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.
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.
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.
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