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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I am writing daughter Emma Dalton who refuses advice

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I am writing for my daughter Emma Dalton who refuses advice (!). Her employer is delaying by months giving her a contract, meanwhile changing the length of the employment period and even sending an email to say 'your employment will end' then withdrawing it and 'reinstating' a verbal one previously promised. What does she do? Take action at law?
She has already written correctly, demanding that a contract be forthcoming and asking why the delay. She has met Head of HR, full of hope but no promises.
The contract choices have been '5 years' (expected after funding was made available), '18 months', then 'You End in July', then '18 months' and so on. Now nothing and no written reply either. The employer is a well-known Welsh University. She has contacted her Union rep to make him aware but I see no action.
Would so much appreciate your take on this - I have been there myself.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has she worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She has worked there 10 years

Has she not had a contract since the start?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

10 years

Has she not had a contract since the start?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes and the contract was up for renewal, due to be 5 years more, since which - although she started working through on the promise of this - no contract has been sent to her.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, since the start but it was for renewal and a further 5 years expected and given (verbally) - now nothing - no cntract sent to her but a lot of conflicting alternatives, including termination on July this year

It appears she has been employed on a fixed term contract, which has expired. The employer is able to renew that contract for another fixed term, or offer her a permanent contract or any other type of contract they feel is appropriate, or they could also seek to dismiss her if they can justify a fair reason for doing so.
However, they are not obliged to follow any of these and could simply leave her on the current contract, even if it has expired. What happens then is that she would continue to be employed on the same terms for an indefinite period, until the employer follows one of the above options. In other words, her original fixed term contract would remain in place and the end date would just keep being postponed indefinitely.
So she would still have a contract in place, even if a new one is not issued. She cannot force them to issue a new one but until this is done and a new contract is in place or changes to her terms are negotiated, she would remain employed on her existing contract. As she has 2 years’ service she is protected against unfair dismissal anyway so they cannot just dismiss her because the contract term has expired – they still need to find a fair reason and follow a fair procedure as with any other permanent employee, otherwise she could challenge the dismissal as being unfair.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. One further question, since this is the way she is looking.

Is this the time to be looking at a grievance procedure or would that be thrown out ? I don't find the Union rep jumping at the prospect .....

A grievance can be raise at any time for any reason if she is unhappy but technically the employer has not done anything unlawful by not offering her a new contract. Ideally she would want to have peace of mind and know where she stands but by leaving the existing contract in place and not renewing it they are not doing anything wrong. But if a grievance is thrown out then she has nothing to lose still, so if she wants to try at least she can do
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