Responding to Fixed Term Contract (FTC) Review
Guidance for staff going through a review prior to the end of a fixed term contract
Q1. What is a fixed term review?
The fixed term review is done for everybody on a fixed term contract, about 4 or 5 months before the end of the contract. The review should give you some indication of whether your contract is likely to be renewed or not, and the review should make you aware of your options in the meantime (e.g. the redeployment pool).
[There used to be a policy document on the HR web pages describing this process, but I think they've taken it down now.]
Q2. Do I have to sign the form?
After your fixed term review meeting you will be asked to sign a form recording the outcomes of the meeting.
Check that the form accurately reflects what was said, and correct it or add comments if necessary. Also, you should add in the space on the form for the employee's comment that you object to the fixed term nature of your contract and thus do not accept that any dismissal ensuing from its non-renewal is fair. This may help to protect your rights in the event that your contract is not renewed.
You should sign the form once you are satisfied that it reflects the outcome of your review meeting and records any other comments you have on the meeting or the process.
Q3. Should I sign up for the redeployment register when given the opportunity?
Yes, there is nothing to lose. New vacancies are available only to redeployment candidates for one week. If you are on the redeployment register you are eligible to apply for posts at or below your current pay grade as a redeployment candidate, which will give you first crack at any open posts as long as you can demonstrate the ability to do the job.
Q4. Will I receive redundancy pay?
Technically, the end of a fixed term contract is generally a redundancy unless the contract is renewed or alternative employment is available.
If at the end of your contract you will have worked for the university for two years or more and your contract is not renewed, you will receive a redundancy payment based on your years of continuous service and your age during each of those years.
EXCEPTION: If you have previously received a redundancy payment from the university, that will be treated as a break in employment. In that case, your current years of continuous service will only include continuous service since the previous redundancy. If your current continuous service is less than two years, then you will not receive any redundancy pay if your contract is not renewed.
Q5. [Teaching staff]. I have been asked to submit module descriptions for courses next year, which may or may not run. Do I have to do this for free?
If there is any substantial amount of work involved in preparing module descriptions for potential future courses you should be paid for it, at the unweighted rate appropriate to your spine point.
You should not invest much time in future courses before getting a written request (e.g. via email), and if it is going to be a substantial amount of work you should ask for confirmation that you will be paid for the preparatory work whether or not the course runs.
Q6. [Teaching staff]. I have been asked to agree days and times for the continuation of existing courses. What obligations does this establish for me and for the university?
Until you have a contract for specific courses, the university has no obligation to provide work and you have no obligation to undertake work or reserve time in your diary for it.
On the other hand, if they do go ahead with a course but you are not available at that date and time (whether or not the date and time were agreed), then they may well offer it to someone else.