Formal Arrangements

Swapping

7. Swapping is when two people swap jobs for a period of time. This arrangement is the most preferred formal route for interchange since it has the advantage of minimising problems of the “chain” effect of a one-way move. A swap would normally be between individuals with comparable jobs, e.g. HR administrators with HR administrators, security staff with security staff, and reporters with reporters. However, swaps can be arranged between people who do not have comparable jobs if there is a sound case for personal or career development.

8. This type of interchange is likely to result as part of performance management when you and/or your line manager agree that a swap would benefit your development and give some benefit to the organisation. If you have identified a job swap as a possible development opportunity, you must demonstrate clearly the benefits for you and the organisation. You and your line manager, together with the intended job swap partner, will assess whether or not there is a business reason for career or personal development purposes and therefore whether a swapping arrangement is suitable. On the basis of the strength of your business case, the Head of Office/Group will decide whether these arrangements can go ahead and, if they cannot, will explain to you the reasons for their decision.

9. If the opportunity for a swap arises in an area where a number of staff are doing the same job, the Head of Office/Group may decide to find a suitable swap partner through an internal competition. Agreed swaps can be arranged either between relevant business areas or via the Human Resources Office. However, contracts for all swaps must be dealt with through the relevant Human Resources Office and in advance of the swap taking place. If you do not know your opposite number in any of the participating organisations, the Human Resources Office will be happy to identify them for you.

Secondments

10. Secondments are a one-way move, used to fill skills gaps or vacancies in an organisation. They can also provide the opportunity for career or personal development.

11. Secondment opportunities for more than three months will be advertised in all of the participating organisations via the relevant Human Resources Office and, in our case, using the normal format will be used for internally advertised posts. If you wish to apply for an advertised secondment you must submit your application to your Head of Office/Group, stating clearly the benefits to you and the organisation. If the Head of Office/Group agrees with your case and is able to release you, they will send your endorsed application to the Human Resources Office to forward to the host organisation. A panel will be convened by the host organisation to shortlist applicants from all participating organisations and to interview selected candidates for the post.

12. Secondments of less than three months can be arranged by individual business areas in the same way as described for arranging job swaps in paragraphs 7 – 9 above.

Are all staff eligible?

13. If you are performing to the standard required for your role in accordance with the SPCB’s Performance Management System and have no conduct or attendance problems, you are eligible to be considered for all interchange arrangements.

14. Staff who require development in a particular area(s) of competence may be considered for twinning and job shadowing.

Will any particular arrangements be put in place to support my job swap or secondment?

15. Yes. Both organisations have responsibilities to you. As your employer we are committed to ensuring that you are not financially worse off as a result of the job swap or secondment. In order to make this policy as accessible as possible, we will ensure, as far as possible, that you are not out of pocket, i.e. you will be reimbursed for any necessary and reasonable expenditure, which may include travel and expenses for your dependents. The exact financial arrangements will therefore depend upon your individual circumstances and the nature of your job swap or secondment, i.e. the period and location of your job swap or secondment.

In general we will:

  • continue to pay you (the actual and associated costs of which may be recovered by us from the importing organisation, if appropriate);
  • reimburse you for the cost of any travel and any other necessary and reasonable expenditure which you may incur in the course of, or in connection with, the job swap. For example: one return flight home per month (using the most economic flights); the cost of excess baggage on the initial and final trips; and payment of rent and council tax to an agreed maximum (these expenses may be paid by the importing organisation in the case of a secondment - specific details will be published in the job advert);
  • arrange and meet costs for any necessary travel and health insurance;
  • if the job swap or secondment is abroad, ensure that you comply with any necessary immigration requirements (e.g. that the importing organisation has obtained a valid work permit
  • for you and that you have obtained visas for you and your family);
  • ensure that you are aware of the terms of your swap or secondment and that you and your line manager have specific objectives in place and have stated learning outcomes;
  • evaluate the benefit of the swap or secondment; and
  • brief you on return to keep you up to date with any issues arising during your swap or secondment.

The importing institution will:

  • reimburse you for the cost of any travel and expenses you may incur during the course of official business carried out on their behalf;
  • provide working accommodation and related facilities;
  • ensure a warm welcome and induction, including appropriate guidance and support, e.g. maps and local information;
  • confirm the objectives of the visit and provide any necessary training or support to enable you to meet these objectives;
  • make a formal report about your performance during the period of the swap or secondment which will be used to inform your performance appraisal at the end-year review; and
  • assist you in finding lodgings, if required.

What will happen at the end of the job swap or secondment?

16. You will be required to write a report setting out your perceived benefits of the swap or secondment and confirming whether or not the objectives were met. The line manager of the host organisation will also provide us with a report on their perceptions. Using both of these reports your line manager at the Parliament will then decide whether they agree that the objectives were met and will review whether these benefits have been applied in the workplace.

17. Your line manager will then report their findings to the Human Resources Office which will use the information as part of an annual review with participating organisations to ensure the arrangements are working to everyone’s satisfaction.

Will there be any changes to my current terms and conditions of service?

18. There will not be any actual changes to your terms and conditions although some of your working practices may vary, for example:

  • your working pattern may change to reflect the hours of business of the host organisation;
  • there may be different restrictions on when you are able to take any annual leave;
  • you will normally take the public holidays of the host organisation;
  • any travel associated with your duties whilst on job swap or secondment will be paid by the host organisation and in line with their rules; and
  • you will continue to be subject to our rules of conduct but you will also be required to observe those of the host organisation. Any conflict between the two (e.g. acceptance of hospitality) will be resolved in discussion between the Human Resources Offices.

19. The terms specific to your job swap or secondment will be set out in an interchange contract. You will be able to discuss this contract with a representative from the Human Resources Office before agreeing to these terms.

Maintaining contact

20. During your swap or secondment, you will receive each issue of the corporate bulletin, which will keep you up to date with job opportunities, learning and capability development opportunities, changes to terms and conditions of service and any corporate issues. You will also be invited to your office for important meetings, training and social events.

Early termination of a swap or secondment

21. If you want to terminate the swap or secondment at any time, you should contact the Human Resources Office, a representative from which will discuss your situation with you and make all relevant arrangements if you wish to proceed with the termination of the swap or secondment. The SPCB and the host organisation reserve the right to terminate the contract, the terms of which, including the length of the notice period, will be set out in individual contracts.