A fixed-term contract in Ireland is an employment agreement that has a predetermined duration. This type of contract is used when an employer needs to hire a worker for a specific period of time, such as a seasonal position or to cover a temporary increase in workload. A fixed-term contract can also be used to cover a specific project or to provide maternity leave cover for an employee on a permanent contract.
Under Irish law, fixed-term contracts must be clearly defined in writing and must specify the reason for the contract`s limited duration. If the contract does not have a clear end date, it is not considered a fixed-term contract but rather an open-ended contract, which provides workers with more job security.
The maximum length of a fixed-term contract in Ireland is four years. After four years of consecutive fixed-term employment, the worker is entitled to request a permanent contract. The employer may grant this request or refuse it, but must provide written reasons for their decision.
Fixed-term employees are entitled to the same employment rights and benefits as permanent employees, including sick leave, annual leave, and access to training and development opportunities. They also have the right to be informed of any permanent job opportunities that arise within the company.
However, there are some differences in the treatment of fixed-term employees under Irish law. For example, fixed-term workers are not entitled to redundancy payments unless they have been employed for at least 104 weeks. They are also not entitled to notice of termination unless it is included in their contract.
In conclusion, a fixed-term contract in Ireland is a short-term employment agreement that is used when an employer needs to hire a worker for a specific period of time. These contracts must be clearly defined in writing and specify the reason for the contract`s limited duration. Fixed-term employees are entitled to the same employment rights and benefits as permanent employees, but there are some differences in their treatment under Irish law.