is for work requiring regular, committed full or
part-time weekly hours
ends when the specific need, task or project is
If work is still needed at the end of the agreed term, the contract can be extended.
When do I use a Fixed-Term Contract?
Fixed-term contracts can be used:
to provide extra resource during particularly
to deliver a specific task or project
to cover long-term absence such as maternity
leave, long-term sickness or secondments
when a role has a defined period of funding
to deliver specific services where client needs
What Rights Do Employees On Fixed Term Contracts Have?
Fixed-term employees must receive the same treatment and
terms as permanent staff doing the same or a similar job.
Employees on fixed-term contracts have full
The employment contract must state when the
contract is due to end and why it is for a fixed term
A fixed-term contract should also state any
circumstances where the contract may end early. For instance, if absence cover
is no longer required, or there is an unexpected loss of funding for a role
Terms can be pro-rata where applicable
Fixed-term employees working continually for the
same employer for two years or more will have the same redundancy rights as a
Fixed-term contracts can be used for a period of
up to 4 years’. After this, employees are entitled to a permanent contract,
unless the employer can show why a fixed-term contract should continue
Normal employment procedures should be followed,
including any disciplinary, capability and grievance processes
A fair termination process must be followed if a
contract needs to end early
Ending or Extending the Contract
Employers do not have to give notice that a contract is due
to end on a pre-agreed date. However, it is good practice to confirm details
with the employee ahead of the end date.
There may be occasions when a contract needs to end early.
when project funding is unexpectedly pulled
if the substantive postholder returns to work
earlier than expected, for instance from maternity leave
If a contract ends early, give as much notice as possible to the employee. It’s worth noting that employers’ may be legally obligated to pay the individual for the full contract term. This will depend on the contract terms and why the contract is ending early.
If the fixed term contract has lasted for more than 2 consecutive years, the employee will be legally entitled to a redundancy payment when the contract comes to a natural end.
If an employee is not performing as required, normal HR
policy and procedures such as disciplinary, capability or
sickness absence should be followed to legally end the employment
relationship. Under these circumstances, redundancy
would not apply.
Fixed term contracts can be extended where agreed between employer and employee. Discussions around potential extensions should take place as early as possible to allow both parties to plan.
Do you need advice on using fixed-term contracts in your
business? Contact Concilium HR today on 07885 370054 or email