Updated to include information on López v Servicio Madrileño de Salud (Comunidad de Madrid), an ECJ decision relating to justification for successive renewals of a fixed-term contract.
In a case about the pre-6 April 2013 legal position, the Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Session decision that dismissals that resulted from the expiry of fixed-term contracts did not count towards the threshold for triggering collective redundancy consultation obligations.
David Malamatenios is a partner and Krishna Santra and Colin Makin are senior associates at Colman Coyle Solicitors. They round up the latest rulings.
Practical guidance on employing an individual on a fixed-term contract, including the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002; recruiting temporary workers; break clauses; successive fixed-term contracts; and expiry of the fixed-term contract.
A model policy on fixed-term working, which covers your organisation's rules on the employment of fixed-term employees. The policy describes the situations in which a fixed-term worker might be recruited. These are: when a job will come to an end on a specific date; the worker is needed to complete a particular task; and the worker is covering for an absent employee (for example one on maternity leave). The policy also sets out fixed-term workers' employment rights.
Definition from the XpertHR glossary.
In Kücük v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen  IRLR 697 ECJ, the ECJ held that an employer's use of 13 successive fixed-term contracts over a period of 11 years was not inherently in breach of the Fixed-term Workers Directive, but that the issue of objective justification had to be assessed by the national court on the particular facts of the case.
A model letter on renewal of fixed-term employment.
The European Court of Justice has suggested that it may be possible for employers to justify engaging an individual for more than four years on a succession of fixed-term contracts as he or she moves around to cover work for different absent employees.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to fixed-term employees.