Be clear about contracts

28th July 2006 at 01:00
Regarding your article entitled "New rights for casual staff" (FE Focus, July 14), for the benefit of readers it is important for the Association of Colleges to make some clarifications.

It is inexact to state that "new regulations offering hourly-paid lecturers and those on short-term contracts the same rights as full-time staff came into force on Monday (July 10)". The regulations apply to all employees engaged on fixed-term contracts, some of whom, but by no means all, will be hourly paid.

Similarly, Roger Kline's statement regarding affected contracts that "the essence is that they are temporary" is not wholly accurate. The important factor that needs to be considered is the fixed-term nature of the contract. Not all temporary contracts are fixed-term.

It is not a given that after July 10 if lecturers "have four years'

service, they will move to permanent contacts". Rather, it is only when his or her contract is renewed after reaching four years' service that the renewed contract is normally deemed to be permanent. For the purpose of counting four years' continuous service, the regulations only count service which has accrued since July 10, 2002.

Neither is it the case that "this type of temporary contract is going to come to an end". It is clear from the regulations and case law that as a general point, the use of fixed-term contracts is perfectly legitimate, and the continued use of them even after four years' service will continue to be lawful in certain cases.

Evan Williams,

Employment manager

Association of Colleges

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today