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HR Policy
To Be Categorised
HR Directorate
HR Policy Group
Director of Workforce, Employee Director
16 December 2013
01 March 2016
01 March 2019

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.


NHS Fife strives to be an exemplary employer, with staff who are flexible and adaptable to the service, both locally and nationally. NHS Fife is, and will continue to be a constantly changing organisation. As services change, the skills needed to deliver services also change. As a learning organisation, NHS Fife recognises the value of secondment for both employee and organisational development.

By placing employees in different work situations, secondment offers the opportunity for individuals to develop new skills or enhance existing skills, enabling NHS Fife to develop and retain experienced, skilled and valued employees.

Furthermore, by developing and sharing skills within and across NHS Scotland and partner organisations, it is recognised that secondment helps such organisations to modernise and adjust to service changes, to the overall benefit of NHS Scotland.

This policy has been developed in partnership with local trade union / professional organisation representatives. It reflects the best practice identified in, and meets the minimum standards set out in the Secondment Partnership Information Network (PIN) Policy.


This policy applies to all employees within NHS Fife who apply for or subsequently undertake a secondment for a defined period to another role within NHS Fife, or within another Host Employer.


The responsibility for the application of the policy rests with Line Managers and HR staff within NHS Fife.


NHS Fife will ensure that clear arrangements are in place for accessing secondment. Secondment opportunities may arise through a variety of circumstances, but should ordinarily be advertised in line with the normal recruitment process.

  • Where there is no automatic right to secondment, all employees within NHS Fife will have equal access to this policy in compliance with relevant legislation.
  • No application for secondment will be unreasonably refused. Where a secondment opportunity is refused the employee will have recourse to the NHS Fife Dealing with Employee Grievances policy, HR6.
  • NHS Fife will ensure that clear arrangements are in place in advance of any secondment commencing, including completion of an appropriate secondment agreement, ensuring that all stakeholders are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities under the secondment.
  • In order to facilitate the secondment process, central coordination is essential, and within NHS Fife this function will be undertaken by the HR Directorate.
  • Line Managers will ensure that an evaluation of learning is undertaken following the completion of secondments to ensure that newly developed knowledge or skills can be identified and used to the benefit of the service.
  • NHS Fife will, in partnership, monitor applications for and use of secondment on an ongoing basis with a view to ensuring the fair and consistent application of this policy. NHS Fife will also ensure that this policy is subject to regular review, in partnership, in order that it remains fit for purpose and to enable the Board to demonstrate adherence to the Secondment PIN Policy.



This policy defines secondment as follows:

“The temporary loan of an employee to another organisation, or to a different part / post of the same organisation, for a specific purpose and for a specific time, to the mutual benefit of employees and NHS Scotland generally”.

Types of Secondment:

  • Internal secondment (ie within NHS Fife) (ie to a fixed term or permanent post within NHS Fife)
  • Internal secondment within NHS Scotland (ie to another NHS Board); or
  • External secondment (eg to Scottish Government, local authority, trade unions, professional organisations and the voluntary sector).

Suitable Secondment Opportunities

Secondment appointments may be made on a part-time or full-time basis and can be used in a variety of circumstances, as illustrated below. The examples below should not limit the creativity of employees and / or managers in identifying suitable secondment opportunities:

  • Facilitate partnership working4
  • Develop individuals or groups of individuals, personally and professionally;
  • Provide training / experience and / or skills within another area;
  • Increase self-confidence / competence;
  • Share expert resources between and within organisations;
  • Address the absence of a substantive post holder (eg maternity leave or long-term sickness absence);
  • Facilitate or enhance a particular project or research;
  • Enable an employee, in agreed circumstances, to remain with their employer and retain specific benefits (eg remuneration and pension); or
  • Assist in succession planning.

Managers should always give consideration as to whether vacancies which arise may be offered on a secondment basis, particularly where such vacancies are fixed-term in nature and therefore such an approach would widen the scope of potential applicants.


An employee of NHS Fife who is seconded to a different role either within NHS Fife or with a Host Employer (which may or may not be another NHS Scotland Board).

4Please note that the terms and conditions applicable to “planned release”, as defined under the Facilities Arrangements for Trade Unions and Professional Organisations PIN Policy, may differ from those set out within this policy.

Line Manager

The Line Manager within NHS Fife will normally be the substantive line manager of the Secondee or may be at a higher level where the substantive line manager is not the budget holder. However, the Line Manager will have overall responsibility for ensuring that such responsibilities are carried out appropriately.

The Line Manager within NHS Fife will retain responsibility for the ongoing management of the Secondee’s contract of employment during the period of the secondment in line with the secondment agreement eg annual leave, travel claims, maintenance of HR records.

Host Manager

The Host Manager is the manager who will be responsible for management of the secondment role itself. The Host Manager may be from within NHS Fife or within a separate Host Employer, depending on whether the secondment is to a role within NHS Fife or not.

Host Employer

“Host Employer” is the term used within this policy to identify the employer to which a Secondee has been seconded, where this secondment is to a different employer than NHS Fife. The Host employer may or may not be another NHS Scotland Board.



  • To ensure to seek permission from their line manager before applying for a secondment;
  • To ensure that authorisation has been provided by their Line Manager prior to accepting a secondment opportunity;
  • To adhere to their obligations as set out in the secondment agreement, including keeping in touch with their Line Manager to allow for exchange of information and how they perceive the secondment to be working out for them; and
  • To participate in an evaluation of learning following completion of the secondment to ensure that newly developed knowledge or skills can be identified and used to the benefit of the servic

Line Manager

  • To consider all secondment requests and only refuse a request if there are clear, demonstrable business reasons why it is not practicable. Reasons for refusal should be communicated to the employee in writing and a record of refusal and its reasons sent to the relevant HR contact;
  • To liaise with HR to ensure that the employee is fully aware of the circumstances as outlined in NHS Fife’s Fixed Term Contracts and Redeployment policies, in circumstances where a secondment is refused and the employee seeks to undertake the opportunity on a fixed term contact basis;
  • To ensure that, prior to commencement of a secondment, the appropriate secondment agreement has been completed, and the following points have been taken into account:
  • Clear reasons identified for the secondment (including identification of the benefits for the individual and NHS Fife;
  • Replacement costs and arrangements for cover (if necessary);
  • Clear agreement on the start and finish dates (secondments vary in length, usually between three months and two years, depending upon the circumstances. However the period of secondment must be agreed and clearly defined in the secondment agreement);
  • In circumstances where the employee’s substantive role may not be available for their return, then this must be understood and agreed by the Line Manager and the Secondee prior to the commencement of the secondment, or at the time of any subsequent proposed extension. In such cases, or where the substantive post is subsequently subject to change during the secondment, relevant organisational change provisions will apply. In all cases the Line Manager should seek guidance from HR;
  • That the employee fully understands any terms and conditions implications;
  • Training needs during and following a period of secondment;
  • Arrangements for appraisal / PDP&R completion during the secondment;
  • Relevant statutory requirements for maintenance of professional registration;
  • Arrangements to keep in touch with the Secondee on a regular basis and to consult them on any proposed changes to their substantive post during the term of the secondment; and
  • Clear arrangements for return of the Secondee to their substantive post or a suitable alternative (where it is agreed, as above, that they will not return to their substantive post), or as otherwise determined under 10.9 below.
  • To fulfil their agreed obligations under the secondment agreement, including:
    • Informing the Host Organisation (or the relevant line manager where the secondment remains within NHS Fife where there is a need to terminate the secondment earlier than agreed)
  • To keep in touch with the HR Directorate on a regular basis to inform them of any changes or terminations to the secondment;
  • To ensure that a return to work interview takes place with the Secondee; and
  • To ensure that an evaluation of learning is undertaken following completion of the secondment in order that newly developed knowledge or skills can be identified and used to the benefit of the service.

Host Manager

To fulfil their agreed obligations during the secondment agreement, including:

  • Liaising with the Secondee’s Line Manager in order to have input to any appraisal outcomes / performance issues; and
  • Liaising with the Secondee’s Line Manager on any proposal to change, terminate or extend the secondment.
  • Arrangements for appraisal / PDP & Review completion / support during the secondment.

HR Directorate – Monitoring Arrangements

Essential to the success of the policy is the need for central coordination, which will be administered by the HR Directorate. The HR Directorate will be responsible for the following:

  • Creating and maintaining a record of Secondees. This record will include, as a minimum, details of the Secondee, their substantive post and Line Manager, and also details of the secondment;
  • Developing relationships with the Line Managers of Secondees to ensure consistency of approach;
  • Keeping a record of the number of employees accessing secondment arrangements, and the subsequent retention of Secondees within NHS Scotland following the completion of secondment; and
  • Keeping a record of refused applications for secondment via eESS.


7.1 Secondment agreements must be completed and authorised by the necessary parties in advance of the secondment commencing, as detailed below

In the case of a secondment to a Host Organisation:

  • A secondment agreement between the employee, NHS Fife and the Host Organisation should be completed and signed by all parties. The secondment agreement will be generated by the NHS Fife HR Directorate.
  • In the case of secondment which remains within NHS Fife:
  • A secondment agreement between the Line Manager, the Host Manager and the Secondee should be completed and signed by all parties.
  • There are fewer legal issues to consider with Secondments which remain within NHS Fife. However, there may be changes to the employee’s terms and conditions of employment for the duration of the secondment (eg changes in their usual place of work and duties during the secondment).


Keeping in touch with Secondees throughout the period of secondment is essential. Arrangements for this should be clearly documented within the secondment agreement. The responsibility for this will be mutual, where both the Secondee and their Line Manager will be responsible for keeping in touch. The Line Manager will act as the contact point and keep the Secondee up to date with developments with regard to their substantive role (and with NHS Fife where the secondment is to a Host Employer).

8.2 Account must be taken of individual requirements, including:

  • Appraisal;
  • Maintaining professional registration;
  • Consulting on restructuring or proposed departmental change; and
  • Retraining requirements on return to the substantive post

Examples of keeping in touch might include:

  • Mailing lists – remaining on the list for team communications; and
  • Attendance at regular team meetings

For longer term secondments, account must be taken of the potential for skills lost, skills gained, changing work practice, changing cultures and new technology. Successful keeping in touch will minimise the impact of these matters.


Appraisal/PDP and Review arrangements must be explicit within the secondment agreement, taking into account individual occupational groups’ terms and conditions.

Performance Management for Executive and Senior Manager Pay

In addition to the above, there is a specific requirement in relation to performance management arrangements for executives and senior managers with regard to pay, which must be followed in accordance with the relevant Circular(s) in operation at the time of the secondment.

It is the responsibility of NHS Fife’s Remuneration Committee to ensure that, for Executive and Senior Management Cohorts, performance objectives are set and agreed in a systematic manner with proper records maintained. In addition, it is the responsibility of NHS Fife’s Remuneration Committee to ensure that the performance of all such Secondees is formally assessed at the end of the performance period. In order for NHS Fife’s Remuneration Committee to discharge its responsibilities, it is essential that the Seconding Employer ensures that the performance management process has been applied for the Secondee, and it is the responsibility of the Host Employer to inform the Seconding Employer of the outcome.

If the Secondee is a member of the Executive Cohort, their performance appraisal will be treated as provisional until NHS Fife’s Remuneration Committee has considered and reported on the overall pattern of performance for all staff in the cohort.


In circumstances where NHS Fife seeks to second an employee, that Secondee is entitled to maintain their terms and conditions of employment, except where mutually agreed otherwise.

In circumstances where an employee seeks a secondment opportunity, the advertised terms and conditions will apply. The employee should be made aware of any changes this may mean for their pay or terms and conditions.

Where the terms and conditions for the secondment opportunity are more generous than those applying to the Secondee’s substantive post, the terms and conditions of the secondment post will apply for the secondment period. For secondments outside the Seconding Employer, any alterations to the employment contract, including to pay or other terms and conditions of employment, need to be fully discussed and agreed, and detailed in the secondment agreement. Section 6 of the AFC Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook will apply to staff covered by the AFC agreement.

Where secondment is to a post of a higher grade, at the end of the secondment the Secondee will go back to the post on the terms and conditions that would have applied had they not been on secondment. Credit will be given for time spent at a higher grade in the event of any subsequent promotion, where appropriate.

Time spent on secondment with another employer within or outwith the NHS will not affect continuity of employment and associated terms and conditions of service.

For some Secondees, the statutory requirements for maintenance of professional registration must be explicit within the secondment agreement. For example, secondments outwith the NHS may require a return to NHS duties for short periods during the term of the secondment to ensure continuing professional registration.

Secondments should generally be allowed to run their course, in line with the terms of each individual secondment agreement. However, the Line Manager within NHS Fife reserves the right to recall Secondees prematurely if required in exceptional circumstances. Termination of the secondment, prior to expiry at its agreed end date, will normally be subject to an agreed period of notice, as stipulated in the secondment agreement. Any extension to the secondment proposed must be by mutual agreement of all parties.

Linked to the above, the secondment agreement must stipulate what will happen in the event of, for example, long-term absence or persistent short-term absence, or conduct or capability matters, particularly in the case of secondment to a Host Employer. The Host Employer will not be responsible for management of the Secondee’s contract of employment, but it will wish to have access to a mechanism by which it can advise on any potential need for NHS Fife to institute formal procedures if necessary. Alternatively, the Host Employer may wish to specify “trigger events” which would allow early termination of the secondment agreement with NHS Fife.

Secondees should be aware that, in some circumstances, the post which the Secondee left (where it was agreed that the Secondee would return to their substantive post) may be subject to organisational change. In those circumstances NHS Fife’s local policies on Organisational Change and Redeployment will apply.


11.1 To support the fair and consistent application of this policy, NHS Fife will ensure full awareness and understanding of the issues relating to secondment amongst management by incorporating training on this policy within line management development programmes and ensure that all managers have participated in such a programme.


NHS Fife will, in partnership, monitor applications for, and use of, secondment on an ongoing basis with a view to ensuring the fair and consistent application of this policy. The information to be gathered in this respect will include, but will not be exclusively limited to, the data collected by the HR Directorate. This information will be used as part of the review of this policy.


This policy will be reviewed every three years to ensure compliance with relevant and appropriate employment legislation.














EMPLOYEE: ………………………….





To work as a …………….. for …………………….. within ……………….., undertaking a ……………………… whilst employed by NHS Fife.


The duties of your post are as outlined in the job description attached. This is not an exhaustive list of your duties and responsibilities and may be varied as appropriate to your secondment and band following prior consultation with you.





This secondment commences on ……………….. and ends on ………………….. It is expected that you will participate in this secondment to its conclusion. However, termination of the secondment prior to expiry is subject to ……………. month’s notice from all parties (subject to the provision on conduct contained in paragraph 11 below).


Prior to the conclusion date of this secondment, discussion will take place with you regarding your return to an equivalent level post within NHS Fife.





This post is based at ……………………… and there will / will not be a requirement to travel in respect of carrying out the duties of your seconded post.


*As your post may involve travelling outwith your main base, you will receive appropriate reimbursement in accordance with the AfC terms and conditions of service and NHS Fife’s current policies.






Whilst on secondment you will report to ………………………….. Your Line Manager within NHS Fife remains …………………………




Normal Appraisal arrangements will apply during the period of secondment. Appraisal of performance will be undertaken by (Host employer) in consultation with …………………





The terms and conditions for this secondment will be those as detailed in your substantive contract of employment. Any variations to these conditions are detailed below:


a) Remuneration


*You will continue to be paid per your current pay band while on secondment / You will be paid on Band ……., ie, £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. - £………. per annum / pro rata and will be placed on point …… ie £…………… per annum / pro rata whilst seconded, and your incremental date will be ………………


*You will continue to be paid as per your substantive contract for any hours worked in your own area / clinical setting and your incremental date will be retained.


b) Hours


Your normal working hours, in connection with this secondment, will be …………………. per week, worked in accordance with the needs of the service.


*You may be requested on occasion to work additional hours, any request will be consistent with the agreement on working time regulations.


  1. Annual Leave / Public Holidays


You will retain your current entitlement to annual and public holidays subject to local arrangements. You should continue to apply for annual leave in the normal way, notifying both departments of your intention to take leave, with authorisation from the line manager to whom you report for your secondment.





Arrangements for the reporting of sickness absence, on your seconded days / while on secondment, will be as agreed with …………….. (Manager). Any absences will be monitored in accordance with NHS Fife policies and procedures.





Your existing superannuation arrangements will not be affected by this secondment.






NHS Fife will apply to your secondment the provisions of Circular HDL(2004)9 and any subsequent national or local guidance or policies in relation to the management of Intellectual Property. This guidance and resulting policies will include the arrangements for sharing with the innovator any income generated from the successful exploitation of IP and also the position regarding copyright. In this context, an innovator is defined as the person without whose intellectual contribution the development would not have taken place.


From time to time during the normal course of employment you, as an employee, may generate IP which may have value in the delivery of better patient care. This IP can be in the form of inventions, discoveries, surgical techniques or methods, developments, processes, schemes, formulae, specifications, or any other improvements which may give rise to certain rights such as patents, trade marks, service marks, design rights, copyright, know-how, trade or business names and other similar rights (all of the foregoing rights being referred to as “Intellectual Property Rights”).


Where such IP is created in the course of your employment or normal duties then under UKlaw it will generally belong to NHS Fife, unless agreed otherwise in writing between you and NHS Fife. In relation to inventions potentially subject to patent protection this applies only if the duties of your employment would normally have been expected to give rise to inventions or if the nature of your responsibilities and duties are such that you are under a special responsibility to further the interests of NHS Fife. It is a condition of your employment not to exploit any IP Rights without the specific approval of the Director of Clinical Delivery. In addition, you are also required to give the NHS Fife Board all reasonable assistance required by the NHS Fife Board in order to give full effect to this clause.


Research outputs and resulting IP often represents a considerable investment by NHS Fife and are potentially of significant value to NHS Fife. You should treat as confidential and not disclose to any third party any research results or other information of a confidential nature in respect of anyinnovation, whether your own or a colleague’s, without prior written approval of NHS Fife. For the avoidance of doubt the requirement to obtain this approval applies to submission of papers, abstracts or theses for publication and grant proposals.





Both NHS Fife and ……………. have a mutual responsibility.


During the period of your secondment the employer’s duty of care will be the responsibility of ……………………….. You should ensure that you are familiar with the fire and health and safety arrangements which apply within your seconded base.






Any concerns regarding your conduct and / or capability, in respect of your secondment, will be brought to your attention by …………………….. and if necessary will be dealt with in accordance with NHS Fife’s policies on the Management of Employee Conduct / Capability. Should NHS Fife decide that your secondment should cease due to your misconduct, then the notice of termination of secondment in paragraph 2 above will be waived.




If you seek redress of any grievance relating to your seconded employment, you should communicate you grievance, in writing, to the manager identified within this secondment agreement. If the matter is not settled at this level you may pursue it in accordance with agreed procedures. Copies of the relevant procedure are available from the Human Resources Directorate or the NHS Fife Intranet.





Obligations Arising from Data Protection Legislation


Particular regard should be given to your responsibility to abide by the principles of current data protection legislation. Further information is available from the Data Protection Officer, or ………………… (Manager).

General Obligations


Similarly no information of a personal or confidential nature concerning NHS Fife or your seconded employer should be divulged to anyone without proper authority having first been given.


If you are in any doubt whatsoever as to the authority of a person or body asking for information you must seek advice from the identified manager.

Failure to Comply with Obligations


Failure to observe these obligations will be regarded by your employer as serious misconduct that could result in disciplinary action being taken against you including dismissal. You may also be liable to prosecution for an offence under data protection legislation or an action for civil damages.



The responsibility for “Keeping in Touch” while on secondment is mutual by you and NHS Fife / your substantive department. Your Line Manager from your substantive post will act as the contact point during this secondment. Contact can be through mailing lists, e-mails, circulation of team information, or attendance at department / team meetings.





I have enclosed two copies of this agreement and should be grateful if you would sign both copies and return one to me at …………….., retaining the other copy alongside your existing contract of employment and any other documentation regarding your employment.




NAME: ……………………………………….


ADDRESS: ……………………………………….





We hereby agree the secondment of the above named on the conditions set out in the foregoing Contract.



Signature: (Host Employer) …………………………………………………………


Name: …………………………………….. Position: ………………………………………



Signature: (Name of NHS Organisation - Employer)…………………………………………


Name: …………………………………….. Position: ………………………………………




Employee Signature: …………………………………………………………………………


Date: …………………………………



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