The Department of Education and Skills has advised institutes of technology to offer permanent contracts to non-teaching fixed-term staff who are currently in “posts which would be considered as permanent positions.”
The advice, which was set out in a guidance note issued to IOTs and universities earlier this month, emerged after IMPACT’s won a commitment to the regularisation of admin, technical, library, support and management posts during the recent pay talks.
The department refers third-level institutions to the fixed-term workers’ legislation, and highlights the distinction between genuine fixed-term or specific-purpose contracts and the filling of permanent posts on a fixed-term basis. “The application of the Act is the minimum standard expected of employers.” it says.
Under the Protection of Employment (Fixed Term Work) Act, employers are only permitted to hire staff on fixed-term contracts when there are legitimate and objective grounds for doing so. Examples include covering for maternity leave or career breaks or hiring someone for a specific time-limited project.