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How do I determine if an employee is Fixed Term (Specified Term), Fixed Term (Specified Purpose)

An employer must consider the reason for hiring the person on a temporary bases. If the employee is hired in order to replace someone who is absent or for a specific project, the employee is best served with a specific purpose contract and outlining the reason in the contract. The advantage of this type of contract, is that it makes it clear from the outset that when the circumstances outlined change then the contract will end. The disadvantage is that the employer must be wary of changing the role of the individual to something other than the specific purpose for which he/she was hired. E.g. if the person was hired to replace someone on maternity leave and when the person on maternity leave returns, the temporary employee is moved onto a different task, then he/she should receive a new contract.

A fixed term contract specifies a finishing date and is particularly useful for employers who hire extra staff for seasonal requirements. Legislation limits the number of continuous fixed term contracts that can be given to an employee before they must be given a contract of indefinite duration.

Employees employed on successive fixed term contracts over four years continuous service can request to be made permanent. The employer can only retain the employee on a fixed term contract if there is an objective justification for this. 



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