There are new laws which will apply to fixed term contracts entered into from 6 December 2023. The new law requires employers to give any employee engaged on a new fixed term contract a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (FTCIS). The FTCIS will be available to download from the Fair Work website from 6 December 2023.

There are also new limitations on when fixed term contracts may be offered.  A fixed term contract cannot have an option to:

  • extend or renew the contract so that employment period (including the extension or renewal period) is longer than 2 years, or
  • extend or renew the contract more than once.

An employer cannot employ someone on a new fixed term contract if:

  • the contract is for mainly the same work as a previous fixed term contract;
  • there isn’t a substantial break in the employment relationship between the previous and new contracts; and
  • any of the following apply:
    • the total period of employment for the previous contract and the new fixed term contract is more than 2 years, or
    • the new fixed term contract can be renewed or extended, or
    • the previous fixed term contract was extended, or
    • there was an initial fixed term contract in place (before the previous contract) that:
      • was for mainly the same work, and
      • there was continuity of the employment relationship from the period of time (if any) between the initial contract and the previous contract.

There are some exceptions to the new rules which apply in certain situation involving the following: employees with specialised skills, training arrangements, essential work, emergency circumstances or temporary absences, high income employees, government funded contracts, governance positions and award provisions.

If a fixed term contract is entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and does not comply with the new laws, the contract’s expiry date will not apply and the employee will be regarded to be a permanent employee.

If a fixed term contract is commenced prior to 6 December 2023, the new laws will not necessarily apply to the contract.  However, the laws will apply to any renewals of the employment contract.

To seek advice custom to your situation, contact our Sutherland office via telephone – 9525 8688 – or via