Larry Bunt totally ignores evidence about the impact of temporary contracts. From my own research, managers use fixed-term contracts as an expedient and ad hoc approach - it is more a form of crisis management rather than a strategy for planning and making optimal use of the workforce. Bunt's notion that waiver clauses are used to save costs to the taxpayer is nonsensical in the face of tens of millions of pounds being spent on recruitment because turnover of fixed-term staff is so high.
About half of HE employees are on temporary contracts and about two-fifths of them leave during any year - principally as a result of insecure employment - and have to be replaced. Add to this the hassle of extending contracts and setting up new ones. All this cannot hope to deliver the level of skills and quality the taxpayer might expect to see in HE.
Colin Bryson, Department of human resource management, Nottingham Trent University.