- Fixed-term employees have the right to protection from less favourable treatment compared with permanent employees (this protection does not extend to workers who are not employees)
- Employers should apply the pro rata principle unless this is inappropriate
- Employers may consider a 'term by term' or 'package' comparison when comparing terms
- Fixed-term employees may challenge less favourable treatment on the basis of fixed-term status where this cannot be objectively justified by the employer
- An employee who is employed on successive fixed term contracts for four years will be treated as permanent unless the employer can objectively justify the continued use of fixed-term contracts
- An employee on a fixed term contract has the same statutory rights as permanent staff, notably the right not to be unfairly dismissed following two years' employment.
- Non-renewal of a fixed-term contract will usually be because of redundancy or some other substantial reason (SOSR)
- Employers should ensure that fixed-term contracts contain a provision to allow for the early termination of the contract with notice.
The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act received Royal Assent on 18 September 2023. This Act is designed to “combat” the one-sided flexibility often present in employment relationships that involve variable or zero hours, or are for a fixed term of less than 12 months.
This constitutes a huge change for “tens of millions” of employees across the UK who currently must wait to have their hours, if any, to be confirmed.