European Employment Law Cases

Article

2021/38 An employee can be both a permanent and a fixed-term employee with the same employer at the same time (IR)

Keywords Fixed-Term Work
Authors Sarah O’Mahoney
Author's information

Sarah O’Mahoney
Sarah O’Mahoney is a General Knowledge Lawyer at Mason Hayes & Curran.
  • Abstract

      The Irish High Court has determined that, pursuant to the definitions of ‘employment contract’ and ‘fixed-term employee’ in the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 (the ‘2003 Act’), a permanent employee temporarily upgrading to a more senior role on a fixed-term basis, was entitled to protection under the 2003 Act as a fixed-term employee despite the fact that he had the right to revert to his substantive terms and conditions as a permanent employee. The Court held that Council Directive 1999/70/EC on fixed-term work (the ‘Directive’) was not only concerned with an employee’s entitlement to continued employment, but also the nature, quality and terms and conditions of that employment. While Member States have the discretion to provide more favourable treatment to a broader category of employees than the Directive required, they could not define terms left undefined in the Directive or framework agreement on fixed-term contracts so as to arbitrarily exclude certain categories of workers from protection as ‘fixed-term workers’.

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