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Do I have any claim to the job?


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Dear All

 

Hope you can help me with some advice. I took over someone's substantive post in November 2005 whilst they went on Secondment. Initially my contract was for until March 2006. It was then extended until March 2007 and then again until March 2008. Do I have have any claim on the job as I have been in post over 2 years. I have been told my contract will end in March 2008 or if the substantive post holder wishes to return. However based on past experience the contract may be extended again but it is not a very nice position to be in.

 

Can anyone help

Many Thanks

Chesham35

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Sadly the employer may keep you on fixed term contracts for 4 years before he has to justify why your employment status cannot be deemed 'permanent'. You will therefore have to hope that you are offered a further extension until the end of 2009 at which point you are entitled to receive 'permanent' staff status or a statement from the employer as to why your employment should remain 'fixed term'.

 

You should however be receiving exactly the same treatment at work with regard to pension, pay and benefits (and redundancy in certain circumstances) as a permanent employee in the same role for as long as your employment lasts.

 

You say that your contract will end in March 2008 or if the substantive post holder returns - is it stated that you have employment until March 2008, until the post holder returns, or both? If you have a contract until March 2008 and the post holder returns early so you are forced to leave, then that would constitute a breach of contract, unless you have agreed to a condition where you will leave before the end of the term.

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Dear Sidewinder

Thank-you for the response. I did think that may be the case about 4 years but wasn't sure. I do get exactly the same treatment so that's not a problem.

The last letter I received says That my contract has been extended until March 2008 or until the substantive postholder wishes to return. So looks like they've covered their bases and I would get the standard 4 weeks notice.

Many Thanks for your help

Chesham5

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I hope for your sake that the other person decides not to return to work - it sounds as if you have a job which you don't mind doing, which is a rare thing!

 

All the best and fingers crossed.

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Hello,

Hope you don't mind me coming in on this, but I did a lot of research into this for a friend not so long back. Regluations for fixed term contracts changed in 2002. Under the Fixed Term Contract Regulations (prevention of less favourable Treatment) 2002, it i now unlawful for a fixed term contract to just come to an end. Where a contract is not renewed it is automatically classed as dismissal. There must be a legal reason for this dismissal. This also means that you would have the standard dimissal rights, such as the required notice, a statement of reasons for dismissal, and the right not to be unfairly dismissed. You would also have the right to appeaL. If you have been employed by the same company for over two years you also have full redundancy rights, including redundancy pay, and the right to be offerred alternative suitable employment where it exists. This is regardless of whether you have a fixed term contract or a permanent one.

 

You would have to look into the stake on your job, as it was to cover someone else, but in the worst instance you do have redundancy rights.

 

Please look at the Direct.gov.uk website and look into fixed term contracts. Also look at the ACAS website on the fixed term work section. All the above info is on there. You could speak to an adviser there about your situation, who can let you know where you stand.

 

Hope this helps,

Jo

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Hi Jo

That does help thank-you. I will definitely look at Direct.gov.uk and ACAS. It is good to know that if my contract is ended I may be able to do something about it. Looks like I'll be doing a bit more research into this afterall knowledge is power!!

Appreciate your comments

Many Thanks

Chesham5

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Hello,

Hope you don't mind me coming in on this, but I did a lot of research into this for a friend not so long back. Regluations for fixed term contracts changed in 2002. Under the Fixed Term Contract Regulations (prevention of less favourable Treatment) 2002, it i now unlawful for a fixed term contract to just come to an end.

 

Not quite sure about that as the fixed term contract is still perfectly lawful providing that it gives the employee the opportunity to request an extension or to apply for a permanent position within the organisation - the 2002 Regulations merely ensured the equal treatment of fixed term workers compared to permanent employees. The salary and benefits package must for example be equal to or greater than that of a comparable member of permanent staff, and there must be an equality in terms of emloyment opportunity, progression and length of service considerations. Where the employee makes a formal request to extend the contract or to be given a permanent position, the fixed term may still lawfully come to an end providing that the employee receives a decision and statement of reasons within 21 days of making the request.

 

Where a contract is not renewed it is automatically classed as dismissal. There must be a legal reason for this dismissal. This also means that you would have the standard dimissal rights, such as the required notice, a statement of reasons for dismissal, and the right not to be unfairly dismissed. You would also have the right to appeaL.

 

Correct - in the same way that retirement (where the company is unwilling to accept an extension to a contract) is dismissal on the grounds of Retirement, this would be dismissal on the grounds of a fixed term contract expiring. There would indeed be the requirement to provide adequate notice of the contract not being extended and a right to appeal. Providing that the employer provides objective reasons for not extending the contract though, this would be a fair dismissal.

 

If you have been employed by the same company for over two years you also have full redundancy rights, including redundancy pay, and the right to be offerred alternative suitable employment where it exists. This is regardless of whether you have a fixed term contract or a permanent one.

You would have to look into the stake on your job, as it was to cover someone else, but in the worst instance you do have redundancy rights.

 

Again true, but the right to redundancy pay would only be effected if the dismissal was due to redundancy not dismissal due to the fixed term expiring. The OP could not walk out of the job at the end of March 2008 and expect redundancy pay as well as any other severence unless she was told that her position was being made redundant. If she were no longer required as the original post holder was returning then there is no redundancy entitlement. The OP would be entitled to be considered as an equal in the event of applying for any other suitable vacant position alongside permanent employees. If the company were to find it neccessary to make redundancies for economic or other reasons however, the fixed term employee cannot be selected solely for the reason that she is on a fixed term contract - she would have to enter a pool of possible staff and be assessed in accordance with the criteria applicable to other staff.

 

Please look at the Direct.gov.uk website and look into fixed term contracts. Also look at the ACAS website on the fixed term work section. All the above info is on there. You could speak to an adviser there about your situation, who can let you know where you stand.

 

Good advice - ACAS are an invaluable source of free help.

 

Hope this helps,

Jo

 

Sorry - just clarifying a few points

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Can I also have advice?

I to have worked for more than 6 years doing another job with my T&C'S staying the same as the day I started, my employer wants to drop my pay and T&C'S by 10k, I do have a letter stateing the job change 6 years ago and I do have proof of the job I have been doing for the last 6 years, can they just change my job when it suits?

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So are you saying that you have been doing a different job to the one you did originally, but that you have been kept on your original T&Cs? I take it that this is not a 'fixed term' issue?

 

We could do with a few more details, but in essence, and if I have understood correctly then - No, you are entitled to believe that your current duties, pay and conditions are your regular terms - implied contract terms as the result of Custom and Practice. Consequently if they are trying to revert your role to your original one of 6 years ago with a resultant drop in salary, hours, benefits or any other material change then this must be negotiated and cannot be amended without your agreement.

 

It may be worth starting a new thread and copy your post above to it in order for more people to offer advice.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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On the original point I have to agree with Jomc here. You have full employment rights. Employers cannot keep extending fixed term contracts or if they do its makes no differance as you are now a permanent employee.

 

In reply to Toutvent, you haven't had a pay rise for 6 years??!!

 

No they can't unless you agree and who is going to agree to a pay cut of £10K??

 

As always, if you are a Union members they will be able to help you with these issues.

 

Regards,

 

Paul.

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