Fixed-term contracts: regular activities

Applies to: all fixed-term appointments

  • Using Report “PERDEP02_FTC End Dates” departments should regularly review contract end dates (for example, monthly) together with the rationale for the fixed-term contract, looking at least 12 months ahead. Departmental HR teams should liaise regularly with line managers so that, where appropriate, efforts can be made in a timely manner to secure alternative funding, or take other actions to avoid redundancy. 
  • Where the post is academic-related and external grant funded, and the post meets the requirements, consideration should be given to whether an open-ended, externally funded contract may be appropriate.
  • Through such mechanisms as PDR, mentoring and/or other ongoing management discussions departments should ensure that there is regular discussion with fixed-term staff about their contracts. Such discussions should include reminding staff of their contract end date, and discussion about both the future prospects for continuation of the post and the individual’s wishes and career plans in this regard. 

Action for individuals:

  • Individuals should ensure they are aware of the contract end date and engage with opportunities to discuss prospects for continuation, or progression, with their supervisors.
  • Individuals should consider their own career aspirations beyond the end of the current contract and take advantage of career development/training opportunities which will maximise their future employability, and seek out PDR discussions, mentoring and other development opportunities.
  • The online information and guidance provided by the University’s Careers Service, and in particular the ‘Useful Career Resources’ summary document at the right hand side of the page should be consulted and used.
  • Research staff: consider using services such as workshops and one-to-one advice sessions available to research staff through the Careers Service. Tools such as the Researcher Skills Toolkit can also help to identify skills and experience gaps that can be addressed during the course of the current contract.

Action for University HR:

  • University HR will consult the recognised trades unions - UCU, Unison and Unite -  about fixed-term contracts which are due to expire, at regular (currently quarterly) meetings. There is normally no requirement for direct departmental involvement. Departments will, however, be requested to provide to University HR such further information about individual contracts or groups of contracts as is needed to ensure effective consultation with the unions.