A fixed term contract is a formal contract of employment between an employee and an employer, where the duration of the contract is established in advance. The duration can be up until a specific date, or can state until the end of a specific project.
Employers can renew and/or extend fixed term contracts – this can however create an expectation with an employee that the contract will be renewed and/or extended again and again, therefore the terms of the renewal and/or extension should be very clear.
If a fixed term contract expires and an employer expects of an employee to work beyond the agreed period without setting clear terms, i.e. extending or renewing the fixed term contract, the employment may be deemed as permanent.
Employees on a fixed term contract should enjoy the same statutory benefits as permanent employees, such as minimum wages, provident fund and union membership.
It is important to note that the employer’s disciplinary code is applicable to fixed term contract employees as well, and as such can be disciplined whilst in the employ of the employer.
In a Nutshell: A fixed term contract is a limited duration contract of employment, but employees should not be treated differently than permanent employees.
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