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Generally, fixed term employees can enjoy a vast majority of equality in terms when compared to permanent employees.
The law that deals with this equality of terms is The Fixed-term Employees Regulations, which also require employers to offer fixed-term employees access to occupational pension schemes on the same basis as permanent staff. That is unless different treatment can be objectively justified.
Government guidance states that an employer may be able to justify excluding a fixed-term employee from membership of a pension scheme where the initial vesting period and/or service qualification is longer than the fixed-term employee’s contract. In addition the justification would be strengthened if the employer can show that including the employee would be disproportionately expensive and/or of little benefit to the employee as they would not receive any contributions before the expiry of their contract.
It is suggested that an employer increases a fixed-term employee's salary by a sum equivalent to the value of pension contributions made on behalf of a permanent member of staff as a way of ensuring that their overall package of terms was equivalent and/or to objectively justify not providing them with access to the pension scheme.
So it is possible to challenge the employer over this – the first step is the internal grievance procedure, after which you are potentially looking at a claim in the employment tribunal.
Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks
I did want to know if under the Fixed Term regs as well as pension if I am doing the exactly the same job as the permanent post holder should I be paid the same salary, bonus, healthcare, holidays. What reason would the company have for not paying this.
The protection is a general one where you are entitled to be treated no less favourably than comparable permanent employees. So if for example you are being paid less or receiving other lesser benefits just because of your fixed term status then that is potential unfavourable treatment. Again, like my earlier advice, it can be defended if the employer can objectively justify it