The Fixed-Term Contracts Directive was adopted by the European Union in 1999 and implemented a framework agreement negotiated by the European social partners. The purpose of the directive is to improve the quality of fixed-term contract work by ensuring the application of the principle of non-discrimination, and to establish a framework to prevent the abuse of such employment relations through the use of successive fixed-term contracts. The Fixed-Term Contracts Directive was transposed into UK law in regulations issued in 2002. These regulations prohibit less favourable treatment of an employee on the grounds of employment on a fixed-term contract and include the right to be informed of permanent vacancies in the establishment. The regulations also stipulate that the contract of a fixed-term employee who has been employed for four years by the same employer should become permanent. The UK regulations have been heavily criticized because they only protect employees, not workers, provide only for comparison with a permanent employee doing the same work, and still allow a long period of employment on a single fixed-term contract or succession of contracts. [See negotiation track.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.