CONTRACTS - 19.11.2020

Q&A - fixed term to permanent?

Q. We are considering making a fixed-term job role a permanent position. Must we automatically offer the existing fixed-term post holder the permanent position?

A. Where a fixed-term job role becomes permanent, there’s no obligation to automatically offer it to the current post holder. However, you must inform the fixed-term employee about the availability of this permanent position and all other job vacancies that arise within your business. Any failure on your part to do so would be a breach of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 .

Fixed-term employees should be informed about all job vacancies in the same way as permanent employees. This could be via email or on a notice board. However, where a fixed-term job role is to become permanent, it’s considered good practice to inform the existing post holder about this personally. Do be aware that if you employ any other fixed-term employees, you can’t offer the permanent role to the existing post holder automatically. You could only do so if they are your only fixed-term employee but there would still be a potential risk of discrimination claims from other potential candidates, e.g. external applicants.

If you make a fixed-term job role permanent, you don’t have to automatically offer it to the existing post holder, but they must be told about it. The post can’t be offered to the existing post holder automatically if you employee other fixed-term employees.

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