Labour Contract Law

(Effective April 1st, 2013)

What are the main changes?

After the fixed-term employment contract is renewed repeatedly for a total employment period of over 5 years, the contract shall be converted to a permanent one upon the employee’s request. Note: Therefore, this comes into effect from April 1st, 2018

What you should be looking out for

 

When does your 6th year start? 

  • The law was implement in 2013 and will offer unlimited term employment to workers who begin their 6th consecutive year (not based on number of renewals 

In the case of universities, does your job have to involve any kind of research element?

  • There is a stipulation that - in the case of jobs with a research element - unlimited term employment will begin from the tenth renewal. 
  • There is no explanation for what a “research element” is and we know that there are universities claiming it for even par-time employees. 
  • This research element could be anything from actual paid research, to the employer simply asking about publications in your interview.

Is your employment contract renewable? 

  • There is a fear, based on real information, that employers may start simply implementing a contract renewal limit.  
  • One important thing to remember is that they shouldn’t be doing this for those employed prior to 2013 (but we know that employers DO disregard the law). 
  • Check if there is any clause in your contract stating that the contract is renewable. 
  • This is supposed to be in all employment contracts and our information from the labour department has been that if it’s not there, the contract is renewable.
  • We’ve now heard of employers asking for a six month break before the fifth contract so that the employment will not be continuous.
  • Has your school informed you of how they are going to handle the amended law?
  • Many employers have not answered the union regarding how they intend to handle the fifth renewal, while others have said that they will simply renew like always and offer unlimited term employments. 
  • Others have even said that they will offer unlimited term employment but with conditions (e.g. retirement age). 
  • One important thing to remember is that they cannot offer new contracts with worse conditions.

Are there any changes to the renewal process?

  • Will there suddenly be a “renewal interview” after years of simply just receiving a new contract with no renewal process? 
  • The law is based on “expectation of renewal”, so if you are now suddenly confronted with a different renewal process you need to be aware of the negative consequences this may have.

 


Additional information