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Acting Policy

Policy    : Acting Policy
Section  : Section
Manual  : Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual

Scope of the policy

This policy explains how acting appointments are effected in the Company.

Policy statement

The Company regards the opportunity to act in a higher graded position or position on the same grade as the employee’s (outside of the employee’s own sphere of expertise), as an important development opportunity. However, given continuous staff alignment projects it might also be required from employees to carry the full workload of positions on lower grades.

Note: An appointment made in an acting capacity will not automatically result in a permanent appointment in the acting position.


Acting appointment, A temporary appointment, normally not exceeding a period of six months, in a higher, similar graded or lower graded post on the staff establishment, which appointment is necessitated by the temporary absence, resignation of the regular incumbent of that position, or the non-filling of a vacancy.

Regular incumbent An employee who has been appointed in an approved position on the staff establishment and who usually performs the duties of such position.

Categories of appointments made in an acting capacity

Appointments made in an acting capacity fall into one of the following categories:

  • Acting in a position on the same grade as the employee’s own
  • Acting in a position with a lower grade as the employee’s own job grade (for example where an employee is acting in a different function)
  • Acting in a higher graded position than the employee’s own

Acting appointment process

The process of appointing employees in an acting capacity involves the following stages:

  • Acting opportunity
  • Appointment process


Acting opportunity

An acting opportunity arises when:

The regular incumbent is absent temporarily for one or more of the following reasons:


  • Leave (all types)
  • Secondment
  • Suspension
  • Conferences and seminars (national or international)
  • Any other valid reason
  • Or the position is vacant.


Appointment Process, the following process is applicable:

Stage Description

Line manager, in whose department the acting opportunity arises, in consultation with his/her management team identifies a candidate for appointment in an acting capacity. The identification of a suitable candidate should be guided by operational and development plans within the department.

Line manager informs Human Resources, in writing, of:

  • the particulars of the person to be appointed in an acting capacity
  • the position in which the person is to act
  • the reason for such
  • the acting period
  • Human Resources compiles a letter of appointment
  • Line manager and Human Resources sign letter of appointment


Period of acting

An official appointment in an acting capacity may not be less than a period of one week. The termination of an acting period should be indicated on the appointment letter either by a date or by a specific action, such as the filling of a vacancy or the return of the regular incumbent. Acting periods should, if at all possible, not exceed a period of six months.

Only in exceptional cases may the acting appointment be extended for one or two months beyond the six months’ threshold, e.g. to allow a new appointee the time to serve their notice at their previous employer.
These exceptional cases will jointly be agreed on by the line manager and parties involved in the original acting appointment.

Note: A special effort should be made by line managers to ensure that no expectations are raised that the employee appointed in an acting capacity, will be appointed in the position on a permanent basis. Line management should rather consider rotation in the acting position than creating expectation to permanency.

Compensation and acknowledgement for acting appointment

Acting appointments in higher graded positions:

Employees appointed in acting capacities whether on a higher, the same, or lower job grade will be rewarded as follows:

  • A fixed acting allowance, equivalent of fifteen per cent (15%) of the salary of the job grade of the employee will be acting, shall be payable to the employee where the acting period exceeds one month and the person acting assumes full responsibility for the acting position.
  • An employee ceases to be entitled to an acting allowance once the approved period of acting is terminated.
  • Acting allowances shall be paid together with an employee’s normal monthly salary and are calculated as a daily allowance for those working days where an employee is required to act in another position and is entitled to an acting allowance.
  • For any period that the acting employee is not at work (e.g. public holidays, he/she is on leave) he/she will not receive an acting allowance.
  • Acknowledgment: Acting appointment on the same job or lower grade
  • Where individuals share the acting responsibility, acknowledgement should be given through the performance management system.


Cascading of acting appointments

No further acting appointments should result on account of an acting appointment having being made. An employee will still be responsible for both his/her permanent position as well as the acting position when acting in a higher graded position.


Once the need has been established, the line manager is required to forward a request to the Human Resources Manager with a motivation for the request.
Human Resources, upon the Line Manager’s approval, will then submit to the request to the employee’s Executive Manager for approval to appoint the identified incumbent, the duration of the appointment and the suggested acting allowance.
All Executive appointments must be approved by the Chief Executive Officer on consultation with the Board of Directors.


Draft letter of appointment to acting position



It is with great pleasure that I wish to confirm that you have been identified as a candidate for the position of ____________________ subject to the following terms and conditions.

You will initially fulfill your duties as ______________ on an acting basis for a period of 3/6 months during which period you will assume full responsibility for the job profile. You will be remunerated with an acting allowance at the rate of ____________ per month.

During the aforementioned period your performance will be assessed to determine your suitability for this position. Should your performance meet the requisite performance standards you will be appointed to the post of _______________ on a permanent full time basis.

Should you fail to meet the said performance standards your acting status (including the payment of an acting allowance) will be terminated and you will resume your normal duties as a ______________ .

You are required to perform your duties as set out in annexure “A.” It is a specific term and condition of your employment that you may be required to perform other duties and responsibilities in the course and scope of your employment with __________________ . Your job description does not define or restrict your duties and you may be required to undertake other work within your abilities at the request of _______________________, and any refusal to comply with such request constitutes a breach of your contract of employment.

You shall, unless prevented by ill-health or accident and except during holidays permitted in terms of your contract of employment with __________________, devote your usual working hours, attention and abilities to the proper, loyal and efficient conduct, improvement, extension, development, promotion, protection and preservation of the business, reputation and goodwill of ______________ and not do anything which is harmful to it.

Last modified onSaturday, 13 August 2016 11:52
Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

Managing Director


C: +27 82 416 7712

T: +27 12 669 3289

F: +27 86 689 7862

Website: www.workinfo.com
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