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Ask Barend B. Your Own Question
Barend B.
Barend B., Legal Consultant
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1346
Experience:  BLC LLB (Pret) LLM (Augsburg)
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I am looking for a legally sound definition of what

Customer Question

I am looking for a legally sound definition of what secondment means, with specific focus on whether this can be constituted as an instruction to move to the intended position and/or whether secondment should be interpreted as an offer by the Company?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: South Africa
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thanks
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Barend B. replied 1 month ago.

Good evening,

Secondment takes place when the employee's services is placed at the disposal of another company, department or institution for a specific duration and upon specific conditions, provided that upon the expiry of the secondment, the employee returns to his/her original position. The secondment is not an instruction but it is something that must be consented to by the employee.

Secondment in the public sector takes place in terms of Section 15(3) and (4) of the Public Service Act.

Should you wish that I elaborate on my response, do not hesitate to ask me.

Regards,

BB

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Barend, thank you for the response. I'm not sure I understand why an employee who works for a listed company (not Public service) needs to consent to a secondment? In addition, this particular secondment further implies the employee is required to fulfil a completely new role in a different department. Which legislation allows for a secondment that does not further an employee's career and is actually completely outside of the employee's skills set, to be an instruction to the employee that has to be obeyed?
Regards, Marlene
Expert:  Barend B. replied 1 month ago.

Good evening,

You must remember that an employment agreement is a reciprocal agreement. The terms and conditions thereof can not be unilaterally changed by the employer. Unless the secondment, as an instruction, has been agreed to in the original employment contract, the employee's consent will have to be obtained. To my knowledge there is no legislation, except for the Public Service Act, which allows for secondment when it is in the public interest, which will allow for a secondment to be an instruction which must be obeyed by the employee.

Regards,

BB

Expert:  Barend B. replied 1 month ago.

Good mroning,

If you are satisfied with my answer, kindly give me a rating.

Regards,

BB