Secondment agreement templates

What to include in a secondment document and where to get help to ensure your agreement is legally sound.

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Secondments offer your employees a chance to boost their skills and experience that they can then bring back to your workplace. But first, you'll want to draft up the right documents to help protect your company from potential legal issues in the future.

Read on to find out how to draft your document, and where to find free secondment agreement templates online.

What is a secondment agreement?

If you choose to temporarily place your employee in a role within another business or department, it's called a secondment. The employee being seconded is referred to as a 'secondee'.

Consequently, a secondment agreement is a legal document that outlines the conditions of this placement. The document generally has two parts – a terms and conditions contract between the new 'host' employer and the original one, as well as amendments to the employee's contract that allows them to be seconded.

Current laws stipulate that the original employer will remain legally liable for the actions and welfare of the secondee while they are working for the host business. A secondment agreement protects you – as the employer – from any failures by the host to comply with certain employment or general laws. It can also protect the intellectual property of both companies.

When should I use a secondment agreement?

During a secondment, the original employer is the party who faces the most risk, so they are usually the party to suggest a secondment agreement. They should be used by any sized business in any industry before an employee enters into a secondment. They may also need to be used even if a placement is an internal secondment within the same business. Reach out to a lawyer if you're looking for more guidance on this.

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Secondment agreement vs internship agreement

An internship agreement is used when an individual who is not already an employee is completing an internship with a business. A secondment agreement is used when an individual is completing a secondment with a temporary host employer who is not the individual's original employer. An intern will sometimes be offered ongoing work with their placement business, whereas a secondee typically goes back to their original employer after a set amount of time.

What does a secondment agreement include and not include?

While you can share one secondment agreement between all parties involved, many companies draw up more than one document as there may be confidential terms that only some of the parties can view. This will be unique to your situation, while the general terms will make the rights and responsibilities of each party clear.

Typically included

Depending on the circumstances, a secondment agreement will usually outline:

  • Details and roles of all parties
  • Obligations of all parties towards each other (the General practical terms)
  • The negation of the original employer's liability if the placement is not what the secondee expected
  • Indemnity of the host
  • Termination of secondment policy
  • Ongoing duty of the secondee to their original employer
  • Changed entitlement outline
  • Expenses
  • Intellectual property
  • Non-competition provision.

Typically not included

Secondment agreements should be drafted in a way that ensures the scope of the secondee's work is made clear and all parties are happy with the outcome. Some businesses may add exclusions to services that may mean your secondee is excluded from learning about some tasks.

Alternatively, host businesses may receive a secondee from a business who has excluded particular services from the secondment scope, meaning the host business could be charged for some services.

Think carefully about what your employee will be doing while on secondment and draft terms and clauses relevant to that.

How effective is a secondment agreement?

Secondments are a popular way of broadening an employees horizons. They also bring valuable experience gained from one workplace into another one. For businesses participating in secondments, these types of agreements can be very effective. They establish clear agreements on duties and performance expectations, payments, intellectual property and more.

Do I need to use a lawyer for this type of agreement?

That's up to you to decide. If your secondment agreement is well-structured, comprehensive and agreed to by all parties, you may not require a lawyer to officially draft it on your behalf. One option to consider is to draft your own version using a free secondment agreement template, then ask a lawyer to have a review of the draft.

How do I write a secondment agreement?

The drafting of a secondment agreement can be somewhat complicated if you'll need multiple documents to protect the privacy between some parties. Thankfully, you can now find legal templates that you can personalise via online legal services websites. While you'll need to personalise your documents, these templates make the whole process easy, even for someone who has never drafted a legal document before.

We've listed some of the leading websites where you can find a free secondment agreement template online:

  • Lawpath. Personalise and download free templates after you sign up for a free account.
  • LegalVision. Find unlimited legal templates online for a monthly membership fee.
  • Net Lawman. You can partially review templates here, then buy and download the one you want for a reasonable price
  • Sprintlaw. If you purchase one of their legal bundles, you'll receive the template you want as part of the package.
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