Acting Policy

This policy is an example and 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 in the organisation and who usually performs the duties of such position.

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

  •     Acting in a higher graded position than the employee’s own
  •     Acting in a position on the same grade as the employee’s own
  •     Acting in a lower 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)
  •     The position is vacant.

Appointment Process

The following process is applicable:

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 Resource Provision, 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 Resource compiles a letter of appointment.

Line manager, Senior Director and Human Resources sign letter of appointment.

Period of acting

An official appointment in an acting capacity should 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

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 of the median salary/package of the job grade, shall be payable to the employee where the acting period exceeds one month and the person acting assumes full responsibility for the acting position.

Where individuals share the acting responsibility, acknowledgement should be given through the performance management system.


Located in: All Policies