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Types of contract

Updating author: Jeremy Fitzgibbon


  • Indefinite contracts require some flexibility to be built into them to enable the employer to change the terms to meet changing conditions. (See Indefinite contracts)
  • The term "temporary contract" can be used to describe a contract that is not expected to be indefinite. However, the usual employment rights apply. (See Temporary contracts)
  • A fixed-term contract is one that ends on a specified date or on the occurrence of a particular event. (See Fixed-term contracts)
  • The employment of part-time workers is regulated by the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551). Job-sharing, annualised hours or term-time only contracts can be a form of part-time working. (See Part-time contracts, Job-sharing, Annualised hours and Term-time only contracts)
  • Casual contracts and zero hours contracts are sometime used by employers where the demand for work is unpredictable. Their use can result in uncertainty about the employment status of the individuals engaged under them. (See Casual contracts and zero hours contracts)
  • Where a secondment agreement is entered into, the rights and obligations of the secondee, host employer and original employer should be agreed and documented. (See Secondment)
  • Volunteers are individuals who offer their skills or labour to an organisation in return for no payment. (See Volunteers)
  • Apprenticeship contracts impose a heavy training duty on employers, and apprentices are more difficult to dismiss than other staff. (See Apprenticeship contracts)

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