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HR Policy
To Be Categorised
Head of HR; Senior HR Manager
HR Policy Group; Area Partnership Forum
Director of Workforce; Employee Director
01 February 2014
01 March 2021
01 March 2024

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.


All employees within NHS Fife are valued for the contribution they make to the service, regardless of their contractual status. NHS Fife is committed to using permanent contracts of employment as the norm, with fixed term contracts only being used where necessary and appropriate. Furthermore, NHS Fife is committed to treating those employed on fixed term contracts no less favourably than its permanent employees (unless this can be objectively justified). NHS Fife in line with Staff Governance Standards will routinely review its use of fixed term contracts in order to be able to demonstrate that fixed term contracts are only used as necessary.

This policy has been developed in partnership with local trade union / professional organisation representatives. It reflects the best practice identified in, and meets the minimum standards set out in the Fixed Term Contracts Partnership Information Network (PIN) Policy and the policy also reflects relevant current employment legislation.


This policy applies to all individuals who work under a contract of employment, the nature of which is fixed term (ie it is for a specific term that is fixed in advance; or terminates on the completion of a particular task; or terminates upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other specified event).

As agreed nationally between NHS Boards, NES and Staff Side colleagues, this policy does not apply to junior doctors who rotate routinely between NHS Boards.


The responsibility for the application of the policy rests with Line Managers and HR Workforce Directorate staff within NHS Fife.


The purpose of the policy is to ensure the correct application of the regulations in respect of the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 and the Employment Rights Act 1996. NHS Fife will minimise the use of Fixed Term contracts to where there is an organisational need to do so and will end these contracts fairly.

The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Provide clear principles and values which will govern the appropriate use of fixed term contracts
  • Ensure compliance with legislation governing the employment of people on fixed term contracts.
  • Ensure all necessary steps are taken to prevent fixed term employees from being treated less favourably than comparable permanent employees.
  • Clarify the circumstances in which the use of fixed term contracts may be appropriate, and
  • Provide a procedure for managing fixed term contracts which is fair and equitable, and has both the interests of the employee and the effective operation of the service as its goal.


Appendix 1: Procedure for Managers and Dismissing Officers
Appendix 2: Guidance for Managers and Dismissing Officers
Appendix 3: Needs Assessment/Review Process (Individual or Group) Checklist
Appendix 4: Grounds for Expiry of Contract
Appendix 5: Line Manager Recommendation to Terminate Contract
Appendix 6: Line Manager Recommendation to Terminate Contract, but seek suitable alternative employment
Appendix 7: Confirmation of Termination of Contract
Appendix 8: Confirmation of Termination of Contract, but Redeploy
Appendix 9: Invite to Appeal Hearing
Appendix 10: Successful Appeal Hearing Outcome
Appendix 11: Unsuccessful Appeal Hearing Outcome


  • Other HR Policies and Employee Terms and Conditions of Service
  • Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002.
  • NHS Scotland PIN Policy on the use of Fixed Term Contracts
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • National Health Service Reform (Scotland) Act 2004

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