Employee Transfer Policy and Procedure South Africa

  • Employee Transfer Policy and Procedure South Africa
  • What is Employee Transfer Policy?
  • Purpose of the Employee Transfer Policy
  • Objectives of the Employee Transfer Policy
  • General Rules, Principles Philosophy Associated with the Employee Transfer Policy
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting
  • Employee Transfer Policy and Procedure South Africa

    The government of South Africa is committed to improving the lives of its citizens by
    broadcasting its three major spheres- National, Provincial, and Local to tackle a variety of
    challenges. One such challenge in the country is the deployment of competent human
    resources to departments where their skills and talent are most needed. It should be
    handled with the utmost care, and due consideration must be given to various aspects such
    as legal mandates, aligning employees needs and expectations, financial constraints, and
    more. To help with this, a well-constructed framework of Employee Transfer Policy and
    Procedures is essential. It enables Public Service Departments and local governments to
    handle the transfer process fairly and systematically.

    Continue reading to know more about the Employee Transfer Policy in South Africa

    What is Employee Transfer Policy?

    The employee transfer policy can be defined as horizontal transfers of the office staff
    within or outside the department. The purpose of employee transfer is to provide strategic
    placement of staff in accordance with the needs of the organization that may arise from
    time to time.

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    In South Africa, the employee transfer policy applies to all the staff of National, Provincial,
    and Local Government Departments or employees working in the Department of Rural
    Development Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) who apply for transfers.

    Purpose of the Employee Transfer Policy

    • The transfer policy framework provides processes, procedures, and guidelines to be followed when applying for transfers.
    • To achieve optimum utilization of employees’ skills and talent.
    • To motivate employees to do high-quality work and improve productivity.
    • To make the existing employee aware that there are prospects available within the organization for upward mobility, a good hike, and incentives.
    • To comply with the provisions of the employment legislation, which obliges the employer to take action for the acceleration of workers from disadvantaged groups. 
    • It is used to create an appropriate framework that will guide the concerned department in regard to the implementation of transfers.
    • To warrant a harmonious and systematic secondment process throughout the department. 
    • To provide solutions if the company’s resources are distributed unfairly, or the basic needs of employees are not met. 

    Objectives of the Employee Transfer Policy

    • It ensures fair and systematic handling of the transfer process.
    • It provides guidelines for the considerations of transfers. 
    • The policy helps in retaining skilled employees in which the department has invested. 
    • It allows the rotation of employees within the organization to ensure optimal utilization of the staff.

    General Rules, Principles Philosophy Associated with the Employee Transfer Policy

    The employee transfer policy in South Africa is in agreement with the provisions of the Batho Pele Principles. All line managers, supervisors, and employees are essential to the successful implementation of the transfer policy. Some of the basic rules related to the Employee Transfer Policy are as follows:

    • Any request for a transfer by the employee shall only be processed through the official channels of communication and the final decision will be given in writing or with a notice of transfer.
    • An employees rank/designation and salary shall remain unchanged with a transfer unless the transfer is combined with a promotion.
    • An employee who is on a probation period and is transferred shall complete his remaining period in the new department.
    • Just the fact that the employee has applied for a transfer in writing shall not be considered consent without mandatory approval by the Head of the Department or through Human Resource Components.
    • A vacant post/position in the office must be identified before any transfer can take place.
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    Implementation of Employee TransferThere are mainly two types of transfer (in horizontal transfer) – initiated by the employee and initiated by the employer.

    Transfer initiated by the employee– Transfer initiated by the employee has no financial impact on the department. Therefore, an employer is not accountable for any costs or leave associated with the self-initiated transfer.

    To apply for transfer, an employee must request in writing, accompanied by a recommendation letter from releasing manager. The request must be submitted to Human Resource Management.

    Transfer initiated by an employer– In a department where employee transfer is initiated by the employer, he is responsible for expenses related to transportation, accommodation, and other costs. An employee shall not suffer any reduction in his/her salary because of transfer without signing consent.

    Also, the employee transfer process should not be used as a tool to move employees based on any prejudice and to not block the filling of a vacant position through competition. 

    Regulatory Framework for the Employee Transfer Policy

    Legal mandates or legislative frameworks required to deal with the employee transfer process are as follows:

    • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996
    • White Paper on Human Resources Management in the Public Service
    • Employment Equity Act, Act 55 of 1998
    • Labor Relations Act, Act 66 of 1995 (as amended)
    • The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, Act 75 of 1997
    • Public Service Regulations, 2001 (as amended in 2016)
    • Public Service Act, Act 103 of 1994 (as amended)

    Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting

    The Head of the Department (HOD) will be responsible for ensuring the smooth execution of the employee transfer process. He is responsible for communicating the provisions of policy within the department. All the line managers and supervisors are equally in charge of the implementation thereof.

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    The policy rules may vary depending on various factors and needs to be reviewed from time to time. Therefore, the head of the department or his/her delegates has to review or amend the transfer policy annually or when the situation demands.

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