Employee secondments

There are a number of scenarios where an employee may be placed on secondment.

A secondment can involve an employee being temporarily transferred within the same company, or to another company, client or contractor. The employee could be seconded within the same office, same city, a different city, or to a different country all together.

With each scenario there are a number of factors to consider to ensure the secondment is executed correctly.

The first is that a secondment is temporary in nature. This means that at the end of the secondment the employee has a right to return to their original role within the company. If an employee returns and finds their original role is no longer available, and the employer has not followed the correct restructure process for this, the employee may have grounds to raise a valid personal grievance.

When seconding an employee to another entity it is also crucial to consider whether the company or the other entity retains responsibility and control for the employee for the duration of the secondment.

  • This is crucial from an employment perspective, as the employee may in fact become an employee of the other entity.
  • If the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill comes in to force as it is currently drafted, the employee may be able to raise a personal grievance against both the original employer and the entity they are seconded to. You can find out more about this proposed law in our article “The Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill
  • It is also a crucial consideration from a health and safety perspective regarding which entity must look after and ensure the employee’ s health and safety during the secondment.

Other more practical considerations to consider are:

  • Whether there are any tax implications for the employee (particularly if they are being seconded overseas);
  • Who the employee will report to during their secondment; and
  • How long the secondment will last for.

Workplace Law team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other Workplace Law issues, please contact a member of Lane Neave’s Workplace Law team:

Employment: Andrew Shaw, Fiona McMillan, Gwen DrewittMaria Green,  Hannah Martin, Joseph HarropHolly StruckmanAlex Beal, Giuliana Petronelli, Abby Shieh
Immigration: Mark Williams, Rachael Mason, Daniel Kruger, Nicky Robertson, Julia StrickettKen Huang, Mary Zhou, Shi Sheng Cai (Shoosh)Sarah Kirkwood, Janeske SchutteLingbo Yu
ACC: Andrew Shaw
Health and Safety: Andrew ShawFiona McMillan

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