Latest Employment Act could bring big changes in sector

Voluntary organisations face upheaval in the way they treat their employees under new regulations due to come into force this week.

The Employment Act 2002 states that employers must not treat employees on fixed-term contracts less favourably than those in permanent positions.

This means that salaries, holidays and entitlement to sick pay must be the same. The law also applies to other benefits such as training opportunities and pension schemes.

"Charities could be affected more than any other sector because they can only commit to spending for specific periods of time or for specific projects. This means they employ a number of employees on fixed-term contracts,

said Sejal Raja, employment group associate at law firm RadcliffesLeBrasseur.

She recommends that charities should begin an audit of all employment contracts to make sure they are not discriminating against fixed-term employees.

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