Part-time or fixed-term contract employees

The hiring of workers for a fixed period of time is governed by the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002.

Unless there are special circumstances, a worker on a fixed-term contract will have the same rights as a permanent employee. A worker should have arrangements that are similar to other workers for pay, conditions, benefit packages, pensions, tax, and holidays.

The law regards any employee as permanent if he or she has received a new contract and has worked on a fixed-term contract for four years or more. Genuine business reasons are exceptions to this.

These regulations do not apply to apprentices, students with a year or less of work experience, or people on certain training courses and temporary work schemes.

Part-time workers have the same rights as full-time workers under The Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. Less favourable treatment can only be justified if it directly supports a legitimate objective, is needed to achieve the objective and if it is an appropriate way to achieve it.

Less favourable treatment may relate to terms and conditions of a contract, or disadvantage suffered due to acts or omissions by an employer.