Dáil Éireann - Volume 637 - 05 July, 2007

Written Answers. - Employment Law.

Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Education and Science if, with regard to contracts of employment issued by her Department, there is a difference between a contract of indefinite duration and a permanent contract; the differences between these contracts; the reason both contracts are in use by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19641/07]

  Deputy Mary Hanafin: The Protection of Employees (Fixed Term Work) Act 2003 was enacted on 14th July 2003. Section 9(2) of that Act provides that where a fixed term employee is employed by his or her employer on two or more continuous contracts and the aggregate duration of such contracts exceeds 4 years the contract is deemed to be a contract of indefinite duration unless there are objective grounds to justify a renewal beyond the 4 years.

A contract of indefinite duration is normally regarded as a contract where a “A person who [2124] has an expectation that, subject to the normal date of retirement in the employment, she or he will be retained in the employment and will not be dismissed without there being any good reason such as misconduct or unfitness for their position, or other compelling or unavoidable circumstances. Any dismissal shall be achieved by the application of the agreed termination arrangement for the particular sector or the application of the relevant statute, as the case may be.”

This definition is subject to review in light of decisions given by the Labour Court or other judicial processes. The issue of the differences between a contract of indefinite duration and a permanent contract is a legal question which is currently being considered by the courts.