This factsheet was last updated in August 2012.
What is secondment?
The term ‘secondment’ refers to the temporary movement or ‘loan’ of an employee to another part of an organisation (internal secondment) or to a separate organisation (external secondment). Employees may be seconded into organisations ranging from major commercial businesses or public sector organisations through to small local groups, schools and charities. Typically, paid secondments require formal arrangements, are full-time and last up to twelve months.
Secondment is increasingly recognised as valuable for both employee and organisational development. As organisations adopt ever flatter management structures, traditional opportunities for promotion through a succession of line management positions are limited – especially during difficult economic times when there is relatively little movement in the labour market. Secondments offer employees career development opportunities and are increasingly used as part of talent management programmes. They also provide organisations with the chance to develop their skills base.