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Fixed-term contracts

Updating author: Susan Mayne


  • An employee or worker on a temporary fixed-term contract is employed (or engaged) to work for the duration of a specified task or for a specified period. (See Overview)
  • Whether a fixed-term worker is an "employee" or a "worker" will depend in large part on the existence or otherwise of mutuality of obligation. (See Distinguishing between an "employee" and a "worker")
  • Fixed-term workers, whether or not they are employees, have certain statutory rights, including the right not to be discriminated against contrary to the Equality Act 2010. (See Statutory rights of fixed-term workers)
  • Fixed-term workers who are employees enjoy the same statutory employment rights as their permanent counterparts. (See Statutory rights of fixed-term employees)
  • Fixed-term employees have the right not to be treated less favourably than comparable permanent employees under the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2034). (See Fixed-term Employees Regulations)
  • Where an employee has been employed continuously under a succession of fixed-term contracts for a period of four years or more, any renewal of the employment at the end of the most recent fixed-term contract will be deemed to create permanent employment status. (See Fixed-term employees and acquisition of permanent status)
  • A fixed-term employee cannot waive his or her right to a statutory redundancy payment on the termination of his or her contract. (See Redundancy)
  • Employers have certain health and safety duties in relation to workers and employees on fixed-term contracts. (See Health and safety considerations)

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