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938 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 105827 11-Jul-2012 21:29 Send private message

I just did some studies and back on the market. 

Is it that fixed term contracts might have less competition than permanent jobs?  I was just looking at ads randomly, they of course don't have job security so you need to keep applying for new jobs always, one job was asking a 3 month contract but wanted 4yrs of experience ..   Do people who have that much related experience go for 3 month contracts, longer I could  understand ...

The other is that, I know that they cannot use a fixed term contracts for probation reasons.  Is there a general rule of thumb if the job is restructured and then the job is readvertised with a fixed term or with a permanent job, what is the % that the job is different by?  Some yrs ago, I had a 12 months contract, within 2 months I was restructured and that completed in a months time.  Job readvertised, I wasn't so silly to apply for it, the other 2 who were perm staff got theirs back .... is that still kind of creatively legal?



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563 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654279 12-Jul-2012 06:24 Send private message

I have 15+ years IT experience and I'd take a 3 month contract if the money was good and I perceived the contract would role over.  

Every contract role I've ever taken has rolled on for ages, well past the term of the initial contract.  So, whilst the contract might say 3 months if you do a good job and the project (if it's a project) is ongoing then they'll role your contract over and over and over......

That's my experience in IT anyway, not sure if it's the same in other industries.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654299 12-Jul-2012 08:33 Send private message

Is it that fixed term contracts might have less competition than permanent jobs?

depends on the job Fixed Term is very complex and not well understood and hence fraught with difficulty.


Do people who have that much related experience go for 3 month contracts, longer I could understand ...

So you see the ideal permanent job adertised today. The employer might dick around for a month processing applications. Then there is another month doing interviews and reference checks. then a person has to give one months notice. Its not hard for three months to go by

The other is that, I know that they cannot use a fixed term contracts for probation reasons.
not to be confused with the 90 day "fire at will" option.

Is there a general rule of thumb if the job is restructured and then the job is readvertised with a fixed term or with a permanent job, what is the % that the job is different by?

The new job needs to be substantially different - if not the old job is not redundant. Substantially different will depend on each individual situation

Some yrs ago, I had a 12 months contract, within 2 months I was restructured and that completed in a months time. Job readvertised, I wasn't so silly to apply for it, the other 2 who were perm staff got theirs back .... is that still kind of creatively legal?

hmmm where to start.
1 - you wern't restructured, your job was.
2 - your 12 month contract probably/possibly had a termination clause requiring one months notice by either party
3 - so we didn't have your job restructured but more than that and there were at least three people so presumbaly at least 2 jobs. Nothing is illegal until someone makes a complaint and then the evidence decided - so impossible to say if scenario was creativly legal or not.

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  Reply # 654391 12-Jul-2012 10:51 Send private message

There's a difference between short term contracts that can and often do roll over like you get in IT, and a fixed term contract at regular places. The IT short term contacts pay you significantly more to compensate you for the short term, whereas some employers try to do fixed term contracts at the same rate that you'd get if you were permanent. The first is good, the second not so much.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654431 12-Jul-2012 11:40 Send private message

There is actaully only one kind of employment as an employee and that is "permanent". An employer cannot terminate without a decent reason. Jobs do not roll from one to another. There is one job which lasts forever unless terminated with good reason.

There is one clear exception and that is "Fixed Term" but as mentioned the conditions / requirements are very specific, complex and not well understood. Rolling one job after another is very problematic for the employer - each job needs to be on a clearly defined fixed term.

There is a further pseudo exception which is "Casual" ie work that is intermittant and irregular.

These are the only three ways by which an employer can employ an employee under a contract of service.

Contractors (eg IT) are a different beast and are coverd by a Contract for Services and have no employment rights.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654469 12-Jul-2012 12:35 Send private message

Maybe I was mistaken with the UK's fixed terms ... they say that the fixed terms cannot be used to evaluate a person before handing them a perm contract. 

Yeah a normal job, so same pay rate, no redundancy pay rate unless you negotiate. 

The 3 months I meant was, it begins and ends for a 3 month period (not incl interviewing processes).  I was just wondering who goes for the regular non IT jobs if they are 3 months in duration and some of those roles ask for a couple yrs of experience.  Ie., to cover maternity or an update over the festival period.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654496 12-Jul-2012 13:14 Send private message

rayonline: Maybe I was mistaken with the UK's fixed terms ... they say that the fixed terms cannot be used to evaluate a person before handing them a perm contract.  

You are on the right track . In NZ an employer can't use a fixed term agreement to determine a workers suitability for a permanent job.

That being said there is nothing to stop the parties from agreeing to have a 90 day fire at will clause in the employment agreement which would see the employee down the road before the Fixed Term ran out.

As an aside, probationery periods (used to see how a person works out in the first few months) can't be used to fire at will. A dodgy employee is immediatly a permanent employee once he starts work and still has to be subjected to a proper performance management process before they can be fired. The ending of a probationery period is not enough to fire someone.

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  Reply # 654517 12-Jul-2012 13:39 Send private message

You sure you're not over-analysing this.

A short term contract is for a specific period and a specific task. It may be extended if the task has not been completed (IT and Project work springs to mind), however if it's simply 'rolled-over' because the timelines or tasks weren't well defined then there's likely other issues within the organisation.

Companies use Contractors for efficiency. They don't have to manage their time and make allowances for normal employee benefits, like sick-leave, holidays and ACC and Kiwisaver.

As a contractor you should get ~6% above the salaried rate, for the same job, to cover for leave etc. Plus you could expect more because of it's short term nature. (Working short term contracts you're unlikely to find 12moths paid work a year)

If a company is simply contracting out regular jobs rather than having full time staff, it shows a certain lack of commitment to their own business and their staff.

There will be exceptions to all this though but they will be pretty industry specific I should think (like contract couriers and drivers).

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  Reply # 654574 12-Jul-2012 14:28 Send private message

IT contractors get paid 1.5X to 2X more than permanent staff, to make up for the lack of both holidays and job security.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 654600 12-Jul-2012 14:52 Send private message


As a contractor you should get ~6% above the salaried rate, for the same job, to cover for leave etc. ).


There are no Golden Rules. 6% doesn't even cover the 8% holiday pay let alone the rest.

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