From 6 December 2023, there are new limits on the use of fixed term contracts. If you are having a dispute at work about your fixed term contract, we may be able to help.
Limits on fixed term contracts
Fixed term contracts are contracts of employment that end after a set amount of time. From 6 December 2023, there are new limits on the use of fixed term contracts.
For employees other than casuals:
- Maximum 2-year contract period — A fixed term contract can’t be for a period of more than 2 years, including renewals and extensions.
- No more than 2 consecutive contracts — An employee can’t have more than 2 consecutive contracts for the same or similar work, except in certain circumstances.
Employers must not take certain actions to avoid the new limits. If they do, this may be adverse action. The general protections laws protect people from adverse action. Find out more about adverse action and the general protections laws.
Disputes about fixed term contracts
If an employee and employer are in dispute about a fixed term contract, and the issue can’t be resolved at the workplace, we may be able to help.
Our process for dealing with disputes
We may deal with a fixed term contract dispute by:
- Mediation or conciliation – A Commission Member will help the employer and employee discuss the issues and try to help them reach an agreement on how to resolve the dispute.
- Giving a recommendation or an opinion – A Commission Member can give a written recommendation or opinion about how the employer and employee could resolve the dispute.
If the employer and employee agree, we can also deal with the dispute by consent arbitration. This is a more formal process involving a conference or hearing. A Commission Member can make a final and binding decision on how the dispute is to be resolved. They may also make an order.