Fixed term employment contract
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- Plain English makes editing easy
- Guidance notes included
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About this document
A fixed term contract "does what it says", expiring after the term ends.
However, their use is not quite as simple, because the employer must still comply with all of the law that relates to any employee, including that for dismissal. The only difference is that the expiry of a fixed term contract is a “reasonable reason” to dismiss someone who might otherwise claim that the dismissal was unfair.
If the term is for two years or longer, the employer must also follow the law relating to redundancy.
Nevertheless, a fixed term agreement is useful when the employer requires:
short-term cover for another employee who is temporarily unavailable, for example, on maternity leave, a sabbatical, secondment or long term sickness
cover for seasonal demand, for example in retail and agriculture
workers for a specific project, for example in the film, construction and event management industries
This agreement can be used in all these circumstances. It is a carefully considered framework for fair and full protection of the employer and compliance with organisational requirements. It covers all legal requirements for information to be given to an employee. Use of plain English makes editing easy and allows it to be understood by all parties.
The size or business of the employer organisation is not important, nor is the position of the employee. Specifics for different jobs, such as duties, can be added easily, either within the existing text, or by reference to a job description.
In this "information age", all Net Lawman employment contracts are very strong on protection of the employer's secrets and confidential information.
This contract can be reused for subsequent employees.
Recent law affecting this contract
This agreement is regularly reviewed as changes in employment law are frequent. It takes into account that:
the rights of all employees are now the same regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time
it is unlawful to specify a default retirement age
Additionally, disciplinary procedures now follow procedures recommended by ACAS.
Note: this contract reflects that in law, fixed term employees have exactly the same rights as full time workers.
When to use this employment contract
You may use this agreement to:
employ replacement or temporary staff while other staff are away
employ staff for projects of a specific duration
replace your existing contracts that may be out of date
It is suitable for organisations of any type: companies, charities, trusts, partnerships, governmental organisations and others; and for any level of employee, though most appropriate to junior and mid-level staff.
Features and contents
- Complies with current law
- Follows current best practice recommendations by ACAS and other bodies
- All standard terms for a principal statement
- Strong on protection of employer's confidential information
- Specifics for different jobs can be added easily
- Structured so as to minimise the administrative burden of legal compliance
The document includes the following paragraphs:
- Start and continuity
- Job title and description
- Place of work
- Work outside the UK
- Hours of work
- Leave for holidays and other reasons
- Sickness and sick pay
- Other business and employment
- No competition
- Intellectual property
- Collective agreements
- Staff handbook and company policies
- Bribery and other corrupt behaviour
- Disciplinary and grievance procedures: in line with ACAS recommendations
- Procedure after termination
- Summary termination
- Reconstruction or amalgamation
- Data protection
- Severance and invalidity
Practicalities this contract covers
A contract, written or verbal is made as soon as the employee accepts a job offer. So as to minimise future misunderstandings, we recommend providing your written employment contract with the offer letter, so that the employee can return an acceptance letter with a signed copy of the contract.
By law, all employees must be given a “written statement of employment particulars” within two months of starting work. This is a document that sets out the terms of employment that the employer must disclose, known as a “principal statement”. This employment contract includes all the necessary information to act as a principal statement so that you don’t need to provide this information separately in a letter or another document.
Other employment policies and procedures not within the principal statement (such as data protection) could be included in the employment contract. However, it is easier to place all procedures and policies common to all staff in an employee handbook and refer to the handbook in the employment contract. This is the approach Net Lawman recommends.
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.
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