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Can a permanent contract be made temporary?

(7 Posts)
HauntedLittleLunatic Mon 26-Nov-12 21:46:59

Exactly as it says in the title.

Friend (along with all employees - small enterprise) has been given a new contract. It states that this replaces any previous contract and is effective from date of issue to a fixed date (in the future).

Is this legal? If so what are the risks?

Obvious one that comes to mind is the fact that from the date stated she will effectively be unemployed unless employer chooses to renew. If employer chooses not to renew then I guess there will be no severence pay.

Also detailed is info about overtime - effectively less than standard hourly rate and less than min wage. Again is this allowed.

flowery Mon 26-Nov-12 22:30:54

How long has she worked there?

It is a change in terms and conditions, which her employer requires her consent for, but if she's not been there long, they could just sack her and offer her the new contract on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Same with the overtime change, it's a change in terms.

If she does take it, the fact that it is a fixed term contract will make no difference to whether she is entitled to redundancy pay when she leaves or not.

HauntedLittleLunatic Mon 26-Nov-12 22:40:56

Only a couple of years, and yes she needs to sign New contract which is effectively consent.

So if she reaches.the date.on the contract what happens then if employer doesn't want her?

And with the overtime rate (which kicks in after.contracted hours of 20hrs ish) is it legal that it is below the minimum wage?

flowery Tue 27-Nov-12 16:23:57

If she reaches the date on the contract, and there is no work for her to do, her employer will make her redundant. Does your friend know why this is happening, because making a fixed contract person redundant isn't really much/any easier than a permanent person. Does the employer know a project will be ending/funding running out or something on a particular date?

As long as she is not earning on average below the minimum wage then the fact that she is paid below that rate for overtime hours isn't illegal in itself. She needs to earn at least minimum wage on average for the hours she works over a month (or a week if she's paid weekly).

HauntedLittleLunatic Tue 27-Nov-12 17:55:55

thanks flowery.
The employees are concerned that this temporary contract will allow another person to be made redundant on the contract end date and that it would be a wayvto avoid paying redundancy pay.

Do you mind if I pm you as I will be able to give more info. I completely understand you are offering advice out of the goodness of your heart and will understand if you say no.

flowery Tue 27-Nov-12 23:21:29

Ok well a temporary contract doesn't remove the need for redundancy pay, so if there is a genuine redundancy situation, the person would still be entitled if they had 2yrs service the same as if they were permanent.

I can't accept pms and give private advice I'm afraid, sorry about that.

Thanks for asking first though, you'd be astonished how many people just pm me without asking if its ok first expecting free private advice on tap!

HauntedLittleLunatic Wed 28-Nov-12 07:20:30

No worries! That's why I asked first. I'm grateful for any advice. You are so helpful on the boards and that's good enough for me. I was just typing the last post and gave too much identifiable info so had to delete it.

Like I say tho I genuinely appreciate the advice you have given me (and others) publicly.

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