Performance of Higher Level Duties - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the process and steps for appointing and paying a staff member to temporarily fulfil the duties of a staff member in a higher level position. These procedures supplement Higher Duties provisions specified in the Enterprise Agreement.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Authorised Officer – the officer authorised to exercise the relevant HR power or function in accordance with the HR Authorisation Schedule

Enterprise AgreementThe University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017

Head - Head of organisational unit

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all full-time and part-time professional staff (HEW 1-9) who temporarily perform higher level duties. These procedures also apply to staff involved in the appointment of a staff member to perform higher level duties. These procedures must be applied in conjunction with the Professional Staff Recruitment by Exception Strategy. In the event of any inconsistencies, the Professional Staff Recruitment by Exception Strategy will apply.

4. Procedures Statement

Staff can from time to time be required to temporarily perform duties normally undertaken by a staff member on a higher classification level. The University of Queensland recognises that staff who agree to perform such duties must receive financial compensation for the period that they perform these higher duties, subject to the conditions set out in these procedures.

Opportunity to act in a higher position, or to perform additional higher duties, may be a result of:

  • the absence of a staff member on leave or secondment;
  • a delay in the commencement of a new appointee after the resignation of a staff member;
  • the extended absence of a staff member due to illness;
  • undertaking a project or planned staff development exercise.

When approving proposals for Higher Duties, the Authorised Officer should take into account the number and duration of other Higher Duties appointments currently approved within the organisational unit. Higher Duties arrangements are intended to be temporary and of a short duration and should not be used in lieu of filling substantive positions.

5. Eligibility

Professional staff who have been requested to perform the duties of a higher level position are eligible for payment. When considering an appointment for higher duties (full duties), the Authorised Officer must determine which staff member could most effectively perform the duties and make a recommendation accordingly.

The temporary filling of a consequential vacancy caused by a staff member being recommended for a short-term placement to a higher level position will not normally be approved. However, consequential acting appointments can be approved in instances of longer-term higher duties situations. The Authorised Officer must consider carefully the impact of such recommendations for appointment to higher duties (full duties) on the efficient operation of the unit.

Where a staff member from within an organisational unit cannot be identified to perform the higher level duties, the temporary vacancy can be advertised internally as a secondment opportunity. See PPL 5.80.10 Secondments - Policy and Procedures.

5.1 Full duties

Where it is recommended that a staff member performs the full duties of the position at the higher level, the staff member is normally given a temporary placement at that higher level classification.

Payment is normally paid at the first point of the higher classification level, provided this is greater than the current total salary (including allowances) of the staff member recommended to receive the higher duties payment. This higher level salary is superannuable.

5.2 Partial duties

When a staff member is required to perform only some of the duties normally performed by a staff member in a higher classification, the staff member can receive an Additional Duties payment calculated at a point between the current salary and the salary of the higher position. This amount, which is paid as a non-superannuable allowance because the duties do not form part of the staff member’s normal set of tasks, must be determined by the Authorised Officer in consultation with the staff member, and the relevant Human Resources Professional Services Team.

5.3 Period payable

  • The minimum qualifying period for payment for performing duties at a higher classification is five working days.
  • Payment is normally permissible for periods of up to one year.

For a period greater than one year, the circumstances must be reviewed by the Supervisor at the end of the year to assess the staff member's performance and whether continued performance of the higher level duties on a temporary basis is justified. Following the review, a recommendation must be forwarded to the relevant Authorised Officer.

5.4 Salary increments

For the purpose of calculating salary increments on higher duties payments, service in a temporary placement at the higher level is cumulative. In determining higher duties increments, all payments for higher duties in temporary placements during the last two years will be recognised. After one year's cumulative higher duties service during this time, a staff member’s higher duties payment in a temporary placement will progress to the next point of the salary scale.

If a professional staff member in a temporary placement at a higher level is subsequently permanently appointed to a position classified at the same level as the temporary placement, the periods of higher duties service in temporary placements will be taken into account in determining the new salary increment date. For example, the salary increment date of a professional staff member who was previously being paid for performing higher duties in a temporary placement and is now appointed to a permanent position would be one year after the date on which the temporary continuous higher duties commenced.

5.5 Payment for performing higher duties while on leave

Payment for performing the full duties of a higher classification in a temporary placement is only made during periods of recreation leave when the replacement staff member has undertaken the higher duties immediately prior to the commencement of such leave. Additional Duties Allowances will not normally be paid during absences on Recreation or Long Service Leave.

5.6 When payment of higher level duties is not recommended

Examples of when it may be inappropriate to recommend payment for performance of higher duties include:

  • as a reward payment for good performance for work at the same level as the staff member’s substantive position;
  • as a long term measure where a job reclassification is more appropriate; or
  • where there is an increased volume of the tasks normally undertaken.

6. Approval Levels

Payment for performing higher level duties must be approved by the Authorised Officer.

7. Process

  • A completed Staff Appointment form must be submitted to the Authorised Officer.
  • The approved form must be provided to the relevant HR Officer for processing.
  • The staff member will receive a temporary variation of the terms of engagement letter.
  • Where the staff member will only be performing part of the duties of a higher level classification, payment of an Additional Duties allowance, if approved, can be paid instead.

When a staff member has been approved to perform higher duties the staff member's supervisor must notify any other staff in their area of responsibility about the arrangement. This ensures that accountabilities and reporting lines are clear to all concerned.

Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury