What is a fixed-term employment contract? 

by | Dec 9, 2021

A fixed-term employment contract holds the same benefits as a full or part-time contract but with a specific end-of-contract date agreed in advance. Fixed-term contracts end when either a predetermined task is completed, a specific event occurs, or the term reaches its completion date.

A fixed-term contract allows an employer to take on extra staff when the business needs them. For example, during busy periods, to fulfil substantial orders, fill seasonal roles, or cover maternity or long-term sickness.

Agency workers aren’t counted as fixed-term staff; neither are students and trainees on work experience. Other specified period contracts that aren’t considered fixed-term employees are apprentices and members of the armed forces.

Fixed-term employees are entitled to:

  • Equal pay and conditions as permanent staff
  • Equivalent benefits packages
  • Information about permanent vacancies within the company or organisation
  • Protection against redundancy or dismissal
  • Equal redundancy rights after 2 years or more continual work

Fixed-term contracts can end early or be extended depending on the requirements of the employer. Under standard operation, no notice period needs to be given.

Where a contract isn’t renewed:

  • Employees are entitled to redundancy rights after 2 years of continued service.
  • They can apply for a written statement providing the reasons after completing a full year of service.

Where early termination occurs:

  • The employer is in breach of contract if they can’t provide a good reason for the early exit.
  • An appropriate term of notice must be set and worked. The minimum notice is 1 week for workers who have worked for at least 1 month, and 1 week for each year worked when workers have over 2-years of continual service.
  • Employees must give the appropriate notice (1 week if they’ve worked over a month) when they choose to terminate the contract early.

Disclaimer

The above is intended as guidance only and does not substitute legal advice. Please browse our existing Employment Contract services or get in touch with LegalDrop via our contact page if you need assistance.

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