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Govt Proposes Changes to Temporary Job Contracts

Fri 26th Aug 2011

The government is proposing to abolish the time-limit which employers can currently take advantage of in renewing the temporary job contracts for their employees.

The loophole that currently exists essentially means that an employee may have worked at the same company for his entire working life, but be retained on a series of temporary short term contracts that are renewed when the previous one expires. Simply put, anyone on such a contract has limited protection against being made redundant, and as such it allowed the employer to let the employee go with little financial penalty.

The proposals also include plans to encourage employers to award contracts to young people up to the age of 30. These so-called 'work experience' contracts are generally at the lower end of the scale when it comes to Salaries and working conditions, and extending the age limit for such contracts from 25 to 30 is intended to make it more attractive for businesses to employ young people.

However, these plans have caused a back-lash of complaints from workers in their 30's and 40's who state that the government is pushing so hard for the under 25's to find employment, that it is more attractive for Businesses to employ younger people, and that they are rapidly becoming 'too old' to find meaningful employment.

Union leaders are due to meet with the cabinet before any final decision is made following a vote on the subject tomorrow.

But it is the change to the temporary contract that is likely to improve conditions for many workers. Employees holding such a contract have difficulties applying for loans and mortgages in addition to certain other procedural difficulties.

However, the plan is that after two years on temporary job contracts, or having worked for a total of 24 months within a three-year period either continuous or with interruptions - for the same company, staff are automatically considered to be permanent employees regardless of having a contract to prove this, or not.

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