PoliciesManagement of Fixed Term Contracts

When a Fixed Term contract approaches its expected end date a decision is required whether to renew it or not.

The staff member, line manager and Head of Department/School/Professional Services Director will receive a formal communication from Human Resources around 6 months before the employee's expected end of fixed term contract confirming the end date and the actions required.

If the contract is to be renewed

If the contract is to be renewed, the Financial Authority to Appoint (ATA) process should be started as soon as possible. If the member of staff has accumulated 4 years' of continuous service they may, in certain circumstances, be eligible for an open-ended contract unless appropriate objective justification is established (please refer to the Use of Fixed-Term and Open-Ended Employment Contracts Policy).

If the contract is not to be renewed

As the expiry of a fixed term contract without renewal is, in law, normally a dismissal by reason of redundancy, the University is required by employment legislation to consult collectively and with the member(s) of staff concerned. This duty is carried out, on behalf of the University, by the Line Manager to whom the member of staff is responsible.


The process to issue your contract extension is initiated by your Department when a Financial Authority to Appoint (ATA) form is completed with the details of the proposed contract extension. The ATA is authorised by a number of authorisers, (dependent upon the budget code being used); authorisers may include: Finance, the Grantholder, your Head of Department/School, the Dean/Chief Financial Officer, and HR. Once fully authorised, HR will issue the formal letter confirming your extension.

The ATA takes an average of three weeks to be fully authorised. The Process Overview for Fixed Term Contract Extensions provides an indication of the steps that need to be undertaken for a contract extension to be issued.

The University's annual leave year is 1 October to 30 September.

You can use the Annual Leave Calculator to calculate your entitlement.

Staff are eligible to be considered for redeployment where they will have 12 months, or more, continuous service on their expected contract end date.

If you will have 12 months, or more, of continuous service by your expected contract end date, HR will automatically contact you with information about how to join the Redeployment Register. Further information on Redeployment, including the Redeployment Policy.

Statutory Redundancy Pay is applicable in the following circumstances:

  • You are on a University employment contract and have two years or more continuous service
  • The reason for the termination of your employment is redundancy (i.e. there is no longer a requirement for the work to be undertaken or the work will be reduced/delivered in a different way)
  • Your contract is being terminated by the University because the work is no longer available (not because you have found alternative employment and are no longer available for further work or you are not available for further work for any other reason). Further information can be found in Section 7 of the Use of Fixed-Term and Open-Ended Employment Contracts Policy.

You can review your eligibility for redundancy pay on Gov.uk.

Calculate your statutory redundancy pay on Gov.uk.

Normally, a member of staff will be deemed to hold an open-ended contract if -

  • their contract has been previously renewed; and
  • they have previously been employed on a fixed-term basis at the University without a break in service; and
  • where the new contract period will result in the employment extending beyond four years or more

There will be cases where the extension provides for continuous service of four years or more but where the further funding for the post remains a significant risk or there are other clear indications that the post will only be required for an additional fixed term period. Such cases will be reviewed individually and where future requirements or funding are uncertain, objective justification for the continued use of a fixed-term contract beyond the four year point may apply.

Further information can be found in Sections 5 and 6 of the Use of Fixed-Term and Open-Ended Employment Contracts Policy.