Management of Secondments - Teachers

Version Number


Implementation Date



All state schools


​Management of Secondments – Teachers outlines the specific arrangements that apply when Education Queensland teachers are seconded to temporary roles in other agencies.


​Not Applicable



  • Accept the employment conditions of the new role and receiving agency.
  • Negotiate any specific working arrangements already existing with the receiving agency (e.g. Part-time employment arrangements, salary sacrifice).
  • Utilise additional hours (e.g. accrued hours, Time in Lieu of Overtime, recreation leave) accrued with the receiving agency prior to returning to teaching duties.
  • Ensure Payroll Services is provided with timely advice of secondment arrangements to ensure appropriate records are maintained and prompt payment of the new salary rate occurs.

Releasing work unit:

  • Agree on the secondment arrangements with the employee and the receiving work unit.
  • Refer to Leave Entitlements for Employees to ensure a complete awareness on secondment on recreation leave entitlements. 
  • Advise Payroll Services Unit of the secondment arrangements by completion of the Secondment Form in collaboration with the receiving work unit to ensure the required changes occur for the first effected pay period.

Receiving work unit:

  • Agree on the secondment arrangements with the employee and the releasing work unit.
  • When receiving an employee on secondment, provide formal written notification (by completion of the Secondment form).
  • Where a secondment is terminated prior to the original end date, a period of four weeks notice of the termination date should be provided by the receiving agency to allow for the appropriate management of backfilling arrangements within the releasing agency.
  • Negotiate with the releasing agency any extensions of the secondment.
  • Ensure the seconded employee utilises all accrued entitlements (accrued hours, time in lieu of overtime and recreation leave) prior to returning to their permanent role.

Payroll Services releasing agency:

Payroll Services receiving agency:

Workforce Recruitment and Employment Unit:

  • Provide consultancy advice and support to the supervisor and/or regional personnel on secondment related issues.
  • Provide advice to Payroll Services re: secondment matters 
  • Prepare formal notification of advice to external agencies re secondment approval.


Process and considerations to be taken into account for decision making

Secondments should balance the need for a teacher’s career development opportunities with the requirement for business/service continuity, operational efficiency and convenience.

The department recognises the mutual benefits of secondments to the department and teachers.  Secondments can provide professional developmental opportunities and personal benefit as well as assisting in succession planning to meet current and emerging business needs.

All decisions relating to secondment arrangements are to be agreed by all parties and approval granted in writing. 

The releasing school and receiving work unit and teacher should agree on the secondment arrangements.

The Principal and regional personnel responsible for a teacher who has been offered a secondment to another agency have several options available to them including:

  • Approving the secondment, advising the teacher of their employment arrangements on their return and backfilling the position appropriately or 
  • Approving the secondment with a negotiated shorter timeframe and filling the position temporarily for the term of the secondment or
  • Not approving the secondment due to operational requirements.  In this instance the delegate should consider alternative mechanisms to meet the teacher’s development needs.  (e.g. training and development programs, mentoring).

Approval will be granted in writing – email is appropriate to facilitate this.  It is reasonable to release the teacher within four weeks of agreement of the secondment unless otherwise negotiated.

Teachers will usually be released on secondment for a maximum period of three years only. The three year maximum timeframe is intended to ensure that teachers retain currency and practical expertise in their substantive role. Secondments extending beyond a twelve month timeframe will, however, need to be negotiated prior to secondment commencing or prior to the conclusion of the secondment period.

Teachers should also be aware that temporary, internal, across award moves are, for the purposes of the department’s payroll processes, termed ‘internal secondments’. These ‘internal secondments’ are actually relieve at or above level moves managed in accordance with the current Higher Duties Directive.

In instances where the secondment of a school leader or head of program will be greater than 12 months, the supervisor and regional personnel may negotiate with the seconded employee on the process of Unattachment from Position. The unattachment process can only occur with the employee’s agreement.

Supervisors and regional personnel should be aware that where they have negotiated the unattachment of a seconded employee for the purpose of permanently filling the employee’s substantive position, the region retains responsibility for management of the employee’s working arrangements and salary on return from secondment until the employee can be permanently placed through internal deployment processes.

Online Resources

Review Date

Attribution CC BY

The temporary re-location of a teacher to fill a role in another public service agency (i.e. external to the Department of Education and Training) for an agreed period of time at either the same or higher classification level.

Substantive Position/Classification
For the purpose of this procedure, ‘substantive position/classification’ is defined as an employee’s permanent appointment placement, classification level and geographic location.

For the purpose of this procedure, ‘employee’ is defined as all permanent (full time and part time) employees engaged under the Teachers’ Award – State 2003, within the Department of Education and Training.

School Leaders /Heads of Program
For the purpose of this procedure, a ‘school leader’ or ‘head of program’ is a teacher in a school based promotional teaching position remunerated under the Teachers Award-State 2003 e.g. Head of Department, Deputy Principal, etc.