Global staffing and mobility procedure

Intent

Part of the RMIT University strategy is to be global. This encompasses attitude, action, presence, and may include working at global locations.

RMIT University recognises that in order to meet this vision and be a truly global competitive education institution having a policy and procedure for international work is crucial.

The intent of this procedure is to provide guidance when considering the engagement of RMIT University Australia staff to perform international work on behalf of RMIT University and its controlled entities.

The procedure helps ensure that RMIT University meets its strategic objectives of:

  • Strengthening our global reputation
  • Deepening and developing international partnerships; and
  • Diversifying offshore education.

The international work must therefore be aligned with the RMIT University Strategic Plan and relevant College/Portfolio/School Business Plans.

The procedure also focuses on ensuring that maximum cost effectiveness is achieved on behalf of the University where international work is being considered. Where a staff member is required to work internationally to fulfil their role, the costs associated with the arrangement need to be considered. In addition to this the procedure also addresses:

  • Roles and responsibilities of all parties related to the international work
  • Minimising personal and commercial risk
  • Staff preparation for the global arrangement; and
  • Provision of support for staff to assist them in their host location.

This procedure applies in conjunction with RMIT University’s Recruitment and induction policy.

Scope

This procedure is to be utilised by all RMIT University staff in Australia, where a staff member is undertaking work internationally on behalf of RMIT University and its controlled entities, or is seconded to an overseas RMIT University controlled entity or location. It will also apply to vacant positions located outside Australia where the employment is with RMIT University in Australia.

This procedure applies in instances where an RMIT University Australia staff member repatriates back to Australia after being located overseas, transfers to an RMIT University entity in another country, or becomes a resident of the country in which they have undertaken the international work.

Exclusions

The policy does not apply if:

  • An RMIT University, or controlled entity, staff member is undertaking work outside of their home country during periods of leave such as research leave (academic staff), leave without pay or sabbatical leave (Vocational Education and Training staff).

Procedure steps and actions

Outlined below are the eight steps that need to be considered when engaging staff to perform international work on behalf of RMIT University in Australia.

1. Identify a business requirement

The selection of a candidate for international work is first initiated once a need to achieve certain business requirements has been identified. The business requirement must be aligned with RMIT University’s strategy and vision. To achieve the business requirement the most suitable use or engagement of staff, is expected to be in the form of:

  • A local employment arrangement that is in line with employment legislation in the country in which international work is required.
  • A global agreement - being an employment arrangement at a location outside Australia for a fixed term period. This could be either:
    • short term (up to 6 months in duration)
    • long term (from 6 months to 3 years in duration)
  • Offshore Teaching (Fly in – Fly out arrangements) being when a staff member is required to travel internationally to teach a program and fly home to Australia upon completion.

Approval from the applicable delegated authority is required in line with the Staffing authority (PDF 29KB, 2p) prior to commencing recruitment and/or appointment to any of the above arrangements.

Prior to the recruitment and/or appointment of a candidate for an international employment arrangement, a projection of the total employment costs is to be determined and agreement as to who, and which internal order number, will bear these costs is to be finalised.

Human Resources will assist with employment cost estimations.

2. Consider resourcing options

In finding an appropriate candidate for the international work, there are a number of different resourcing options internally and externally, both local and international.

Due to significant risks involved in employing casual staff at overseas locations, Human Resources must be consulted when casual staff are being considered as an option to meet the business requirements.

In most instances the normal RMIT University Recruitment and Induction policy and procedure will be followed. Candidates may be either:

  • An external appointment
  • An internal appointment who is independently applying
  • An internal appointment who is recommended for the position

Immigration and working rights in the country in which the international work is located must be considered. Assistance will be provided to the candidate to obtain a visa and / or work permit (if required). This assistance will be provided by RMIT University’s preferred external provider.

3. Create a position description

All opportunities for international work must have a position description. The position description should outline the following criteria:

  • Knowledge, skills and expertise requirements
  • Location of the international work
  • Length of the appointment
  • Job transferability and technical expertise
  • Cultural awareness, sensitivity and adaptability to new working groups
  • Particular communication skills
  • Deliverables for the period of engagement
  • Other general managerial skills (if required); and
  • Other specific requirements for the role (e.g. Citizenship, eligibility for a visa and / or work permit in the location where the international work is required, language requirements, etc).

In the case of staff delivering a program at an international partner location, this is considered to be a core part of the position and should be listed in the position description and the staff member’s workplan.

4. Consider recruitment advertising guidelines

RMIT University’s Recruitment and induction policy and Recruitment and selection procedure should be followed when selecting a candidate. This ensures that RMIT University follows a competitive process for selecting a candidate in accordance with recruitment advertising guidelines of the country where the international work is situated.

In some circumstances, the opportunity for international work may not need to be advertised and instead a direct appointment process may be more appropriate. This decision will depend on a range of strategic business considerations and the circumstances of the candidate. Approval must be made by the Vice-Chancellor, or relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Pro Vice Chancellor as appropriate depending on the level of the position and the circumstances of the candidate.

In some overseas locations a local search firm may be engaged by Human Resources to assist with the recruitment process.

5. Considerations in selecting a candidate

The selection of the candidate should be done with the following considerations:

  • The business requirements
  • Factoring time spent working internationally into staff member’s workplan
  • The cost impact to RMIT University and to the candidate
  • The taxation, immigration and employment law requirements.
  • Availability of the candidate

6. Terms and conditions

The form of the arrangement entered into will depend on whether the candidate is an internal appointment or external appointment along with any requirements dictated by a relevant International Partnership Agreement, Fellowship, or local legislation.

In the case of an internal appointment the form of the arrangement will also be impacted by the current employment conditions of the candidate. Staff members on existing continuing employment contracts will generally be assigned to the international work location for a fixed term period under the Short term global agreement procedure or Long term global agreement procedure.

In the case of an external appointment or an internal appointment of a non-continuing staff member, the candidate will generally be engaged under a fixed term local employment arrangement.

Please note a local employment arrangement with local terms and conditions is RMIT University’s preferred form of engagement due to it generally being more cost effective.

Advice regarding appointment options and the structuring of an appropriate remuneration packages should be obtained from Human Resources: remuneration@rmit.edu.au

7. Other considerations

Immigration

It is vital to ensure that the candidate’s passport and any visa / work rights in the host location are organised well in advance. It is the staff member’s responsibility to ensure that they comply with any conditions associated with the application, and issue, of any form of visa and/or work permit granted.

The staff member will also need to ensure that their passport is valid for at least twelve months after their expected return date to their home location. They will also need to ensure that they have a sufficient number of free pages in their passport and it is also recommended that the candidate keep a photocopy of their passport identification page at all times when travelling.

Health and Safety

In the event of emergency assistance being required while the staff member is engaged in international work, they should contact International SOS, the University’s preferred external provider of 24 hour advice and assistance for medical, security or other emergencies.

RMIT University in Australia will provide expatriate health insurance cover for a staff member and their accompanying family members, when travelling with them, for long term global agreements (greater than 6 months). The cover will be maintained via RMIT University’s preferred supplier, the cost of which will be charged to the applicable college/portfolio/school.

Australian staff engaging in international work on behalf of RMIT University and its controlled entities or a partner of RMIT University and its controlled entities, should register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (“DFAT”) Smart Traveller website to gain access to consular services prior to departure. This website provides information and travel advice for global destinations including recommended health and safety measures that should be considered. If a warning is issued to defer non-essential travel to the host location, your international work may be suspended.

Work-cover insurance requirements will be reviewed on a case by case basis to ensure adequate coverage for the staff member.

External Advice

The employment of staff to undertake international work may require the sourcing of external expert advice to fully understand the issues and implications of the proposed arrangement for both RMIT University and its controlled entities and the individual undertaking this work. The cost of any such advice obtained will be charged to the applicable college/portfolio/school. Human Resources will seek the advice via RMIT University’s preferred provider.

8. Select and obtain approval for the appointment

Once the preferred candidate has been selected, the appointment must be approved by the delegated representatives as per the Recruitment and induction policy.

Questions

Should you have any questions, please contact Human Resources: remuneration@rmit.edu.au

[Next: Supporting documents and information]