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Five crucial things you need to know about acting appointments

by , 23 September 2013
It seems like every time you open the newspaper, someone else is taking an acting appointment in Government. Most recently, this is the case with Senzo Mchunu. He's now the Acting Premier of KZN. But don't think it's as easy as putting something in the open position until you can find the right person to fill it. Here are the crucial things you know about dealing with acting appointments in your workplace...

If you need to appoint someone in an acting role, follow this advice from 384 of the Best HR and Labour Tips Ever.

Tips for dealing with acting appointments

Tip #1: Acting employees are entitled to apply for the permanent position
While it's unfair and very dangerous to promise an acting employee that he'll get the position on a permanent basis, he is allowed to apply for it.

Make this clear to him! This will ensure his expectations of getting the job are accurate. It'll also prevent him from taking you to the CCMA for unfair promotional practices if he doesn't get the job.

Tip #2: You need to pay him according to the role he's performing
If the acting position contains more responsibility than his old position, you must pay the employee accordingly. But make sure your contract states that this increase is a temporary job grading adjustment and not a promotion. Should he fail to get the position permanently, he'll revert to his old salary when he returns to his old job.

Tip #3: Don't rush the recruitment process
You need to be hire the right person. While this can take time, you can't delay the process unnecessarily. If you do, your acting employee will be under the false impression that the job he's been acting in is his.

Tip #4: Manage your acting employee's performance closely
During the acting period, manage your employee's performance closely. This way you can:

  • Objectively identify and bring to the employee's attention the areas of weakness in his performance.
  • Prove why you turned down his application for the position to become permanent if he doesn't live up to the job requirements.
  • Help manage his expectations.

Tip #5: Make your acting employee sign an acting appointment contract
Before he begins in the acting position, get your employee to sign a contract saying that the position is temporary. Remember to keep tip #2 in mind when drawing up this contract.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid turning an acting appointment into a labour court nightmare.

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