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Fixed term employees

Guidance and policy on fixed terms contracts.

Using fixed term contracts

Fixed term contracts can be a useful tool for matching workforce resources with service and business needs. The policy attached to this page outlines how to use them within the council, appropriately, effectively, and in line with relevant employment legislation.

Areas covered include:

  • when it's appropriate to use a fixed term contract
  • the need for 'equal treatment'
  • length of fixed term contracts
  • renewing, extending or ending fixed term contracts (also see toolkit)
  • what happens if a fixed term contract becomes permanent
  • organisational reviews and fixed term employees
  • manager, HR and employee responsibilities

Ending or extending a fixed term contract

A toolkit setting out what managers need to do to end or extend a fixed term contract is attached to this page to supplement the policy. As ending a fixed term contract is classed as a dismissal, it is important that a fair process is followed and the dismissal complies with the council's legal responsibilities.


The temporary movement or 'loan' of an employee to another part of the organisation (to or from an external organisation) to undertake a fixed term or temporary piece of work is a secondment. A secondment agreement is different to a fixed term contract. The employee's substantive job remains available for them to return to. Guidance on secondments is also available.