Short term global staff agreement 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 outline the terms and conditions to be considered and applied where staff are temporarily engaged to undertake a global fixed term agreement for a period of up to six months.

The Short term global staff agreement procedure helps ensure that:

  • All parties of the short term global agreement are clear about their roles and responsibilities
  • Personal and commercial risk is minimised
  • Staff are suitably prepared
  • Staff are provided with support to assist them in their host location; and
  • Costs are considered in all cases.

Scope

This procedure is to be utilised by all RMIT University staff in Australia, where a staff member is, or plans to, undertake work internationally on behalf of RMIT University and its controlled entities for a fixed term period of up to six months.

The terms and conditions included in this procedure are a guide only, and do not constitute a contractual entitlement for the staff member. Specific terms and conditions will be considered and communicated to the staff member for each short term global agreement.

Exclusions

This procedure does not apply if:

  • There are specific arrangements already in place (e.g. fellowships) which are governed by the terms and conditions of their funding.
  • An RMIT University staff member in Australia is undertaking work outside Australia during periods of leave such as research leave (academic staff), leave without pay or sabbatical leave (Vocational Education and Training staff).
  • An RMIT University staff member in Australia proactively applies for an offshore position with another RMIT University entity or an RMIT University partner.
  • Staff members are recruited in the location where the international work is to be undertaken.
  • Staff members are employed by an institution other than RMIT University as part of a partnership agreement with RMIT University.

Procedure steps and actions

1. Short term global agreements

For the duration of the global agreement, the staff member remains an employee of RMIT University in Australia. The staff member is temporarily assigned to the host location for a fixed term period of up to six months.

The employment arrangement for continuing staff with RMIT University in Australia remains in place for the duration of the global agreement. However, the staff member will be on leave without pay from their position with RMIT University in Australia. For fixed term and casual staff the short term global agreement will replace the existing employment arrangement.

Prior to commencement Human Resources need to be contacted to put in place an appropriate employment arrangement for the short term global agreement detailing all employment terms applicable for the relevant period.

The global agreement cannot commence until the official offer or transfer paperwork has been signed by the staff member, the host manager, the home line manager (where required), and the applicable delegated authority.

This procedure does not finance family members relocating with the staff member for short term global agreements.

2. Pre-assignment

Hiring process

Recruitment, selection and direct appointment processes will be managed in accordance with RMIT University’s Recruitment and induction policy.

Budget / costing approvals

A budget, setting out costing for the global agreement will need to be prepared and approved by the college/portfolio/school prior to the global agreement commencing. Human Resources should be contacted to assist with the projected cost of the relevant employment arrangement.

Arrangements for expenditure of monies associated with the global agreement should be set up in accordance with RMIT University’s Financial Policies and Procedures. As part of these arrangements a nominated person should be authorised to approve financial transactions associated with the global agreement.

Tax implications of the global agreement for RMIT University should also be assessed before the global agreement commences. The cost of obtaining any required advice will be charged to the applicable RMIT University entity or college/portfolio/school and sourced by Human Resources.

Employment arrangement

Before leaving Australia, the staff member will be provided with an employment arrangement clearly outlining the terms and conditions of the global agreement. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Variation to existing employment arrangement or other documentation detailing terms of release / leave from RMIT University in Australia for the global agreement, including any changes to, or maintenance of, existing conditions
  • A position description outlining the accountabilities of the host location position
  • The planned duration of the international work in the host location, including the likelihood of any extensions
  • The expected working conditions and hours
  • Salary and allowances
  • Accommodation arrangements
  • Travel arrangements
  • Personal income tax arrangements
  • Insurance arrangements
  • Health & Safety requirements
  • Personal effects / household goods arrangements
  • The necessary immigration, visa and work permit requirements.

The fixed term employment arrangement will be confirmed in writing and subject to the staff member meeting and complying with the necessary immigration, visa and work permit requirements.

Orientation

Where required, the staff member will receive a formal orientation and job briefing (with a position description). The Staff Member will also be given information on relevant policies, procedures, and the agreement conditions applicable. The host manager will provide the staff member with information about the host location, safety and emergency procedures and contacts in the host location.

Human Resources will coordinate cultural awareness preparation, including information about the culture and traditions of the host location if applicable. This will assist the staff member in preparing for the global agreement and in raising awareness of the behaviours expected in the host location.

Passports, Visas and Permits

RMIT University will provide assistance to the staff member in obtaining any visa / work rights in the host location as required. RMIT University requires staff members to fully comply with all immigration laws in their respective home and host locations. Work outside of Australia on behalf of RMIT University must not be undertaken by a staff member without obtaining the necessary travel documents and liaising with Human Resources to ensure their visa and contract terms are coordinated in advance.

It is the staff member’s responsibility to ensure they have a passport that is valid for at least 12 months after their expected return date to Australia, and that they have a sufficient number of free pages in their passport. All costs associated with obtaining and / or renewing passports for the purposes of complying with this will be the individual staff member’s responsibility.

RMIT University will meet the cost of any visas, work and / or residence permits and other such documents required for the staff member for the purpose of the global agreement. The staff member will be responsible for completing the appropriate forms and providing relevant and accurate information to the required parties. Please note Visa/Work Permit options may limit the time in which the staff member can be located in the host location and therefore the length of the arrangement.

3. Remuneration

RMIT University aims to ensure that a staff member is not financially disadvantaged as a result of undertaking a global agreement. The staff member’s remuneration package will be determined based on a number of factors.

Payment of Salary

The staff member’s salary and superannuation will continue to be paid via the RMIT University Australian payroll. In addition to receiving a base salary, and depending on cost effectiveness and the staff member’s individual circumstances, staff may receive one of the following to ensure they are supported appropriately during their global agreement:

  • Per Diem
  • Expenses (e.g. RMIT credit card); or
  • Short term salary allowance(s).

4. Taxation

Tax is an important issue to consider for all global agreements, and employer and employee tax obligations should be clarified before the appointment is finalised. The tax implications may affect the duration of the global agreement and structure of the remuneration package. The staff member should not be disadvantaged from a tax perspective as a result of undertaking a global agreement.

Tax return assistance in Australia and the host country may also be provided by RMIT University approved tax provider if required.

5. Health & safety and insurance

The staff member should undertake a medical briefing and health check before departure to the host location. This is to determine the staff member’s medical fitness for the global agreement, to allow time for any medically recommended vaccinations to be completed and to provide relevant and necessary information concerning health / medical conditions in the host location.

A staff member with a pre-existing medical condition will require medical clearance to travel and work internationally, a letter from the staff member’s GP will need to be provided to Human Resources. Any medical treatment required for an existing condition should be completed prior to the commencement of the short term global agreement.

At completion of the global agreement, the staff member is encouraged to undergo a return health check.

RMIT University will reimburse the cost of all health checks and necessary vaccinations for the staff member of up to $500 for both pre and post agreement expenses upon submission of relevant receipts.

Overseas travel and health insurance

RMIT University will provide adequate overseas travel and health insurance cover for the staff member whilst working on a global agreement.

If the staff member requires emergency assistance whilst engaged on a global agreement, they should contact International SOS RMIT University’s provider of 24 hour advice and assistance for medical, security or other emergencies.

Work-Cover Insurance

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

6. Travel

Travel to and from the overseas location

RMIT University will pay for all travel costs to and from the overseas location in accordance with the University's Travel policy.

7. Household effects and additional support

Household Effects

Given the short term nature of the global agreement furnished accommodation will be provided, therefore the staff member will not be required to ship household effects to the host location. RMIT University may therefore provide the staff member with an allowance of up to $500 for additional baggage.

8. Accommodation

The cost of appropriate fully furnished accommodation in the host location (e.g. serviced apartment of an approved standard) will be covered by RMIT University. It is recommended the staff member book accommodation when making travel arrangements, in accordance with RMIT University’s Travel Policy.

It is the staff member’s responsibility to manage any property held in their home location during the agreement and arrange suitable accommodation in Australia at the end of the agreement.

9. Vehicle / Transport

A vehicle will not be provided for short term global agreements as accommodation will be provided close to the host working location.

10. Leave

Public holidays

A staff member on a global agreement will be entitled to take any public holidays applicable in their host location.

Leave Entitlement

A staff member on a global agreement will be entitled to annual leave entitlements of RMIT University Australia, these would normally be taken at the start or end of the assignment. Any application to take leave is to be completed via RMIT University Australia.

Sick Leave

Accrual of sick leave entitlements will be in line with the policy applicable to RMIT University Australia staff.

Emergency / compassionate leave

In the event of serious illness or death of an immediate family member (including the spouse’s immediate family), or other serious emergency situation, RMIT University will provide the staff member with three days of compassionate leave and return tickets to Australia. Depending on the circumstances, this may be extended.

11. Arrangement extensions

In the event that an extension to a short term global agreement is being considered a discussion with Human Resources is required to review any tax or visa implications or restrictions. Once approved by the delegated authority an addendum to the employment arrangement will be issued to the staff member outlining any revised or additional terms and conditions.

12. Termination conditions

A global agreement may need to be terminated early due to factors outside either the staff member, or RMIT University’s, control. In this case, if the staff member returns to Australia, all efforts will be made to place the staff member in an appropriate position in line with the classification and role undertaken prior to the commencement short term global agreement.

Termination of contract by staff member

In the event of resignation or termination of the short term global agreement, at the request of the staff member, the staff member may be liable to repay costs in accordance with the terms of the staff member’s employment arrangement.

Early termination of global agreement

In the event of termination (excluding serious misconduct) of the short term agreement by RMIT University, RMIT University will relocate the staff member back to Australia in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the staff member’s employment arrangement.

13. Repatriation

RMIT University will provide the following on completion, or early termination of the fixed term employment arrangement:

  • Return flights to Australia
  • Excess baggage allowance equivalent to that provided upon commencement of the global agreement
  • Return health check (if required)
  • Repatriation tax consultation (if required)

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