Human Resources

Internal Secondments

Internal secondments may occur when a member of staff has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to undertake a particular role that the College requires doing.  This will be for a time limited duration, e.g. cover for maternity leave, a new development or long term sick leave.  Secondments will normally be restricted to a maximum of one year after which the staff member will be expected to return to their substantive post. 

Secondments may be used when an existing member of staff applies for a role in the College which is on a fixed term contract basis or the staff member would like to be considered for an internally recruited role on a secondment basis.  The staff member seconded will be provided with a development opportunity whilst retaining the right to return to their substantive post at the end of the secondment. 

The manager of the secondee must agree in advance that the substantive role (or an equivalent role) can be retained for the staff member.   In some cases (e.g. organisational change), this may not be possible and the College will seek to re-deploy where practicable.

Internally seconded staff will be consulted if there are any proposed organisational changes to take place which are likely to affect their substantive post. 

External Outward and External Inward Secondments

An external secondment will involve the temporary transfer of an employee either to or from a partner organisation (e.g. another academic establishment).  For procedural guidance for external secondments see Part 2.


All requests for a secondment should initially be discussed with the staff member’s line manager ideally at their Progress and Development Review (PDR) or alternatively when the role is advertised and before any application is made.  Individuals should identify to their manager the benefits for their development from the secondment opportunity and how any new knowledge or experience gained will benefit their substantive department. The manager can then decide whether the staff member’s existing role can/cannot be covered during the secondment and plans for how their duties will be covered for the duration of the secondment.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX