A secondment is where a Council employee is temporarily transferred to a different post in the Council or to a different organisation, or where an employee of an external organisation is temporarily transferred to a post within the Council, for a specified period of time which is agreed between all parties. The Council’s recruitment procedure should normally be used to recruit to the seconded post.
This procedure applies to all permanent and fixed term employees of Aberdeen City Council excluding Teachers and other employees on SNCT terms and conditions.
Note: For fixed term employees, the secondment must finish prior to or on the end date of the fixed term contract.
Benefits of secondment
The benefits of secondment include:
• Providing an employee with the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge outwith their substantive post.
• Providing an employee with the opportunity for learning and development and career development.
• Increased employee engagement.
• Improved succession planning for the organisation.
Types of Secondment
- Internal – this is a mutually agreed secondment where an employee temporarily moves from
their substantive post to a different post of the same grade or of a different grade
within the Council for a fixed period of time.
- External – this is a mutually agreed secondment where an employee temporarily moves from
their substantive post to work within an external organisation for a fixed period of
time. The employee will continue to be an employee of Aberdeen City Council and
will retain their Council terms and conditions of employment for the duration of the
secondment except where stated otherwise in the secondment agreement. The
Council will continue to pay the employee for the duration of the secondment.
- Inward – this is a mutually agreed secondment where an employee from an external
organisation temporarily moves from their substantive post to work within the Council
for a fixed period of time. The seconded employee will continue to be an employee
of the external organisation and will retain the external organisation’s terms and
conditions of employment for the duration of the secondment except where stated
otherwise in the secondment agreement. The external organisation will continue to
pay the employee for the duration of the secondment.
- Job swapping – this is an informal mutually agreed arrangement where employees on the same
grade within the Council temporarily swap roles for a maximum period of 6
months. Employees can only swap with other employees on the same terms and
conditions of employment e.g. someone on EP&M terms and conditions of
employment cannot swap with a Craftworker.
A start and end date will always be specified in any secondment agreement.
The minimum period for a secondment is 6 months. This is because internal
arrangements can be covered by higher graded duties for up to 6 months and also to
allow sufficient time for the employee to be inducted and trained in the seconded
Under no circumstances should a secondment reach or exceed 4 years in duration.
For internal secondments, a formal written secondment agreement, stating the terms of the agreement, must be agreed and signed by:
- Service Manager from the substantive service
Manager from the seconded service
- Employee, stating the
Each of the three parties should receive a copy of the signed
agreement and a copy sent to the
HR Service Centre for the employee’s personal file.
Use this template for Secondment Agreement – Internal.
For external secondments, a formal written secondment agreement must be agreed
and signed by:
- someone on behalf of the Council
- external organisation by persons with
authority to enter into such agreements
- the employee
Each of the three parties should then receive a copy of the signed agreement and a copy sent to the
HR Service Centre for the employee’s personal file.
This template Secondment Agreement – External can be used, or the Council can
agree with the external organisation to use the external organisation’s secondment
Both the employee and their substantive manager are responsible for keeping in
contact with each other throughout the secondment. Any significant changes to the
employee’s substantive post should only be made after consultation with the
Extension to secondment
In certain circumstances it may be necessary to extend the secondment (although
under no circumstances should a secondment reach or exceed 4 years in duration).
Please see the Secondment procedure for further details.
Ending the secondment early
The secondment can be ended before the agreed end date by the seconded
service/organisation or the employee, provided that the substantive
service/organisation is also consulted and at least 4 weeks’ notice of the end of the
secondment is given. This will be subject to the actual terms of the secondment
Return to substantive post
An employee on secondment has the right to return to their substantive post at the
end of the secondment. If the substantive post no longer exists or the secondment
has ended before the agreed secondment end date the Council will endeavour to
place the employee in a post with similar responsibilities and the same terms and
conditions as they held before.
It is important that prior to the seconded employee returning to their substantive post,
the employee contacts their substantive manager to discuss the arrangements for
them returning to their substantive post.
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