Duration of secondments

Secondments are a temporary contractual arrangement.

Please consult with your Human Resources Business Partner/Manager if you have any queries about the duration of secondments.

External secondments

For external secondments the following guidelines apply:

  • Secondments will be for a fixed period of time which is agreed in advance with the host, the University and the secondee
  • Secondments may be full or part time
  • Secondments should normally be for a period of two years or less
  • A clear rationale for any extension must be provided at least 3 months prior to the end of the initial period of the secondment
  • Agreement of an extension must be agreed between the line manager of the host organisation, the line manager within the College/Service (using their usual approval route), the Human Resources Business Partner/Manager and the secondee.
  • Contractual documentation must be in place prior to the start date of any extension

As secondments are considered to be a temporary arrangement, restrictions are placed on their duration. With regards to external secondments, the secondment of a University of Exeter employee to an external organisation may require their substantive post to be back-filled. This should be taken into consideration during the initial planning stage and during any consideration of an extension to the secondment.

A long secondment can have an impact on how effectively the secondee can return to fulfil their duties of their substantive role and the cost of any retraining/reintegration should be taken into account during the initial planning stage and during any consideration of an extension to the secondment.

The impact of a secondee who has line management responsibility should also be taken into account when agreeing the length of any secondment.

Internal secondments

For internal secondments the following guidelines apply:

  • Secondments will be for a fixed period of time which is agreed in advance
  • Secondments may be full or part time
  • Secondments should normally be for a period of two years or less
  • A clear rationale for any extension must be provided at least 3 months prior to the end of the initial period of the secondment
  • Agreement of an extension must be agreed between the Secondee’s host and substantive line managers, Human Resources Business Partner/Manager, and secondee
  • If an internal secondment to which the secondee goes is likely to continue beyond the agreed period, the post should be advertised in the normal way and the secondee has not automatic right to be appointed to the post.

As secondments are considered to be a temporary arrangement, restrictions are placed on their duration. For internal secondments, although continuous service of the secondee is not affected as he/she remains employed by the University of Exeter, if the substantive post is back-filled, consideration needs to be given as to the continuous service that individual will accrue.

Incoming secondments

For incoming secondments the following guidelines apply:

  • Secondments will be for a fixed period of time which is agreed in advance
  • Secondments may be full or part time
  • Secondments should normally be for a period of two years or less
  • If the secondment is to be for a period of longer than 23 months, then the arrangement must be considered under the Fixed Term Work (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
  • A clear rationale for any extension must be provided at least 3 months prior to the end of the initial period of the secondment
  • Prior to the end of the initial 12 month period agreement of an extension must be agreed between the secondee’s host and substantive line managers, Human Resources Business Partner/Manager and secondee

As secondments are considered to be a temporary arrangement, restrictions are placed on their duration. Should the secondment be required to continue after the 23 month restriction, then the line manager and Human Resources Business Partner/Manager must consider whether the University of Exeter will offer an open-ended contract.