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Temporary or Fixed Term?

Temporary or Fixed Term

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Could someone explain the difference (if any) between a temporary contract and a fixed-term one? For example, if an employee is offered a fixed-term contract for, say, 6 months, is the employer obliged to pay them for that 6 months, even if work 'dries up'? Any assistance would be appreciated.
Karen Beardsley

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By User deleted
13th Sep 2006 10:36

A fixed-term contract is one that has a termination date. The duration of the fixed-term contract may be for any period and the contract may provide that a notice to terminate the employment earlier than the original termination date can be given; if there is no notice provision, employment is guaranteed for the full period. A fixed-term contract will automatically expire at the end of its term.

A temporary contract is to cover short term gaps in staffing. Normally issued on an open basis with a set notice period.

It should be noted that after a year an employee’s rights change and become fundamentally the same as someone working on an established contract.

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By kambains
13th Sep 2006 10:38

Hi Karen,

A fixed term contract is one which has pre-defined expiry date or event, whereas a temporary contract is when where the employment term is intended to be for a limited time period however the exact date of expiry is not known.

Where the fixed term contract does not contain any provision for early termination, then the employer would be obliged to pay for the full term even if there was no work available. This is why it's sensible in almost all cases to include a provision for early termination in fixed term contracts.

You should note that the The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations largely treat fixed term contract and temporary contracts as one and the same thing.

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