What is the purpose of Secondment?

May 2016

This month, Simply-Docs has added a Secondment Letter to its suite of documents.

What is a secondment?

A secondment is an arrangement whereby an employee is temporarily assigned to work for another company or organisation. This may be a different employer within the group or a separate employer, such as a client or customer. The idea behind a secondment is that the secondee ‘lends’ the secondee to the Host Company or Organisation but the Company remains the employer throughout and the secondee’s continuity of employment is preserved.

The Secondment Letter should be used by the Company whose employee is being seconded to set down the terms of that secondment to the Host Company or Organisation.

What is the purpose of a secondment?

Employers may arrange a secondment in order to:
• provide temporary assistance to the Host Company or Organisation e.g. to cover maternity leave or sickness absence;
• enable the secondee to gain experience in a specific area and/or insight into the work of the host;
• promote the career development of the secondee;
• enable the original employer to avoid redundancies;
• develop a business relationship between companies/organisations; or
• help the Host Company or Organisation to avoid incurring recruitment costs.

While the parties may not intend that the secondee becomes employed by the host Company or Organisation, there is a risk that the secondee may become the host's employee, despite the parties' intentions. In order to avoid this risk, both parties should ensure that:
• the secondee does not owe any duties directly to the Host Company or Organisation;
• that the secondee’s employer retains day-to-day control of the seconded employee; and
• that the secondee’s employer carries out any appraisals and disciplinary or grievance procedures.

The Simply-Docs Secondment Letter complies with these requirements.

Confidentiality and restrictive covenants

Both the secondee’s employer and the Host Company or Organisation will wish to protect any of their business secrets to which the secondee may have access. For this reason, the Simply-Docs Secondment Letter stresses the need for confidentiality during the secondment.

Finally, the Secondment Letter also gives protection against the Host Company or Organisation either employing the secondee directly at the end of the secondment period or competing with the secondee’s employer as a result of information obtained during the secondment.

Further detail can be found on the Secondment Information Page.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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