Magazine article European Social Policy

Employment : Court Clarifies Contract Conversion Rules

Magazine article European Social Policy

Employment : Court Clarifies Contract Conversion Rules

Article excerpt

Turning fixed-term employment contracts into contracts of indefinite duration should not generate less favourable conditions for the worker when the object of his mission and the nature of his functions remain the same. Such is the meaning of the EU Court of Justice's 8 March ruling in Case C-251/11, in answer to a question referred for preliminary hearing by the Administrative Court of Rennes. The administrative court wanted to know whether a member state was obliged to reproduce the main clauses of the previous contract during the conversion of a fixed-term contract into a permanent contract. The reference for a preliminary ruling concerned the interpretation of the framework agreement on fixed-term work, set out in the Annex to Council Directive 1999/70/EC concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP.

These are the facts: Martial Huet has held a research role for six years at the Universite de Bretagne occidentale (University of Western Brittany, UBO), in France. He has been employed on the basis of several successive fixed-term contracts, which were renewed without interruption from 1 March 2002 to 15 March 2008, and all mention his work as a researcher. When the last fixed-term contract expired, UBO offered him a permanent contract, which stated, first, that Huet would hold the post of research officer (ingenieur d'etudes); and, second, that his remuneration would be lower than that previously received by him on the basis of the fixed-term contracts. …

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