Working offshore policy
Intent and objectives
To support RMIT as a competitive education institution internationally by adequately preparing and supporting staff before, during and after working offshore.
The objectives of this policy are aligned with RMIT’s vision of ‘Global in outlook and action: offering our students and staff a global passport to learning and work’. Specifically, this policy aims to:
- support RMIT’s strategic direction in terms of internationalisation and staff mobility
- provide a fair and equitable framework for terms and conditions of employment for RMIT staff working offshore
- ensure that the University and staff have a clear understanding of their respective rights and obligations when working offshore
- provide support to staff working offshore
- ensure the University can attract and retain staff to work in offshore programs, projects and sites
All current RMIT University staff employed on contracts formed under Australian employment law who conduct RMIT work offshore on a short-term or long-term basis. This includes casual staff.
The policy does not apply
- when there are specific arrangements already in place (for example fellowships) which are governed by the terms and conditions of their funding
- if a staff member is undertaking work outside Australia associated with research leave (academic staff) or sabbatical leave (TAFE staff)
- if a staff member proactively applies for an offshore position with an RMIT partner or RMIT Vietnam
- to staff members who are recruited offshore and whose permanent place of employment is an offshore location
- to staff members employed by an institution other than RMIT as part of a partnership agreement with RMIT University
The University values internationalisation and will aim to ensure that all staff who travel offshore for business reasons are suitably qualified, appropriately equipped and adequately prepared.
Types of offshore work are described in the definitions section of this policy.
Employment conditions and responsibilities
Staff required to work offshore will be provided with suitable terms and conditions so there is no overall financial disadvantage to staff working offshore.
Staff members representing RMIT while offshore will behave in a manner consistent with RMIT’s and the host organisation’s values at all times. They will not in any way harm the reputation of RMIT or the host organisation. Staff members are required to abide by the host organisations policies and procedures, as well as the host country’s legislation during the assignment and work in accordance with local custom.
Before a staff member starts an offshore assignment, there should be a written document, clearly stating which work unit is bearing the costs. Costs can include salary, payroll on costs, superannuation, assignment allowances or per-diems, temporary accommodation, travel expenses, and relocation expenses.
Support for offshore work
Tailored support will be provided depending on the location, duration and nature of the assignment or project. Benefits to support offshore work include:
- travel to and from offshore destination
- temporary accommodation at offshore location
- travel and health insurance
- pre-departure medical advice and required vaccination (if applicable)
- pre-assignment briefing including overview of key tasks; key contacts offshore and destination preview (if applicable)
- relocation assistance (if applicable)
Other support for working offshore will be considered and determined on a case by case basis and will be agreed in writing prior to the commencement of the assignment.
For long term assignments an overall package will be negotiated to ensure the staff member can take up the assignment without disadvantage. The package terms and conditions will be based on reasonableness, equity and consistency with staff of a similar level employed by the host organisation while also providing flexibility to suit particular circumstances.
Return from working offshore
Staff returning from working offshore will receive adequate support and information from their manager and colleagues to settle back into their role.
The returning staff member will update and inform their manager and relevant staff about their offshore work.[Next: Supporting documents and information ]