Guidance for Employees - Fixed Term Contracts/Permanent Contracts (funding end date)

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1 Guidance for Employees - Fixed Term Contracts/Permanent Contracts (funding end date) Introduction This guidance aims to provide information to employees who are employed on either a fixed term contract or on a permanent contract (with a funding end date) with information about the process that will be followed towards the end of their contract. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document is also available. (PUT IN LINK). This guidance should be read in conjunction with the Procedure for Managing the end of Fixed Term Contracts. (PUT IN LINK). What is a Fixed Term Contract? A fixed term contract is one which is: Made for a specified period and ends on a certain date, or is Set to end after a task has been completed or an event has occurred As an example, a fixed term contract may be used where there is limited funding for a specific project or may be used to cover leave for an existing member of staff e.g. maternity/adoption leave or secondment. As an employee on a fixed term contract you must not be treated less favourably than a comparable employee on a permanent contract and if you have been employed on a fixed term contract for 4 or more years, you will be eligible to move on to a permanent contract (with a funding end date). The use of a fixed term contract must be objectively justified i.e. there must be good business reasons for doing so. Objective reasons for issuing a fixed term contract are:- Where the post requires specialist expertise or recent experience not available in the institution in the short term To cover for staff absence as appropriate (maternity/adoption leave, long-term sickness or a secondment) note that redundancy will not normally apply in these cases as the job still exists at the end of the fixed term contract. To provide a career development opportunity To respond to uncertainty in student or other business demand Where there is no reasonable foreseeable prospect of short-term funding being renewed/becoming available What is a Permanent (funding end date) contract? If you have been continuously employed for 4 years or more, you will be eligible to move on to a permanent (funding end date ) contract, unless there is an objective justification for the post to remain as a fixed term contract. If your job is supported by funds available for a limited duration, your permanent contract will state the date that funding for your post is due to end. Process for the review of a fixed term contract The fixed term employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 confirm that the expiry or non-renewal of a fixed term contract is a dismissal in law on the grounds of redundancy or for some other substantial reasons (SOSR). Where a post ceases to exist at the end of a fixed term contract, this will be a redundancy. In cases where the fixed term, for example is to cover for the absence of an existing member of staff (e.g. parental leave or a secondment), the reason for end of the fixed term contract will be for some 1

2 other substantial reason. This is because the post will still exist at the end of the fixed term contract. In either case, statutory dismissal procedures apply to staff on fixed term contracts. In brief the following process will be followed: 1. HR will contact the School/Budget Centre at an appropriate point (depending on your terms and conditions) to find out what the possible plans are to extend your contract. Your manager may ask you at this stage about suitable dates to hold a consultation meeting. 2. Start of Consultation - Unless the University can extend your contract (e.g. additional funding has been confirmed, or an alternative post has been identified) you will receive a Start of Consultation letter (Document B in the Procedure) notifying you about the start of consultation period. The consultation period will last for 45 days from the date specified in the Start of Consultation Letter. You will be invited to at least one meeting to discuss the potential end of your contract. You can, if you wish, decide to opt-out of the consultation meeting(s). A form is attached to the Start of Consultation letter which you will need to complete and return to HR should you want to request this (NB opting out of the meetings applies to employees on fixed term contracts only not permanent (funding end date) contracts). 3. Consultation Meeting(s) - The meeting(s) will discuss why the post is due to end and what alternatives there may be to continue your employment; to explain the process and timescales and what will happen if an alternative role cannot be identified. You are entitled to be accompanied at this meeting by a Trade Union Representative or a colleague at the University. It is also your opportunity to ask any questions, raise any concerns and give any suggestions you may have for opportunities to extend your contract. Information will also be provided about redeployment and the process for applying for jobs as a redeployment candidate. 4. Outcome of Consultation Meeting - After the consultation meeting (and any further formal consultation meetings that may take place) you will receive an Outcome of Consultation Meeting (D) letter. This will set out the discussion that took place in the meeting. 5. End of Consultation Period - If at the end of the consultation period, further funding or a suitable alternative post has not been identified, the University will issue you with notice that your post will be ending. If you are eligible for a redundancy payment, you will be notified in this letter. NB: See below if you are an academic member of staff. 6. Notice of Dismissal Your Notice Letter (E) will be issued according to your terms and conditions unless any further funding is confirmed or an alternative post identified. 7. Leavers Information - One month before your contract is due to end you will be sent an End of Fixed Term Contract Letter (F) which will give you details about what you need to know when leaving the University of Birmingham e.g. pension, P45. NB: For academic staff only: As an academic member of staff, in line with University ordinances, you have the right to meet with the Head of School to discuss the end of your fixed term contract and confirm whether it is to end or whether there is to be an extension to the current contract. You will be asked whether you wish to meet with the Head of School during your consultation meeting, which will then be arranged accordingly. Please note the University will follow the above procedure even when funding has been applied for, if the outcome is still unknown or funds are not available to extend at any given point. 2

3 Process for the review of a permanent contract with funding end date Process if you are employed on Support Staff or Administrative and Other Related terms and conditions The process is essentially the same as for fixed term contracts with the exception of being allowed to opt out of the meetings. Process if you are employed on Academic, Research and Analogous or Non-Clinical Teaching terms and conditions The process remains largely the same as for fixed term contracts above with the following exceptions:- Start of Consultation You are entitled, if you wish to make written representations to HR (provide any documentation you feel will support your case) in addition to any meetings which may be arranged to discuss the potential end of your contract. Please note that the University will consider all representations made throughout the consultation period, however, the earlier we receive them in the consultation process, the longer the University will have to consider and respond. Any written representations should be submitted within 21 days of the date of your Start of Consultation letter (B) to The College will respond, during the consultation period, to these representations. Outcome of Consultation - At the end of the consultation period, HR will write to you to let you know the outcome of the consultation process. If further funding or a suitable alternative post cannot be identified at this point, the case for redundancy will need to be referred to the University s Redundancy Panel. Redundancy Panel Process At the end of the consultation period, you will be forwarded the case for redundancy and offered the opportunity to add or amend any written representations you have made during the consultation period. You will be given 14 calendar days notice of the date of the Redundancy Panel meeting at which your case will be heard. You may make representations in writing within 21 days and/or attend the panel meeting in person to make oral representations. The Redundancy Panel will review the evidence for the proposed redundancy and make a recommendation to the Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) who will decide whether to confirm your employment is being terminated by reason of redundancy. HR will write to you following the Redundancy Panel meeting to let you know what their recommendation is and also to communicate the VC nominee s decision. If the decision is to ratify the Redundancy Panel s recommendation, then HR will issue notice to you that your post will end. 3

4 Additional Information for FTC and Permanent (Funding End Date). Opting-out of the Formal Consultation Meeting(s) You are encouraged to attend the consultation meetings but we recognise that some staff may not wish to attend them. If this is the case, you do have the option to opt-out of the formal consultation process by completing and returning the Consultation Meeting Waiver Form. This form is sent out with the Start of Consultation letter. If you wish, you can opt-out of the consultation meeting(s) by simply ing: and letting us know that you do not want to attend the meeting(s). Your School/Budget Centre will keep you updated about any plans that are in place to extend your contract and/or any suitable alternative jobs that may become available. Short term contracts - (Duration less than 6 months) If you are employed on a contract that is for a period of 6 months or less, your offer letter will state that no consultation will take place about the end of your contract. This is because there is insufficient time to carry out consultation and give the notice contractually required by your terms and conditions. Giving Notice at the End of your Contract HR will write to you giving you formal notice of your contract ending at the point at which notice is contractually required. This letter will also give you information about any redundancy payment (if applicable). Right to Appeal You do have the right of appeal against the decision to end your employment and will be notified of this right in your Notice Letter (E). If you wish to appeal, this must be in writing and be received by the relevant person (see below) within 28 days of receipt of your notice letter. For Support staff, Administrative and Other Related Staff and Academic staff on a fixed term contract your appeal should be address the Director of HR. For Academic staff on a Permanent contact (funding end date) this should be addressed to the Registrar & Secretary. Leaving Arrangements One month before your contract is due to end (and subject to any appeal) you will be sent an End of Fixed Term Contract letter (F). This will give you information about your pension, and when your P45 will be sent. As part of this letter you will receive an Employee Leaver Form. You will need to check and complete Section 1 and then give the form to your Head of School/Budget Centre to complete Section 2 and return to HR. Any pro-rata holiday accrued but not used should be noted on this form so that it can be paid with your last salary instalment. 4

5 Extending your contract Should further funding be confirmed at any point during the consultation and notice period, the process for the review of your fixed term contract or permanent contract (with a funding end date) will cease and HR will issue you with either a re-appointment letter (or revised permanent contract letter including your new funding end date where funding has been extended to continue the same job). If a suitable alternative job is identified, or you apply for another post at the University, which is not an extension of your current post, you will receive a new contract for the new post. Redeployment The Redeployment Policy and Procedure will be covered in the first consultation meeting. However, if you decide to waive your right to attend a consultation meeting, you can request further information by ing: or by telephone: Information about redeployment, including some Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at: Redundancy Pay If you are entitled to a redundancy payment at the end of your fixed term contract, HR will advise you in your End of Fixed Term Contract: Notice Letter (E) the amount payable to you. Any redundancy payment due will be paid on the 15 th of the month following the end of your contract. You can calculate your redundancy payment by using the redundancy calculator on the gov.uk website: 5

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