In Tuition – 16/03/2016 FIXED TERM EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS….What are they?

Last year I briefly talked about the difference between permanent, fixed term and a casual employment agreement. Now it’s time to get more familiar with what a fixed term employment is, when you can use it and how you use them.

A fixed term employment agreement is one that is in place for only a fixed period of time.

It’s useful if you don’t necessarily want a permanent employee as the work you have only requires someone for a fixed period or to complete a particular job and, you don’t want the uncertainly a casual employment arrangement can give.

To have a fixed term employment agreement you need to have a good reason and the good reason explains why the employment is only for a fixed period.

Some reasons may be to cover another employee who is on long term leave, you may need an extra pair of hands during a busy season or you may have a project to be completed.

There are some that you cannot use for a fixed term employment agreement. These include testing someone’s suitability for the job, that you want to only commit to them for a short period or you are trying to avoid any personal grievance claim.

How this fixed term ends must be detailed. It could be on a set date, at a set event or at the end of a project.

If you have a fixed term employment agreement you must ensure that the employee knows about it, why it is being used and how it will end. As well as being explicit about the employment being fixed term these details must also be written up in the terms and conditions of employment.

Fixed term employment agreements are useful but the use of them needs to be valid and real to warrant using them.

On a completely different point – remember that the minimum wage goes up to $15.25 from the 1st of April 2016. This of course also has an effect on the starting-out wage and training wage.

If you are not already well into sorting out your Health & Safety ready for the new Act, now is not too late. The Health & Safety at Work Act 2015 and all its related Regulations comes into play on the 4th of April 2016.

If you would like to discuss your specific needs or require assistance with any of your ‘people’ issues, please do contact me.