Law is not at fault

April 6, 2007

Fixed-Term Employees Regulations were never intended to give contract research staff or sessional tutors job property rights ("Fears over job security", March 23).

The parliamentary debates around the introduction of redundancy pay over 40 years ago make it clear that the law was intended to increase labour flexibility and, through limited severance pay, reduce collective worker opposition.

The regulations require only that employers follow procedures for termination, including consideration of alternative employment as a contract nears its end. Few employers do this, and it is to be hoped that the University and College Union takes cases and that employment tribunals punish employers for their shoddy behaviour.

But don't blame the law for not doing something it was never designed to do.

Daniel Vulliamy.
Hull University

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