Fixed-term workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers
Fixed-term workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fixed-term workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions
  • Legislative framework
  • Persons to whom the Fixed-term Regulations apply
  • How regulation 3 operates
  • A comparable permanent employee
  • Less favourable treatment
  • When less favourable treatment infringes the regulation 3 right
  • Making the right effective
  • Statements of particulars of reasons
  • Complaint to an employment tribunal
  • More...

This Practice Note contains references to case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Broadly, EU judgments handed down on or before 31 December 2020 continue to be binding on UK courts and tribunals (even if the EU courts later depart from them) until the UK courts exercise their powers to diverge. For the most part, EU case law made after that date is not binding on the UK, although the UK courts and tribunals may continue to ‘have regard to’ EU judgments if relevant. For more detailed information on the treatment of EU case law, see Practice Note: Introduction to retained EU law. 

Legislative framework

In broad terms, workers employed under fixed-term contracts are protected against:

  1. treatment which is less favourable than that given to workers employed under contracts of indefinite duration, and

  2. abuse arising from a succession of fixed term contracts

The source of that statutory protection is the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2034 (the Fixed-term Regulations).

The Fixed-term Regulations came into force on 1 October 2002 to give effect under domestic law to the provisions of the Archived Fixed-term Work Directive 1999 (as it had effect immediately before IP completion day). While the directive does not constitute retained EU law post-31 December 2020, the Fixed-term Regulations do. The directive itself was made to give legal effect

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