Secondment means the transfer, on loan, of a member of staff of a Department to another body, for a specific time period, generally to carry out specific work.
Typically, secondment could arise where, by virtue of the special skills and experience of a member of staff of a Department, another body or agency, whether national or international, may seek to have that person work for them in relation to a specific project.
Or, a member of staff, in furtherance of his or her career development, may identify an opportunity in another body or agency which she or he would like to pursue for a specific period of time.
In such circumstances, whether initiated by the body concerned or the individual in question, the decision whether secondment can be facilitated will lie with the Department. The decision will depend on the Department’s business needs in the first instance.
Where the Department decides that a secondment could be accommodated in terms of business needs, the Department will then consider the appropriateness of the proposed work to the development of the staff member concerned.
If, in all those circumstances, the Department considers it can agree to the secondment, the Department will enter into discussion with the agency/body to which the staff member will be seconded regarding the terms and conditions which will be associated with the secondment.
In general, where a staff member is seconded to another body, they remain on the payroll of the Department and the Department recoups the staff member’s salary, employer’s contributions to PRSI and superannuation etc. There may, however, be exceptions to this arrangement.
What Staff should do in relation to Secondment:
- Discuss the proposed secondment with your line manager.
- If your manager agrees that your secondment can be accommodated, apply formally for approval, in writing, to the Personnel Officer, via your line manager.
- In your application state the purpose of the secondment; give details of the body or organisation to which you wish to be seconded (including the name and contact details of the relevant person in that body/organisation) and specify the duration of the proposed period of secondment.
- Await formal confirmation from the Personnel Officer that the Department is willing to agree to the secondment.
What Managers should do in relation to Secondment:
- Where a staff member seeks secondment to another body, or another body approaches the Department seeking such secondment, assess whether the needs of the business unit can be met if the secondment is approved.
- If you are below HEO grade, consult with the head of the business unit (minimum HEO grade) before approval is granted.
- Inform your Principal Officer of the request by the staff member in question.
- When a formal application is received, approve or decline it as appropriate, giving reasons, and forward it to the Personnel Officer, detailing the reasons for your decision.
What Personnel Units should do in relation to Secondment:
- Approve or reject the application for secondment in the light of the Department’s business needs.
- If approving the application, make the necessary arrangements with the body/organisation concerned regarding payment/recoupment of salary etc.