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Internal Secondment - What rights after 2 years?


Hi, I have been on an Internal Secondment within my organisation for three and a half year, this was anticipated to be for one year (April 2019 to March 2020). It’s is now coming to an end and my organisation want to send me back to my original substantive post. My first extension to this secondment came form HR in December 2020 for three months for the period January 2020 to March 2021, this was the email received.

Re:      Development Officer - Interchange

I am writing to confirm that your temporary promotion has been extended and your terms and conditions of employment will be amended as follows:

Your terms and conditions of employment will be amended as follows:

Duration:               01 April 2019 – 31 March 2021

Job Title:               Development Officer

Grade:                    Staff Officer (SO)

Please be advised, all other terms and conditions of employment remain unchanged.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

This  email refers to ‘Temporary Promotion’ and  not secondment, HR has established via email that this was an Internal Secondment. I agreed to the above but in hindsight I did not understand the significant difference between Temporary Promotion and Secondment.

Post this email I have received one of these every three month to date. I believe that a secondment should only last a maximum of two years and to date I am now sitting at 3.5 years.

I am now being told that I am being moved back to my substantive post that is of a lower grade and less money. My post through Internal Secondment is going to no longer exist. Is there anything I can do regarding this? Is there any possibility of asking for redundancy, moved to a similar graded post etc. Thank you.


  • k3lvc
    k3lvc Posts: 4,174 Forumite
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    Not much help now but surely during the 3.5yrs you've had some formal discussion re the future/how you were performing/whether the role would become permanent etc ? Or have you just kept your head down and hoped for the best ?

    Given the job title I'm assuming this is an HR type position and it always causes me a wry smile when I see that if they can't manage their own people what hope do the rest of us have ?

    On a more positive note you're unlikely to get redundancy out of this but I'd be asking some fairly searching questions of both myself and the organisation on my future there and how to avoid such a situation in the future

    p.s. not sure re the legal status of 'secondment' given mine has lasted 17yrs - let me know if you find out
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,746 Forumite
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    There is a job available for you at your substantive grade, so redundancy is not an option.

    Secondments apparently should usually last no more than 2 years, but I cannot find any reference to any relevant employment legislation.
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  • [Deleted User]
    If they're not going to keep you in that role, can you find a similar role at a different company?
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,191 Forumite
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    It would be worth asking whether there are any other vacancies, now or imminently, for which you could apply. 
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  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,367 Forumite
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    I wonder if the 2 year thing is actually tied to employment rights - after 2 years they cannot dismiss you just because they feel like it - and I believe they cannot just reduce your salary either - at least not without jumping through a few hoops.  'Temporary' jobs which last longer than 2 years can cause issues too as they can be a redundancy situation on ending.  So I think it would be worth investigating if you have a case for keeping your current salary, whatever tasks you are assigned.  Are you a member of a union?
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  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Posts: 1,130 Forumite
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    I had a six month secondment that went on for 3.5 years. The post was abolished in a restructure and I was advised I only had rights in relation to my substantive post- which was 4 grades lower. I managed to secure a higher paying job in the same restructure so it worked out ok. Colleagues also on secondment whose jobs moved into the new structure had to apply for the job on a perm basis. 

    Are there any other jobs in the organisation you could look at with your recent experience? 
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