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Procedure: Temporary transfer and higher duties


To outline the procedure for professional staff temporary transfer and higher duties within ANU.


Home means the work area in which a staff member was employed prior to being temporarily transferred to another work area. In most cases, the staff member will return to the home work area at the completion of the temporary transfer

Home manager means the manager in the work area in which a staff member was employed prior to being temporarily transferred to another work area.

Host means a work area to which the staff member is temporarily transferred. The host cost centre will incur the expenses for temporary transfers.

Local HR practitioner means the HR Manager/Specialist responsible for the people strategies in the Home College, School, Centre, Institute, or Service Division.

Higher duties means a short term transfer to a role with a higher classification, which is considered a caretaker arrangement. The staff member may or may not be entitled to an allowance, in accordance with the rules of the ANU Enterprise Agreement 2013 – 2016.

Temporary transfer means a temporary move to another position, at any level, for a set period of time, with an intention that the staff member will return to their substantive position. A staff member on temporary transfer will not be performing any duties of their substantive role for the full period of their transfer.


  1. A temporary transfer is the temporary relocation of a staff member from one position within the University to undertake duties in another position elsewhere within the University for a defined period, at any level, for a set period of time. The staff member will be performing all the duties of the position, and will be paid at the base rate of pay for the higher classification.
  2. Higher duties is the short term transfer of a staff member from one position within the University to undertake duties in another position elsewhere within the University as a caretaker arrangement. It is expected higher duties are only used where the substantive incumbent is on short term leave or approved business travel, or for short term backfilling requirements.
  3. If the position is classified at a higher level than the substantive position of the staff member, and they are performing all or part of the duties of the position, they may be paid a higher duties allowance.
  4. Where a higher duties allowance is payable, the provisions of the Professional staff loadings and allowances procedure must be met.
  5. Delegations will be applied for the full period of temporary transfer or higher duties.
  6. The University may temporarily transfer staff between positions for operational reasons, and will have regard to not only its needs, but also the competency and career needs of its staff. Proposals for temporary transfers should be considered on the merits of each case.
  7. The University seeks to facilitate the mobility and skills development of its staff by providing opportunities for temporary transfer to other areas within the University.
  8. All managers of the University are expected to assist in achieving effective staff mobility including the release of staff for temporary transfer in a timely manner. Local funding arrangements or short-term difficulties are not to be used as a barrier to effective staff mobility. When considering releasing staff to undertake temporary transfer, managers will need to consider workloads, availability of replacement staff, training requirements etc.
  9. The temporary transfer provisions apply to staff members holding continuing full-time, part-time or fixed term employment.
  10. All staff movements will be made with confidentiality, integrity and respect.

Temporary transfer to meet short term operational needs

  1. Temporary vacancies may arise for a number of reasons, including pending the permanent filling of positions, staff absences, and project-based work. Temporary vacancies up to 12 months are generally advertised internally on the ANU web via an Expression of Interest, and temporary vacancies greater than 12 months (including Senior Manager positions) must be advertised on the ANU web unless the Director, Human Resources agrees to waive the requirement.
  2. When a staff member is selected for temporary transfer, the home manager is required to provide the local HR practitioner and/or host manager with appropriate information pertaining to the staff member, including any relevant performance issues.
  3. The home area delegate is obliged to release a staff member to the host area delegate within 6 weeks, unless otherwise negotiated between the delegates; and, if applicable, is required to commence paying the staff member any higher duties allowance after 2 weeks. If agreement on a transfer date cannot be achieved the matter may be determined by the Director, Human Resources.
  4. There is no requirement or expectation that a staff member resign from their substantive position in order to accept a temporary transfer.

Temporary transfer by request

  1. Staff may apply to their relevant delegate for a period of temporary transfer within the University, generally within the context of identified career development noted in their Performance Development Agreement.
  2. Temporary transfer by request is not an entitlement and the delegate may decline the request or attach conditions to any period of temporary transfer, such as: the length of the temporary transfer, whether extensions will be considered, and the job to which the staff member will return at the end of the temporary transfer. Any such conditions should be documented.
  3. Staff may also apply for advertised short term vacancies.
  4. Temporary transfer to a higher level will generally not exceed 12 months without advertisement.

Home and host area responsibilities

  1. Before the commencement of the temporary transfer, the home area's responsibilities include:
  1. undertaking to hold the substantive job vacant for the return of the staff member; or
  2. undertaking to hold a position at the same classification level for the return of the staff member to the home College/Division.
  1. The host manager's responsibilities include:
  1. ensuring that the staff member, the home manager and the host manager agree on the arrangements before the temporary transfer commences; and
  2. documenting all arrangements, including the length of absence, management of leave absences and/or liability, expectations of extension of the temporary transfer, return arrangements etc.

Temporary transfer and higher duties documentation

  1. A temporary transfer requires the issue of a contract variation via the ANU Recruit system.
  2. A higher duties arrangement can be facilitated via completion of theHigher Duties Allowance form and associated documentation should be completed and forwarded to Remuneration and Conditions Branch.


  1. A secondment is defined as a temporary movement of a staff member from ANU to an outside organisation, or from an outside organisation into the ANU.
  2. Secondments may be initiated by an individual, by the University, or by an outside organisation.
  3. A secondment initiated by an individual is a period of leave without pay and hence does not count for service and leave purposes. A secondment initiated by the University where the new host employer reimburses the ANU for any leave accrued, does count for service and leave purposes.
  4. The delegate, when considering a request for a secondment, will have regard to:
  1. the operational needs of the area;
  2. the skills and experience to be brought back into the workplace after the secondment;
  3. the competency and career needs of the staff member seeking secondment;
  4. the career and development needs of the other staff members in the area; and
  5. the terms and conditions of the secondment, which should be clearly set out in assigned document prepared by the respective College/Division and authorised by the Director, Human Resources, and is then to be placed on the staff member's personnel file.

Role of Director - Human Resources

  1. The Director, Human Resources will determine any issues within this procedure that are in dispute, or have not been determined locally in a manner consistent with this procedure.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Temporary transfer and higher duties
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_001251
Version 6
Purpose To outline the procedure for professional staff temporary transfer and higher duties within ANU.
Audience Staff, Prospective Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Employment of Staff
Effective Date 23 Jan 2017
Review Date 31 Dec 2018
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority ANU Enterprise Agreement 2017 – 2021