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This policy document is currently under review to reflect The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026, which came into effect on 5 December 2023. Until this has been reviewed, the new Enterprise Agreement will take precedence over the provisions outlined in this document.

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 returns 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 incurs 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. Typically, short term includes periods of three months or less. The staff member may or may not be entitled to an allowance, in accordance with the rules of the ANU Enterprise Agreement 2017 -2021.

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 perform all the duties of the position, and is 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 has regard to not only its needs, but also the competency and career needs of its staff. Proposals for temporary transfers are 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 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 are made with confidentiality, integrity and respect.

Temporary transfer to meet short term operational needs

  1. Temporary vacancies 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 six weeks, unless otherwise negotiated between the delegates; and, if applicable, is required to commence paying the staff member any higher duties allowance after two weeks. If agreement on a transfer date cannot be achieved the matter is 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 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 are 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 undertaking to hold:
  1. the substantive job vacant for the return of the staff member; or
  2. 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 is facilitated via completion of the Higher Duties Allowance form and associated documentation is 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 are 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, counts for service and leave purposes.
  4. The delegate, when considering a request for a secondment, has regard to the:
  1. operational needs of the area;
  2. skills and experience to be brought back into the workplace after the secondment;
  3. competency and career needs of the staff member seeking secondment;
  4. career and development needs of the other staff members in the area; and
  5. terms and conditions of the secondment, clearly set out in an assigned document prepared by the respective College/Division and authorised by the Director, Human Resources, and is placed on the staff member's personnel file.

Role of Director - Human Resources

  1. The Director, Human Resources determines 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
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 20 Aug 2018
Next Review Date 30 Jun 2024
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 430

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.