Employers call for more time on fixed-term law

Employers’ bodies are demanding that the next government delays the
implementation of the EU directive on fixed-term work to allow companies more
time to meet its requirements.

The consultation period on the directive, which is intended to prevent
fixed-term workers from being less favourably treated than permanent staff,
closed last week, and it is set to become law on 10 July.

Peter Martin, director of employment policy at the Engineering Employers’
Federation, said, "Employers are being given little or no time to prepare
for these changes."

Implementation of the law must be delayed by at least three months,
according to Robbie Gilbert, chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Statute
and Practice.

Employers are also in the dark over what they have to do to meet the
requirements of the new directive because the regulations have not yet been

The directive, agreed by the European Council in 1999, also aims to limit
the practice of employing a member of staff in a "permanent role"
through successive fixed-term contracts.

The DTI estimates that 1.3 million people in the UK work on fixed term


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