Employers must beware fixed-term contract changes

Employers face a potential minefield under new rules due to
be introduced on fixed term contracts an employment law firm has warned.

Lauren Anysz, employment lawyer with Leeds-based Morris
Solicitors, said that the new regulations would particularly hit the tourist industry
where temporary workers may be employed for a short time interspersed with
frequent bouts of unemployment.

The rules will also impact on fixed term contract workers
such as teachers who have gaps between their contracts.

“The Government hopes to introduce legislation in July, to
implement the EU Council Directive on fixed term work.  This is to prevent the abuse of successive
fixed term contracts, which can result in employees being left without any
remedy for alleged poor treatment,” said Anysz.

Anysz is calling for clearer guidelines on what constitutes
continuity of employment.  She warns
that if employers keep employees on beyond a fixed summer term, then they may
be liable to claims of unfair dismissal where an employee has a succession of fixed
term contracts building up to a year of continuous service.


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