Acting Appointments (Higher Duties)


Acting appointments are made when an employee is required to temporarily perform duties classified at a higher level.  This may occur when an employee is acting in someone else's position (eg whilst that person is on leave), or may occur in the employee's substantive position when they are required to take on extra, more complex duties for a specified period of time (this particular instance is more commonly referred to as 'higher duties'). 

In instances where more than one employee possesses the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to act in another position, where possible and practical as part of the University's commitment to employee development, each of these employees should be given an equal opportunity to act in the higher classified position.  This may mean the faculty/section running an internal expression of interest process, or alternating which employee acts in the higher position on a rotational basis. 

All acting appointments or higher duties must be approved by the appropriate delegate using the Acting Appointment Allowance form.  The approval is then forwarded to the Director (Human Resources) for action.

An acting employee will receive their normal salary plus an allowance so the total remuneration is equal to the minimum salary of the acting position.  Allowances are paid in accordance with the following table:

Employee Position

Allowance Payable 

Allowance Calculated As Follows

Professional Employees

More than nine sequential working days.

Difference between current salary and the minimum salary of higher position.

Academic Employees 

More than 20 sequential working days.

Difference between current salary and minimum salary of higher position.

Professional or Academic employees acting in a Senior Contract position

More than nine sequential working days but less than or equal to 40 days

By negotiation with the Director (Human Resources)

More than 40 sequential working days

By negotiation with the Vice-Chancellor and Director (Human Resources)

If the allowance is to be paid for a period in excess of 12 months, the employee has the option to contribute superannuation to their superannuation fund based on the higher level of salary for the duration of payment of the allowance.  Alternatively, the employee may retain the current substantive rate of contribution. 

Related policy and procedure:

Acting Appointments  

HR Contact:

HR Client Services Team

Determining which employees may have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to act in another position is something that some Supervisors/Managers may need some assistance with. A few points to consider are:

  • Which employees are substantively appointed to lower level positions;
  • Which employees have expressed an interest in professional development;
  • Which employees have responded to the expression of interest sent;
  • Should you engage an informal selection criteria process to evaluate each employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities?