Employee Secondment Agreements in Plain English

An employee secondment agreement is a legal document drawn up by an employer that allows an employee to work for another company for a set period of time. In today’s business world, integration is key, but there can be no employee sharing without an employee secondment agreement. As you can imagine, these documents are often, long, complicated and difficult to read if you don’t have a law background. This is because not only does one company need to protect themselves, their intellectual property and their company secrets, but two do. Both companies involved need to adequately protect themselves from harm, while also laying out the time frame in which the employee transfer is going to occur, how it is going to occur, what the compensation and benefits are and what sort of return the original company receives for such a transfer.

While every employee secondment agreement is different, due in large part to the sheer amount of customization present in each one, some generalizations can be made. Often times, the first main part of the contract is the term under which the contract is valid. The term can be anywhere from a few days to a few years depending on the length of the working agreement between the two companies. The next section will clearly go over which employees are being assigned, how those employees can be used and in what capacity. This section is extremely important because it limits how much the employees can do once at their new jobs and it also limits the amount of access they have when it comes to the new companies’ intellectual property. There can also be a section here that goes over what kind of reparations the original company receives for lending members of their workforce to the other company.

The next part of an employee secondment agreement resembles a typical employment contract, with sections going over financial compensation, medical benefits, workers compensation and other employee-employer information. It will need to be stated clearly here who is responsible for paying things like workers compensation should an employee get injured on the job, the temporary employer or the permanent employer. The final part of such a contract often goes over intellectual property rights, corporate secrets and what kind of obligations the employees have to their now duel employers. This section alone can stretch into page after page of exact legal wording. It is important, however, that the employee completely understand what their obligations are here as a misunderstanding could lead to immediate termination.