In this Ordinance, "fixed-term contract" is defined in accordance with the Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favorable Treatment) Regulations 2002; that is, as a contract of employment that, under its provisions determining how it will terminate in the normal course, will terminate:
A "permanent contract" is a contract which is open-ended and is not for a fixed-term, but any such contract may be lawfully terminated in various circumstances, including resignation, retirement, ill-health, gross misconduct and redundancy.
Where a member of staff disagrees that circumstances are exceptional as set out in this ordinance, he or she has a right of review as set out in section 8, below. In addition there will be six-monthly meetings between the University and the trade unions to discuss circumstances that have been determined by the University to be exceptional, and in the event of disagreement as to what amounts to exceptional circumstances, the principles to apply in future cases will be determined by the Personnel and Staff Development Committee of Council. The trade unions will have the right to make written representations.
The Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 require that staff employed on a fixed-term basis enjoy the same terms and conditions as permanent staff. Members of staff on fixed-term contracts shall:
Subject to the further qualifications set out below in section 5, fixed-term contracts will only be used in the University for transparent, necessary and objective reasons, as follows:
In addition, no fixed-term contract will be awarded for a period longer than four years, other than in exceptional circumstances, and there will be no more than three successive renewals or extensions for periods of one year or less of a fixed-term contract of one year or less, other than in exceptional circumstances.
Where a post has been created as a fixed-term post, but the University decides that it will become permanent, the fixed-term post-holder will be awarded the permanent contract unless the fixed-term post is (1) to be replaced by a permanent post with responsibilities that are substantially different to those currently being undertaken by the fixed-term post-holder and (2) after discussion with the individual and/or their representative, the University considers that it is appropriate to open the post to competition.
In the light of the Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002, unless there are objectively justifiable grounds to do otherwise, if all the following apply:
There are some objectively justified grounds for not awarding a permanent contract in those circumstances, as follows:
When considering the case for permanency, full account will be taken of the individual’s employment history with the University.
Wherever a fixed-term contract is due to terminate, the procedure shall be as follows:
If a fixed-term contract is not renewed or extended, or a permanent contract is not offered at the end of a fixed-term contract, at the earliest possible date and at the latest within fourteen days of the expiry of the contract, the University shall give the member of staff reasons for the decision in writing. The member of staff has the right to request a review of any such decision, as set out in section 8, below.
Within twenty working days of receipt of notification of a decision concerning a fixed-term contract, the member of staff may request Council to review the decision. The request must be made to the University Secretary in writing, setting out clearly the grounds on which the request is made. Council shall appoint a committee of three to conduct the review, including a lay member of Council and, in the case of a member of staff to whom Statute 32 applies, a member of the academic staff appointed by Senate. The member of staff may address the committee in person and be represented by an adviser, friend or trade union or other representative. The University may be represented by a member of staff or lawyer. If the committee considers that the University’s decision was unreasonable, or insupportable in the light of legal considerations or the University’s statutes and ordinances, it may require the University to renew or extend a fixed-term contract or to offer the member of staff a permanent contract. The Committee’s decision shall be final. The committee shall give reasons for its decision, which shall be sent to the member of staff and reported to Council.
 Although it could be argued that many academic and research posts require "specialist skills" this provision is intended to relate to other specialist skills which are required for a limited period. Use of this provision will be subject to six monthly review between the relevant Unions and the University to ensure that it is not used beyond its intended application.
Approved by Council 2 July 2010
Updated 21 September 2010 by Human Resources
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