which we must pay special attention to. Managers must be extremely vigilant toensure that the temporary contract reflects the specific circumstance of eachindividual’s temporary employment.
The Act stipulates that fixed-term employees must be informed which of the threeconditions (i), (ii) or (iii) above will apply to the ending of their contract. Therefore, atthe commencement of an employee’s temporary employment s/he should be providedwith a contract, which in addition to providing the standard information relating to theterms and conditions of employment, should include information relating to theemployment circumstances and the objective reason which will bring about thetermination of their contract, e.g.1• Reaching a specific date, e.g. 31st December 2010
Renewal of fixed-term contracts – section 9 of the 2003 Act
Every effort should be made to identify the exact duration of the contract and thecontract issued for this period so it will not have to be renewed. Initial fixed-termcontracts can be issued for any period (1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years). If theemployee’s contract is terminated after this initial period (reaching the expiry dateafter e.g. 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, 10 year contract) i.e. there is no renewal, the employeehas no further entitlements under this legislation and s/he is not entitled to a contractof indefinite duration.Renewing fixed-term contracts is where employees gain potential entitlements.Section 9(2) of the legislation states that where fixed-term employees are recruitedafter the passing of the Act and are employed on two or more continuous temporarycontracts the total duration of these contracts may not exceed four years or thecontract will be deemed to be one of indefinite duration.
For example, an employee whose two year initial fixed-term / temporary contract is subsequently renewed will be automatically deemed to have a contract of indefiniteduration when a four year aggregate has been exceeded in the absence of objective grounds.
Information to fixed-term employees on renewal of a fixed-term contract – section 8 of the 2003 Act
The University must also inform the employee in writing of the objective reasons (seeAppendix 2 – sample letter) for the renewal of the fixed-term contract and the reasonas to why s/he is not being offered a permanent contract. This information must be setout in writing (separate to the employment contract) to the employee no later than thedate of the renewal. The University cannot retrospectively supply this information tothe employee. This aspect of the Act is one which we must pay special attention to.Managers must be extremely vigilant to ensure that the temporary contract reflects thespecified circumstance of each individual’s temporary employment.
Certain positions within the University of Limerick are not permanent and probablynever will be i.e. Research Post Docs. Therefore good practice in relation this staff grouping would be to issue X (2/3/4/?) year non-renewable fixed-term contracts. Research Post Docs should be informed of this in advance of taking up a research post so they are fully informed and have no false expectations.