Skip to main content

Unintended Consequences: Contracts of Indefinite Duration

Warning: This post is nothing to do with games but it is an issue that agitates me greatly. It concerns a matter of European and Irish law which is intended to protect the rights of workers but which has the unintended consequence of causing great injustice to those folks it is actually intended to help.

It is a directive of European law (European Council Directive 1999/70/EC) that "Contracts of an indefinite duration are, and will continue to be, the general form of employment relationship between employers and workers".  Permanent employees and those on contracts of indefinite duration enjoy many legal protections. They cannot be fired without reason for example. I guess the purpose of the directive to is ensure that employers aren't trying to get around these protections by hiring folks on a series of short term contracts.

In Ireland the consequences of this directive are that an employer can only hire someone on fixed term contracts for a maximum of four years and that any longer period becomes a "contract of indefinite  duration". In effect after four years you become a permanent employee.

Unfortunately these well meaning pieces of legislation are so out of kilter with the realities of the modern workplace that the law itself is now the source of many grave injustices. The rapidly changing nature of the modern business environment means that temporary contracts make far more sense than hiring permanent employees. In these recessionary times many many people are delighted to take up an offer of short term contract work. If you know anything about the working environment you will know that the easiest way to get a job is to be in a job and very often one short term contract leads to another.

However the direct consequence of the legislation which is designed to protect workers is that anyone who has been lucky enough to accrue three or four years worth of contracts with an employer is automatically fired  and will not be hired by that employer again.

This issue actually makes it hard for me to do my own job because it is the nature of our work that we need to hire people on short term contracts. Worse than that though it is a terrible injustice to those it is intended to help. I know several people who have suffered directly because of this. These are folks who's services were still required and who would gladly have extended their contracts but who were told no. No more work for you.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1847904 A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein

Lotro: The Forgotten Treasury

Throg joined a Kinship group for the Forgotten Treasury instance last night. It was an enjoyable change from the solo questing that the now level 55 dwarf champion has been mostly doing so far in Moria. Some members of the group had tried and failed to clear the Treasury before so we knew it would be challenging but we were lucky enough to have a well balanced group with Guardian, Minstrel, Lore Master, Hunter, Burglar and Champion (Throg). Throg (level 55) and the minstrel (53) were both below the 56ish level of the instance but the others were all higher so it more or less balanced out. [SPOILERs ahead] It is a well designed enjoyable instance set in a circular chamber with balcony around. As you enter, a boss absconds to a locked side chamber with his treasure leaving the fellowship to clear trash ringed around the balcony. Once the trash are cleared you have access to a puzzle which must be solved in order to open the locked door. Clearing the (including six mini bosses) also