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permanent Vs fixed term contract

(15 Posts)
Hollyab12 Wed 17-Jun-15 22:25:03

Hi

I've been employed by the same company (public sector) for 7 years. The first 3 on a fixed term contract and then I was told I had been made permanent (didn't receive a new contract though).

I've felt a bit vulnerable as some projects I work are coming to an end, so applied for a role I have been doing 50% for the last 10 months which is basically the same grade as my current role but funded a bit differently and with a different job title. I got the job. I was informed today that the new contract would be fixed term for 2 years, even though I'm currently on a permanent contract. They've said there is a very good chance of further funding beyond this which seems likely based on what I've heard from colleagues. I haven't been given notice of my current contract but it wouldn't be a particularly secure position so I definitely want the new job.

I'm uncertain what I'll loose if I move to a fixed term contract, other than that they don't need to give me notice in advance of the 2 years being up. Is it worth raising this with HR or should I just sign it? My plan was to contact HR and ask for a copy of my current contract so that I can compare it to the new one when I get it.

Any advice about this would be very much appreciated! I don't really want to make a fuss, I work with lovely people but I'm not particularly confident in our HR department based on past experiences.

Thanks very much for any advice you might have.

MaizieDaiziesxx Wed 17-Jun-15 23:13:24

Hello! I've not been in this kind of HR for a while but I'd advise to call the ACAS helpline, it's free and they can give you practical advice about your current employment rights and any that would carry over into your new role, even if an FTC. ..

Hollyab12 Wed 17-Jun-15 23:38:09

Thanks, will do!

helgaw99 Wed 17-Jun-15 23:57:35

Hello
I don't think they can swap you from a permanent contract to a fixed term contract. As long as you are working for same employer your contract stays as is with changes to salary if required.

Also I don't think you are allowed to be employed via multiple fixed term contracts. After 2 years continuous service your contract basically defaults to permanent and you gain all redundancy benefits etc.
Def worth a call to ACAS as I think you are getting a bit screwed.
HTH
Hx

flowery Thu 18-Jun-15 08:34:09

You don't lose anything. You are still permanent. All it means is that you know your role is due to come to an end in two years because of funding. At that point either it will be extended, or they will find you something else, or, if there isn't anything suitable, you'll be redundant and get redundancy pay.

Your rights aren't affected.

Hollyab12 Thu 18-Jun-15 11:45:00

Thanks very much for the advice, very reassuring!

Hollyab12 Fri 19-Jun-15 11:19:12

So after doing the job for 10 months (and working there for 7 years) I've been given a 6 month probation period - seems a bit unnecessary! Worth raising or just sign without fuss since I know it's a formality and highly unlikely to be a problem?

flowery Fri 19-Jun-15 11:30:39

It's completely meaningless legally. It doesn't make it easier or quicker to dismiss you as you've been there 7 years already.

While it seems completely OTT in your individual circumstances, I imagine it's a standard thing, and given it makes no difference legally, probably not worth making a fuss about.

Hollyab12 Fri 19-Jun-15 12:15:32

Thanks very much for the advice. Hopefully it'll be at least another 7 years before I have to get to grips with employment contracts again!

HRAdvisor Thu 25-Jun-15 00:00:37

It's completely meaningless legally. It doesn't make it easier or quicker to dismiss you as you've been there 7 years already.

That's not true. It will be an express term and condition of your employment that the organisation's normal disciplinary policy/procedure does not apply during a probation period. However, they must dismiss you fairly, as you'll have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

OP, I'm a little bit worried you've been misled. Once you resign from your current role, and sign a fixed term contract, you will forfeit your right to permanent employment. It is your choice to move from a permanent contract to a fixed term contract.

If the choice was of the company's due to a restructuring, then it would be different. You're effectively resigning from a permanent role and opting to undertake a role that is fixed term in nature. Once that term expires, your contract will automatically expire and you will be dismissed by 'Some Other Substantial Reason (End of Fixed Term Contract) without the need for notice from either party of such contract.

flowery Thu 25-Jun-15 05:27:13

"That's not true. It will be an express term and condition of your employment that the organisation's normal disciplinary policy/procedure does not apply during a probation period."

Seen the OPs contract have you??

"However, they must dismiss you fairly, as you'll have the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal."

Yes. And even if her contract does say the disciplinary procedure doesn't apply, that statement will be meaningless legally as if they dismissed her without using it, that would be unfair dismissal due to her length of service.

hmm

Hollyab12 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:24:24

Thanks for clarifying, my main concern re the permanent/fixed term contract issue was that I wouldn't receive any redundancy if they did not find follow on funding. When I spoke to the person on the ACAS helpline they assured me that as there will be no gap between the contracts it would still be continuous service and I wouldn't lose any redundancy entitlement. Still slightly nervous about this so I've asked to have a chat with HR to confirm and will get anything important in writing.

I'm less worried about the probation as I know this is a formality. I am planning to ask HR if it is necessary, and confirm exactly what would happen if I didn't pass the probation. I can't see anything in the section of the contract about disciplinary procedure not applying.

They've also sent me some confusing pension forms to rejoin the pension scheme - which seems like another unnecessary lot of bureaucracy - so I'll be asking for an explanation of that too.

I am very glad I don't work in HR, this seems like a minefield!

Thanks for your advice

flowery Thu 25-Jun-15 13:46:18

Yes Acas are right. Just because it's technically a fixed term contract doesn't mean you'd lose redundancy entitlement. If there's no role for you to move into and the role isn't extended, the reason for dismissal would be redundancy, not SOSR, and you'd get redundancy pay based on your length of service.

HRAdvisor Thu 25-Jun-15 20:35:18

Seen the OPs contract have you??

Yes. Haven't you?

Yes. And even if her contract does say the disciplinary procedure doesn't apply, that statement will be meaningless legally as if they dismissed her without using it, that would be unfair dismissal due to her length of service.

There are numerous reasons that are automatically unfair, unrelated to probation periods, you know?

flowery Fri 26-Jun-15 08:20:39

Why would you assume I'd seen the OPs contract? And if you have, you presumably know her in which case why on earth are you advising her on here?

Not sure what the relevance of there being a variety of reasons for unfair dismissal is to the discussion.

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