Can an employer advertise a position internally and state that only applications from permanent employees will be considered?
Limiting an internal advertisement to applications from permanent employees only is contrary to the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2034). Regulation 3 has the effect that employers must give their fixed-term employees the same opportunity to secure permanent positions in the business as permanent employees. Any difference between the availability of internal vacancies to fixed-term staff and their availability to permanent staff would need to be objectively justified.
Regulation 3 also provides that fixed-term employees have the right to be informed by the employer of available vacancies within the business. For these purposes, an employee is "informed" only if the vacancy is contained in an advertisement that the employee has a reasonable opportunity of reading in the course of their employment, or the employee is given reasonable notification of the vacancy in some other way.
It is therefore advisable for employers to inform fixed-term employees of vacancies in the same way and at the same time as permanent employees, whether this means displaying a vacancy notice in a place where all employees would be expected to see it or emailing the vacancy list to all members of staff.