provost endorsement
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Section 4 - Definitions

(24) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Secondee: Person who performs the duties of another position for a specified period of time.
  2. Unit Manager:
    1. Deans or duly appointed delegate;
    2. Heads of Department or duly appointed delegate;
    3. Supervisors or duly appointed delegate; and/or
    4. Managers or duly appointed delegate.