Fixed Term Employees:  A Short Guide for Managers

This guide is intended to provide an overview for managers of Fixed Term employees and full information can be found in the University's Code of Practice on Fixed Term Employees.

Determining whether a fixed term appointment is appropriate

Fixed term appointments should only be made where a clear and demonstrable business need exists, such as:

  • A post requiring specialist expertise or experience for a fixed duration.
  • Cover for maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or long term sickness.
  • A post with short-term funding or where funding not likely to be renewed
  • Where business demand is demonstrably uncertain.

Managing fixed term employees

Fixed term employees must not be treated less favourably than a comparable indefinite employee and must:

  • Be included in the appraisal cycle.
  • Have access to training and development opportunities.
  • Be informed of indefinite vacancies and promotion opportunities as they arise.

Fixed term contracts that are renewed or extended will normally be made indefinite after four years of continuous employment unless there are clear business reasons for the post to remain fixed term.

Terminating a fixed term contract:

  • Approximately five months before the end of a fixed term contract, HRD will issue an FTC form.  Managers should immediately explore whether the contract can be renewed, extended or made indefinite, or whether it will need to end on the stated date, in which case consideration should be given to alternatives such as redeployment.
  • No later than four months prior to expiry managers must meet with the employee to discuss options:
  • If the employee plans to leave at the end of the current contract they should confirm this in writing by ticking the appropriate box and signing the FTC form.
  • If the employee wishes to remain the manager should indicate the appropriate option on the form, giving additional details where requested:

1. Funding has been secured for a further period (or indefinite contract)

2. Funding is being actively explored and it is anticipated that an extension is likely.

3. Unsure at this stage whether further funding will become available.

4. The contract will not be renewed.

Mangers should let the appropriate Human Resources Manager know the outcome of the meeting as soon as possible by returning the FTC form. The appropriate Human Resources colleague will then liaise with the Head of

School/Director or line manager as appropriate to ensure that the steps taken prior to the expiry date of the contract are in keeping with employment legislation in relation to fixed term workers.

Guidance on all matters relating to fixed term contracts is available from the Human Resources Division.