What Is A Secondment?

A secondment is the name given to temporary work that is assigned to an employee in a different area from which they are already working in.

This can either be an internal secondment, where the employee is transferred to a different part of the organisation, or an external secondment, where the employee is transferred to a different organisation entirely.

Secondments are offered in most industries, and are especially common in the legal sector, when an employee undertakes a training contract.

Why Are Secondments Offered?

The most important reason secondments are offered is to provide career development for the employee by helping them develop certain skills which will improve their CV and help them if they return to their original position.

Depending on the area of work or company that the employee has transferred to, there may be an opportunity to learn completely new skills, further adding to their professional development.

For the employer, secondments are a useful way of avoiding redundancies in a particular area, since employees can be transferred to another company or department that will pay their salary.

Salary and Working Conditions of Secondments

In a secondment, as you will be working for either a different company or a different department, your pay will likely change. Your secondment employer will be paying you, but that does not mean that they have any rights over you.

If you would like to leave the secondment, the employer has no right to fire you or keep you any longer than you wish to remain on secondment.

How to Succeed in a Secondment

The best way to succeed in a secondment is through preparation. Often when moving to a secondment it will be in a different area to which you are currently working in, and so you will be learning skills which may be entirely new to you.

Because of this make sure that you study at the basic level for any new software you are going to use, so that your training (if any) goes as smoothly as possible.

In addition, make sure to research the different department or company that you are moving to. Find out what you will be doing in your secondment and any employees already working there, so that you will know who to ask for help when you are on secondment. Connecting with them in advance via LinkedIn is a good idea.

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