Concluding Short-term Contracts May Become Easier
The Ministry of Social Affairs has prepared the draft Employment Contracts Act that will give the employers the right to conclude temporary employment contracts with the duration of up to 10 calendar days within six months without limitation. The Chamber of Commerce supports the planned amendment, but made four additional proposals to the Ministry so that the rules for concluding temporary employment contracts would be even more flexible for the employer.
The applicable Employment Contracts Act foresees that if the employee and employer have concluded a temporary employment contract for a similar task for more than two consecutive times or if the temporary contract has been extended more than once within five years, the employment contract shall be considered as concluded without a term from the start. Concluding temporary employment contracts is considered consecutive according to the law if the period between the expiry of one employment contract and concluding the next does not exceed two months.
The Chamber of Commerce has repeatedly proposed to the Ministry of Social Affairs to make the employment regulation, including the rules for concluding temporary employment contracts more flexible. Therefore, the Chamber supports the planned amendment. Establishing an exception will allow for more flexible use of labour for example in a situation where the seasonal volumes change or there is a change in the schedule of project-based works.
The Chamber made a proposal to allow the abovementioned exception to be used also if the temporary employment contract is valid for up to 30 days. Such solution would help to prevent a situation where the employer and employee have to conclude a new employment contract every ten days in order to benefit from the exception.
If an employee wants to take up short-term jobs at an employer during a year, the solution proposed in the draft act does not allow it. Therefore, the Chamber of Commerce has made a proposal to allow to use the new exception during a period that is longer than just six months. The parties could have the opportunity to conclude short-term employment contracts also during one or even five years so that the temporary employment contract would not become a contract for an unspecified term within the meaning of the Employment Contracts Act.
Thirdly, a proposal should be considered according to which the temporary employment contracts should be allowable also without good reason. Currently, conclusion of a temporary employment contract is allowed only for good reason, which is for example, temporary increase of work volume, seasonal work or substituting an employee who is temporarily away.
Furthermore, the Chamber finds that it would be reasonable to establish that the total duration of temporary employment contracts of an employee at one employer would not exceed a certain number of days a year, for example, 60 days, then the temporary employment contract would not have to become a contract for an unspecified term according to the law.