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Our team at Adare Human Resource Management, have used their knowledge and experience to develop a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) around the topic of Fixed Term Contracts. These are aimed at assisting Organisations comply with their obligations under the legislation.

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Are all temporary employees covered by Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003?

The Act captures almost all types of temporary workers. These include all workers who have a contract of employment, the end of which is determined by one of the following:

  • The arrival of a specific date
  • The completion of a specific task
  • The occurrence of a specific event

They include fixed-term workers and specific purpose seasonal workers.

Who can fixed-term workers compare themselves to in terms of company benefits?

Fixed term workers are entitled to be treated in a manner no less favourable than their comparable permanent colleagues. In this regard, fixed-term Employees can compare themselves to a permanent worker provided that:

  • Both workers perform the same work under similar conditions or where their tasks are interchangeable;
  • Both workers perform similar work or where the difference between their work is of small importance;
  • The work performed by the fixed-term Employee is of equal or greater value in terms of skill level physical or mental requirements or responsibility.

Fixed-term workers can select a comparator from within same or associated company, from within the same industry or sector comparator may sometimes be defined within a collective agreement.

Our company has a number of employees who have engaged on successive fixed term contracts for the past three years. We no longer require their services. Is the company exposed if we let them go?
If Employees were engaged on successive fixed-term contracts, their service would be considered to be continuous under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 to 2011. Therefore their dismissal would automatically be considered unfair unless proven otherwise by the Employer. However, if the positions for which these workers were recruited no longer existed, it may constitute a genuine redundancy situation. If this is the case, these workers had accrued more than two years service, they would be covered by the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2012 and they would be entitled to a redundancy payment.

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