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Internal mobility policy

Last reviewed on 21 May 2018

Here at the Co-op we want to develop our colleagues and support them to move into different roles around the business. The types of internal moves available to colleagues are:

- Secondment - a temporary move for a defined period of time to another role, at the same or a higher grade

- Permanent move – a permanent move into another role, at the same or a higher grade

- Stepping up - taking on additional responsibilities within your team for a short period of time, at the same or a higher grade, whilst also continuing in your own role

- Talent move – a move to another role that can either be temporary or permanent and at the same or a higher grade, made by Enterprise Leaders (Grade A-B) and Senior Leaders (Grade C) who are in a talent pipeline or a talent pool/scheme

There may be some temporary moves to which this policy doesn’t apply, such as a Store Manager temporarily moving to another Food store to cover short term absence. If you’re not sure if an internal move is covered by this policy, speak to your manager.

All internal moves will need to go through our pre-employment screening checks in the same way as external candidates. You can read about the checks we'll do for each category of role in the Pre-Employment Screening Policy.

Secondments and permanent moves

Crucial bits

We will advertise all permanent roles for a minimum of one week. This will either be just internally or both internally and externally at the same time. Secondments will be advertised internally first for a minimum of one week and then, if there haven’t been suitable applications, we’ll advertise externally

If you’re on a secondment and the role becomes permanent, you may be offered the role without it being advertised if you had an ‘achieving’ rating or above in your performance review during the secondment.

If you’re applying for a secondment or a permanent vacancy, we’d really like you to tell your manager about your application as soon as you can, ideally by the date of the interview. If you get offered the role, you need to tell your manager as soon as possible. We will send you a letter to confirm the details of your secondment.

We’ll release you to start any new internal role as soon as we can - the timescales will never be longer than your external notice period. Your manager will always try to agree to your request to go on a secondment, unless it would cause problems for the business, and if we have to say no, we’ll be sure to explain why.

Secondments will always have an agreed end date and you’ll go back to your home role when it finishes. If you’re on a secondment and it lasts for more than 12 months, we may not be able to keep your home role open for you. If this is the case we’ll talk to you about what this means and what your options are before your secondment is due to end. If your secondment is to be extended, this will need to be approved by your home manager, secondment manager and HRBP.

Things to think about

Secondments should be for a meaningful length of time - usually at least three months for operational roles and six months for management roles. They generally will not last longer than 12 months, but can do for specific projects.

We usually expect you to have been in your current role for at least six months before you apply for another internal role, but you should’ve at least completed any probationary/training period in the role. We would also expect that you won’t have any live disciplinary sanctions (but not performance improvement warnings) on record or currently be involved in disciplinary proceedings – speak to your current manager if you have any concerns about this.

Just to make you aware, if a permanent role or a secondment is identified as a talent move for a particular colleague we’ll state ‘preferred candidate’ on the internal advert so everyone is clear.

If you’re shortlisted for a secondment or permanent role we’ll ask you to go through the agreed interview/assessment process, even if you’re the ‘preferred candidate’ for the role.

Before moving on to any new role, your current manager will hold an interim performance review with you and give you a performance rating, whatever the time of year. When you start in your new role, you’ll then agree a new set of goals with your new manager. For your end-of-year performance review, if you’ve been in your new role for over six months then your performance rating will be based on this role, but if it’s been less than six months we’ll take your performance in both roles into account.

Stepping up

Crucial bits

If a stepping up opportunity comes up within your team, your manager will decide whether they think you have the ability and the time to take on more responsibility. If so, they’ll talk to you about the opportunity and agree the arrangements with you. If other colleagues in your team are also suitable, your manager will decide who to offer the opportunity to, thinking about everyone’s performance and development needs. We will send you a letter to confirm the details of the stepping up arrangement.

If the stepping up situation is likely to go on for more than six months then your manager will look at longer-term options, which may include advertising the role as a secondment or as a permanent vacancy. If this happens then the role will be advertised internally for a minimum of one week and anyone will be able to apply through the Internal Careers Portal.

Things to think about

Stepping up opportunities are usually for a minimum of four weeks and maximum of six months. Whilst stepping up, your main role will stay the same but you’ll be given additional duties. If you agree to take a stepping up opportunity, we expect that you will carry out the extra responsibilities for the length of time you agree with your manager.

Ideally you will have been in your existing role for at least six months before taking on extra responsibilities, but you should have at least completed any probationary/training period in the role.

Talent moves

Crucial bits

To make a talent move you must have gone through the relevant assessment and selection process and been identified as high potential or having critical skills.

Just like a secondment, temporary talent moves will always have an agreed end date and you’ll go back to your home role when it finishes. If the move lasts for more than 12 months, we may not be able to keep your home role open for you. If this is the case we’ll talk to you about what this means and what your options are before your secondment is due to end. If the duration of your move is to be extended, this will need to be approved by the Talent Scheme Lead, your home manager, the secondment manager and the Director of HR.

If you make a temporary talent move and the role later becomes permanent you may be appointed to the role without it needing to be advertised, if it’s agreed that this would build your skills and help your future career progression.

Things to think about

Temporary talent moves should be for a meaningful length of time, depending on the experience you need to develop. If you’re an Enterprise Leader or Senior Leader, your line manager is likely to have started the secondment process and you may be approached about a role by the Director of HR or the relevant Talent Scheme Lead.

Your manager will support your secondment or permanent move if there’s a good fit with your development plan. For Senior Leaders, this will involve giving you the right experiences to progress to Enterprise Leader level. No minimum time in your current role is usually expected, but this will be at the discretion of the Talent Scheme Lead, the hiring manager and your line manager. We’ll also seek an endorsement from the Director of HR.

If you’re the only applicant for a role, the interview/assessment process will be shorter and will focus on your personal development plan, your career aspirations and endorsements from your line manager and Talent Scheme Lead.

Performance reviews and release dates will work the same as for secondments and permanent moves - so see the information in the section above. Please be aware that if you’ve made a talent move you may get a ‘partially achieving’ rating if you have a performance review in the first three months, as the role is likely to be a stretch for you.

If you need further support

For information about our approach to reward and benefits for internal moves, see the Internal Mobility Reward Principles on the Intranet.

If you have any other questions about internal moves, speak to your manager. If managers need advice they can contact ER Services.