6.7.1 Continuing employment means employment with no specified end date and is employment other than fixed-term, casual or sessional. Continuing employment may be on a full-time, fractional or part-time basis. Continuing employment may contain a reasonable probationary period that is directly related to the nature of the work to be carried out under the contract. Continuing employment is terminable by the resignation or retirement of the staff member, by the abandonment of employment by the staff member, by the position being declared redundant where the staff member is not redeployed, by the staff member’s employment being otherwise terminated by the University in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Agreement, or by the death of a staff member.

6.7.2 Fixed-term employment means employment for a specified term or ascertainable period, for which the instrument of engagement will specify the starting and finishing dates of that employment (or instead of a finishing date, will specify the circumstance(s) or contingency relating to a specific task or project), upon the occurrence of which the term of the employment will expire. Fixed-term employment may be on a full-time, fractional or part-time basis. Fixed-term employment may contain a reasonable probationary period that is directly related to the nature of the work to be carried out under the contract. Fixed-term employment is terminable by the resignation or retirement of the staff member, during a probationary period, by the abandonment of employment by the staff member or by the staff member’s death; or the staff member’s employment being terminated by the University in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Agreement for unsatisfactory performance, medical separation, serious or willful misconduct, or where the position is declared redundant. In any of these circumstances the staff member is entitled to the same payments or notice period as a continuing staff member except in the case of redundancy where the employee will be paid out the balance of the contract or receive six (6) months’ salary whichever is the greater. The use of fixed-term employment is limited to the employment of a staff member engaged on work activity that comes within the description of one or more of the following circumstances:

(i) Specific task or project means a definable work activity which has a starting time and which is expected to be completed within an anticipated timeframe. Without limiting the generality of that circumstance, it will also include a period of employment provided for from identifiable funding external to the University, not being funding that is part of an operating grant from government or funding comprised of payments of fees made by or on behalf of students.

(ii) Research means work activity by a person engaged on research only functions for a contract period not exceeding five (5) years. Such a contract may be on a continuing contingent basis which is contingent upon the provision of funding.

(iii) Replacement staff member means a staff member who is:

(a) undertaking work activity by replacing a staff member for a definable period for which the replaced staff member is either on authorised leave of absence or is temporarily seconded away from their usual work area; or

(b) performing the duties of:

(i) a vacant position for which the University has made a definite decision to fill and has commenced recruitment action; or

(ii) a position the normal occupant of which is performing higher duties pending the outcome of recruitment action initiated by the University and in progress for that vacant higher duties position;

until a staff member is engaged for the vacant position or vacant higher duties position as applicable.

(iv) Recent professional practice required

Where a curriculum in professional or vocational education requires that work be undertaken by a person to be engaged who has recent practical or commercial experience, such a person may be engaged for a fixed period not exceeding two (2) years.

(v) Pre-retirement contract

Where a staff member declares that it is their intention to retire, a fixed-term contract expiring on or around the relevant retirement date may be adopted as the appropriate employment type for a period of up to (5) five years.

(vi) Fixed-term contract employment subsidiary to studentship

Where a person is enrolled as a student, employment under a fixed-term contract may be adopted as the appropriate type of employment for work activity, not within the description of another circumstance in the preceding paragraphs of this clause, that is work within the student’s academic unit or an associated research unit of that academic unit and is work generally related to a degree course that the student is undertaking within the academic unit, provided that:

(a) such fixed-term contract employment will be for a period that does not extend beyond, or that expires at the end of, the academic year in which the person ceases to be a student, including any period that the person is not enrolled as a student but is still completing postgraduate work or is awaiting results; and

(b) an offer of fixed-term employment under this paragraph must not be made on the condition that the person offered the employment undertake the studentship.

(vii) New Organisational Unit

A fixed-term contract may be offered in the case of employment in a new organisational area about which there is uncertainty as to whether it will continue or to perform specific commencement activities, for up to two (2) years from the establishment of any such area. Where there continues to be an uncertainty as to whether the organisational area will continue, a further fixed-term contract of a maximum of twelve (12) months may be offered to the incumbent subsequent to the initial contract.

(viii) Disbanded Organisational Unit

Where an organisational work unit has been the subject of a decision by the University to discontinue that work within three (3) years, fixed-term contract employment may be offered to work in that work unit.

(ix) Post-retirement contract.

A staff member who has retired from the University or another organisation and who is eligible to access their retirement benefit from their relevant superannuation fund may be engaged for a limited period of time. Such employment contracts will be used primarily for the purpose of teaching and research degree supervision.

(x) Other Category of Fixed-Term Employment

Where the University considers that additional non-continuing staffing resources are required to meet changing operational needs in circumstances where the provisions of sub-clause do not meet or comply with the University’s requirements; the University will consult with the Union/s and only by mutual agreement by the parties, the University can offer additional fixed-term employment rather than casual and/or sessional engagements. Incidences of fixed-term contract of employment

Without derogating from any entitlement under the staff member’s contract or under a provision of this Agreement applicable to the staff member on account of the staff member’s continuous service, a fixed-term contract staff member is entitled to:

(a) Incremental advancement

A fixed-term staff member who has a period of continuous service in a classification must be entitled to progress through that structure in the same way as an staff member engaged as a continuing staff member (who may be full-time or part-time) in the same or similar classification.

(b) Further employment

If the University decides to retain the same position or a substantially similar position for a further term, employment in the position will be offered to the incumbent provided that the incumbent:

(i) Has at least twelve (12) months continuous service in the same or substantially similar position at the contract end date; and

(ii) Was appointed to the position by the University following a merit based selection process; and

(iii) Has performed satisfactorily in the role.

(c) Notice of cessation or revocation of employment upon expiry of the contract

The University will provide to a fixed-term staff member written notice of the University’s intention to renew, or not to renew, employment with the University upon the expiry of the contract. Such notice will be:

Period of Continuous Service at the end of the day notice is given

Period of Notice

less than 3 years

At least 2 weeks

3 years but less than 5 years

At least 3 weeks

5 years or over

At least 4 weeks

Over 45 years and greater than 2 years continuous service

Plus one additional week to the above

In circumstances where it is not possible to give the preceding notice due to external funding arrangement and this is advised in writing to the staff member

Earliest practicable date

(i) Where, because of circumstances relating to the provision of specific funding to support employment external to the University and beyond its control, the University is not reasonably able to give the notice required by this sub-clause, it will be sufficient compliance with this clause if the University:

(a) advises those circumstances to the staff member in writing by the latest time at which the notice would otherwise be required to be given; and

(b) gives notice to the staff member at the earliest practicable date thereafter.

(ii) In circumstances where a staff member who is employed on a fixed-term contract of employment is absent on maternity, parental or child rearing leave at the time when notice of intention to renew or not renew employment with the University is due to be given before the expiry of the contract; the staff member will be offered further employment if the work activity is to continue, except where there could not have been a reasonable expectation of further work (e.g. if the staff member was employed for a specific project or as a replacement staff member). Severance pay

A fixed-term staff member whose contract of employment is not renewed in circumstances where the staff member seeks to continue the employment will be entitled to a severance payment or retrenchment benefit payment howsoever called in accordance with the following in the following circumstances:

(i) the staff member is employed on a second or subsequent fixed-term contract to do work required for the circumstances described in sub clause (i) (Specific Task) or (ii) (Research) and the same or substantially similar duties are no longer required by the University; or

(ii) the staff member is employed on a fixed-term contract to do work required for the circumstances described in clause (i) or (ii) and the duties of the kind performed in relation to work continue to be required but another person has been appointed, or is to be appointed, to the same or substantially similar duties.

Severance Payments for eligible fixed-term staff

Period of continuous paid service on termination

Severance payments

At least 1 year but less than 2 years

4 weeks’ salary

At least 2 years but less than 3 years

6 weeks’ salary

At least 3 years but less than 4 years

7 weeks’ salary

At least 4 years but less than 5 years

8 weeks’ salary

At least 5 years but less than 6 years

10 weeks’ salary

At least 6 years but less than 7 years

11 weeks’ salary

At least 7 years but less than 8 years

13 weeks’ salary

At least 8 years but less than 9 years

14 weeks’ salary

At least 9 years but less than 10 years

16 weeks’ salary

At least 10 years and over

12 weeks’ salary Where the University advises a staff member in writing that further employment may be offered within six (6) weeks of the expiry of a period of fixed-term employment, then the University may defer payment of severance benefits for a maximum period of four (4) weeks from the expiry of the period of fixed-term employment. If the University offers acceptable alternative employment for a staff member who is otherwise entitled to severance payment, then that staff member is not entitled to severance payment. Entitlements and calculation of continuous service

A fixed-term staff member will be entitled to the same terms and conditions in respect to the same matters as would apply to a continuing staff member engaged in an equivalent classification and working an equivalent proportion of normal weekly ordinary hours for the classification. For the purpose of this agreement, breaks between fixed-term appointments of up to two (2) times per year and of up to six weeks in total will not constitute breaks in continuous service. Periods of approved unpaid leave will not count for service, but will not constitute breaks in service for the purposes of this clause. Right of application

No staff member employed on a fixed-term contract (other than a staff member employed on a pre-retirement contract within the meaning of (v)) will be prevented from making application to the University, nor having their application for employment within the terms of this Agreement considered, solely because the staff member has previously been employed on a fixed-term contract by the University. Conversion from Fixed-term to Continuing Employment

The provisions of this clause shall only apply to fixed-term staff appointed at Academic Levels A to C (inclusive) and to professional staff appointed up to HEW Level 9. If the University decides that a fixed-term position is to be made continuing and a staff member has satisfactorily completed at least three (3) years of continuous service in that position on two or more fixed-term appointments, the staff member will be considered for appointment to the continuing position subject to the staff member:

(i) having been originally appointed following open competitive selection; and

(ii) meeting the criteria for appointment to the University for the level of the position; and

(iii) being assessed as performing the duties of the position to a satisfactory standard following performance reviews under the appropriate process provided for in this Agreement. If the University determines that a position is to be made a continuing one and the incumbent has served five (5) or more years on a series of contiguous fixed-term contract(s), the University will offer the staff member a continuing appointment without the requirement for an advertisement of the position. Notwithstanding anything in this clause, the University at its discretion may at any time convert a fixed-term appointment to continuing employment.

Page last updated on 16/11/2021

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