Wherever possible the College will appoint to open ended contracts. When an individual is issued with a fixed term contract (FTC) their contract will normally end automatically when they reach their agreed finishing point, so there is no need to give notice. After four years, staff with continuing fixed funding will normally be transferred to an open ended contract.

The College treats equality of opportunity seriously and has an equality framework to ensure equality of opportunity.  Implementation of the Fixed Term Worker guidance must be clear and transparent and not subject to any unfair discriminatory practices by line managers.

Staff Guidance

Things to consider

Career. Take advantage of all of the resources available to you. Imperial offers a range of services designed to help you plan your career and acquire the skills and experience you need to succeed. For postdocs in particular, keep in mind that the academic job market is very competitive and to succeed, you will need to take charge of your own career path with advice and support from your manager and the Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre.

Communicate with your line manager about your aspirations beyond your current fixed term post. Ask for their advice on how you can meet your career goals, especially if the post will end at the end of the current contract.

Support. The College understands that this may be a difficult time for you. Make yourself aware of the different ways to avoid redundancy (including redeployment within the College) and where you can go to get further support.

Before consultation

  • HR will have received confirmation from your Department that your post is potentially at risk of redundancy before approaching you
  • Through the normal course of your working relationship with your line manager, you should be aware of the funding situation relating to your role

During consultation

HR will email you a letter kicking off the start of your 30 day (written) consultation period.  When you receive this you can:

  • Ask for support and advice from a Trade Union representative or work colleague if you would like this
  • Send questions to your manager/HR within five working days
  • Ask for a consultation meeting if you would like one (do this within five working days) or else say that you would prefer not to be consulted with if this is your preference
  • Take reasonable time off to look for alternative jobs (with permission) as is your right when at risk of redundancy
  • If you have not already secured an alternative role,  look for and highlight opportunities for internal redeployment* to HR
Your manager will:
  • Be prepared to discuss the expiration of your FTC or fixed funding with you and answer your questions
  • Clarify expectations if a funding extension is secured at the last minute. If extension means that the contract extends beyond four years, it may be changed to an open ended contract. Your manager may review and re-issue your job description if appropriate e.g., there may be a new requirement to generate funding. They should let you know the end date of the fixed funding if applicable
HR will:
  • Answer any queries you might have about redundancy payments
  • Explain the College’s redeployment process and provide support with finding alternative employment
  • Attend consultation meetings (as required) and write to confirm the discussions and outcomes

End of 30 day consultation period

If no future funding has been secured and redeployment has not been possible, HR will email you a letter confirming that your fixed term contract will end and set out your leaving arrangements. If you are on fixed funding, the letter will be sent in time to give you your contractual notice period.

You have the right to appeal against a redundancy dismissal. Details of what to do will be included in the letter from HR. You will need to set out the grounds of your appeal and attend a formal hearing of your case.

Note

*Redeployment is possible where the essential qualifications for suitable vacant posts of the same grade are met by someone at risk of redundancy. A trial period can be agreed to confirm that the post is indeed suitable.

Support for you

Your HR representative will assist you with advice and the administration of the consultation process.

  • Postdoc  Development Centre (mock Interviews, 1-2-1 coaching sessions, courses and more)
  • Skills analysis (LDC can give specialist advice)
  • Assistance with CV and application preparation/review and interview techniques.
  • Redundancy Payments (two years’ service qualifying period) – please see the Government's statutory redundancy information/calculator

Managers' Guidance

Things to consider

Regularly communicate with the member of staff about the status of their FTC or funding expiration and whether there is any chance of an extension or not. Offer them advice on how they can meet their career goals and don’t leave this until just before the end of their contract.

Consult. If the post will end at the end of the current contract or funding then engage in formal consultation with the person in conjunction with HR.

Support. This may be a difficult time for your member of staff. Be aware of the different ways to avoid redundancy (including redeployment within the College) and where the individual can go to get further support.

Before consultation

HR reminds you of FTC expiration dates. You should determine for sure whether this is a redundancy situation and confirm to HR if the contract should be extended or will end.

Consultation

HR will send the staff member a letter kicking off the start of their 30 day consultation period.

The member of staff may:
  • Ask for support and advice from a Trade Union representative or work colleague
  • Send questions to you/HR within five working days
  • Ask for a consultation meeting with you (which should normally take place within ten working days)
  • Ask for support to find an alternative role and be aware they are entitled to reasonable time off to look for work
HR will:
  • Answer any queries about redundancy payments
  • Offer support with the College’s redeployment* process
  • Attend (as required) and write to confirm discussions at any consultation meetings

End of 30 day consultation period

HR reminds you of FTC expiration dates. You should determine for sure whether this is a redundancy situation and confirm to HR if the contract should be extended or will end.

Note

*Redeployment is possible where the essential qualifications for suitable vacant posts of the same grade are met by someone at risk of redundancy. A trial period can be agreed to confirm that the post is indeed suitable.

Need to know more?  You can find the answers to common questions and further information in the FAQs page.