In case you missed it: Regulation of fixed-term employment agreements

On 6 December 2023, new laws relating to fixed-term contracts came into effect.

A central focus is the prohibition against non-casual employees entering fixed-term contracts exceeding a 2-year contract period. The legislation also addresses conditions for renewable and consecutive contracts and contains anti-avoidance provisions, targeting actions such as terminating for a period, delaying re-engagement, altering the nature of a job, or modifying the employment relationship.

Recognising the diversity of employment arrangements, the legislation outlines several exceptions. These include:

  • performing a distinct and identifiable task involving specialised skills,
  • training arrangements,
  • peak demand periods,
  • emergencies,
  • high-income contracts,
  • government-funded positions, and
  • governance positions.

Employees in the film and television industry are commonly engaged on fixed term contracts due to the project-based nature of the industry. Whilst the first exception listed above may be helpful for producers engaging expert technical staff on a particular project, the legislation could still be problematic for fixed-term employees working across multiple projects.

Employers should review their employment arrangements for compliance with the new regime.

Please contact Daniel Anstey or Janine Lapworth if you’d like more information about the new laws and how they may affect your business.