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When does a temporary contract give you permanent rights?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Irulan, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. As the title says - I thought after two years continuous service I had permanent rights. That is, if redundancies are made, I will be in the mix. A colleague says it's three years. Does anyone know?
  2. As the title says - I thought after two years continuous service I had permanent rights. That is, if redundancies are made, I will be in the mix. A colleague says it's three years. Does anyone know?
  3. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    It's exactly 2 years - just happened to me so I know. The law says redundancy payment is 'two years and over'. You don't have exactly the same rights as permanent staff, your job can still end, but if it does you are entitled to a redundancy payment.
    mrspearson likes this.
  4. really there is no such thing as a perminent contract, it should be called an open end contract, as it's all about end rights.
  5. Thanks guys.
    Phatsals: you said that my job can still end. If the teaching staff will be reduced at my school, does this mean that I will be the one to go or will I be treated like a permanent member of staff. As I understand it, in a redundancy situation, staff would be allocated points according to responsibilities etc so that redundancies are made on an objective basis. Would I be treated like this or would it just be bye?
  6. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    It depends on the reason for your job being contract. What could happen is a restructuring where your post disappears meaning the post isn't permanent thus you can be exited. There is a lot of debate on fixed v permanent contracts but the reality is that if you are working for someone manipulative your post can disappear and there is nothing you can do.
    I took this up with the NUT at regional level. Yes procedure has to be followed but if it's your post that has gone you have to decide if it's a fight you can win or if you should take the money - I took the money along with the bitter taste. At least that was better than the original offer of nothing. There should be staff consultation about staff restructure, but in a small school this may not happen. Are you secondary or primary?
    If you can, get your hands on the school policy for dismissal and find out why your job is contract - are you covering for an absent teacher, ie the role is permanent, though you may not be, find out all the background facts and most of all be prepared. Find out if the school has a policy on redundancy, if they do get your hands on a copy.
  7. Informant

    Informant New commenter

    Well 2 years service may be the consideration for redundancy payments, but you have automatic right of contract renewal and same employment rights as a permanent employee after serving temp contracts exceeding 1 year. At 4 years you would automatically become a permanent employee, but until then you can only be fairly dismissed if "the tunnel is complete", the bridge is now built", "the software has been delivered", etc. Your rights include appropriate training and same consideration as anyone else to treatment in selection for redundancy. In fact hiring temporary staff for over one year is considered by many organisations to be less preferable to permanent recruitment for these very reasons.
    I append quotes from
    but there is plenty of info on the net including some interesting NHS HR info.
    The non-renewal of a fixed-term contract is in law a dismissal for all employment
    protection purposes. Providing you have one year’s continuous employment, you have
    the right not to be unfairly dismissed and to make a complaint of unfair dismissal if your
    employer fails to renew your contract without giving you a fair reason.
    A “fair” dismissal would be, for example, on the return of the substantive post holder or
    the completion of the job for which the contract was given. Dismissal might be unfair if
    your contract was not renewed but another person was appointed to do the job on
    another fixed-term contract.
    Dismissal due to redundancy will be unfair if the selection for redundancy was solely on
    the basis of the contract being fixed term or temporary. Non-renewal of a fixed-term
    contract due to redundancy may also be unfair dismissal in other circumstances.
    Dismissal on grounds of redundancy may be unfair if consultation procedures were not
    complied with, the basis for selection was discriminatory or the employer failed to
    consider alternative employment for the person involved.

  8. Thanks for all the replies. You have been incredibly helpful. I'm in primary, and there may/may not be restructuring at the end of the year and I wanted to know where I stood vis-a-vis permanent staff. Wasn't sure whether I needed to be looking for a job now or whether I would be able to stand with other staff on redundancy grounds.
  9. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    Having contacted ACAS and solicitors and Unions etc I'm pretty clued up on Fixed Term contracts. The right not to be 'Unfairly Dismissed' actually means by the in house Dismissal policy, in other words if the school has followed their policy then it is fair. There is as yet no body of case law since the changes in legislation in April. The rules that were in place then regarding consultation for Fixed Term Contracts no longer apply as they were considered a hindrance.
    Since the change in legislation on Fixed Term Contracts you no longer have a need to be consulted 6 months beforehand that you contract will not be renewed. That is taken as a given. What you need to know is the date you can expect to be notified of its renewal (this is not enshrined in law). Permanent staff can expect to know by Feb half term.
    Remember it's not YOU who is being made redundant, it's the post and on that basis you CAN'T be selected for redundancy. Restructuring however is another matter, then the post can be made redundanct.
    Don't jump ship yet, get hold of the policies, find out the LEAs policy on redundancy payment and make sure that if you are selected you get your entitlement.
    The only time your contract can be automatically made permanent is if it's been renewed dmor than once and has gone on for 4 years although you can request permanency at any time. This doesn't apply if your job is to fill a project that lasts that long.
    I know more and can go into great detail. I am VERY well informed on this - ask if you need more.
    henrysleight likes this.
  10. Thanks for the information. I'll wait and see at the moment. I don't want to give any more details on the forum as this could then start to identify me. I appreciate your help. [​IMG]
  11. Irulan, you could PM phatsals if you don't want to put any further (and possibly identifying) information on the forum.

    Good luck x
  12. Thanks for that, kingfisherblue. Might well do but just lying low at the moment. Sorry I took so long getting back to you but just getting a bit bogged down at the moment.
  13. Could you still offer help on Temporary Contract work?
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    This covers it pretty simply. https://www.gov.uk/fixed-term-contracts . As stated on the third page, the right to become permanent applies after 4 years "unless the employer can show there is a good business reason not to do so." My italics, and people often miss this bit when giving advice. My interpretation would be that somebody employed on a string of maternity cover contracts might not have the right to become permanent as there is a valid business reason. But that is just my view - before taking anything further, it is wise to get union or other legal advice.

    Another interesting area is when somebody has successive contract with different schools (not academies) with the same LA. Although the school does the recruiting, it could be argued that it is the same employer, so rights develop even though they never work for one school for more than a year. I have no idea if this has been tested.
  15. mageep

    mageep New commenter

    Hi if you are on a Temp Contact can you be made Permanent without going through interview process, if its under 4yrs off renewal? Also if the contact runs till the end off August and they want to renew must it be renewed at this point or can they wait till September to renew and would this be seen as a break in employment?
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    There is no rule in law that says that there needs to be an interview for any job. Schools may have their own policies on the subject. I trained under the GTP scheme, meaning that I had a one year contract with the school, and I was offered a permanent job without even asking a little over half way though it. Perhaps it was because I had asked permission to attend two interviews.

    If you have worked for two years, you have rights concerning dismissal and redundancy, so you might have something to say if they put a gap between contracts (ending one on 31 August and starting the next on 1 September is not a gap). If there is a day or more when you are not employed there, that does count as a break in employment. It would be up to you whether you accepted it. If you have any doubts, then your union is the place to go for proper employment law advice.

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