We require one of our employees to fill a more senior role temporarily but we are not certain how long it will be required. While they are acting in the role, they will be paid the remuneration required for the more senior position. Is there a time limit on employing an existing employee to a more senior role in an acting/temporary basis before we are obliged to offer them the position permanently?
Generally, you can have an employee acting on higher duties for an indefinite period of time, so long as they are receiving the applicable higher rate of pay.
You should also be aware that awards often contain clauses regarding ‘higher duties’. For example, clause 30 the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 provides: “An employee engaged for more than 2 hours, during 1 day on duties carrying a higher rate than the employee’s ordinary classification, must be paid the higher rate for the whole day. Otherwise the employee must be paid the higher rate for the time so worked”.