3.6.20 Restriction on Use of Fixed Term Appointments

3.6.20 Restriction on Use of Fixed Term Appointments

3.6.20 Any fixed-term contract entered into following the commencement of this Agreement must come within the description of one or more of the following circumstances:

(a) Specific task or project means a definable work activity that has a starting time and is expected to be completed within an anticipated timeframe not normally in excess of three (3) years. Without limiting the generality of that circumstance, it will also include a period of employment provided for from funds external to the University, i.e., funding that is not part of an operating grant from the Government or funding comprising fees paid by or on behalf of students.

(b) Research means work activity by a person engaged on research-only functions for a contract period not exceeding five years.

(c) Replacement Staff Member means a Staff Member:

(i) undertaking work activity replacing a full-time or part-time Staff Member for a definable period during which the replaced Staff Member is on authorised leave of absence, OSP or is temporarily seconded or appointed away from their usual work area or role; or

(ii) performing the duties of:

(a) a vacant position that the University has made a definite decision to fill and has commenced recruitment action; or

(b) a position that is temporarily vacant because the normal occupant is performing higher duties pending the outcome of recruitment action initiated and/or in progress by the University for that vacant higher duties position;

until a Staff Member is engaged for the vacant position or vacant higher duties position as applicable.

(d)  Pre-retirement contract. Where a Staff Member declares that it is their intention to retire, a fixed-term contract expiring on a mutually agreed date may be adopted as the appropriate type of employment.

(e)  Post-retirement contract. A Staff Member who has retired from the University or another university and is eligible to access their retirement benefit from the relevant superannuation fund may be engaged for a limited period of time. Such employment contracts will be used primarily for the purpose of research degree supervision and be of a maximum four years duration.

(f)  Fixed-term contract employment subsidiary to studentship. Where a person is enrolled as a student, employment under a fixed-term contract may be adopted as the appropriate type of employment for work activity, not within the description of another circumstance in the preceding paragraphs of this clause, that is work for which the student is appropriately qualified, provided that:

(i) such fixed-term contract employment will be for a period that does not extend beyond, or that expires at the end of, the academic year in which the person ceases to be a student, including any period that the person is not enrolled as a student but is still completing postgraduate work or is awaiting results; and

(ii) that an offer of fixed-term employment under this paragraph must not be made on the condition that the person must enrol as a student.

(g)  Recent professional practice employment is where a Staff Member is engaged because the curriculum in a professional or vocational education program requires that the work be undertaken by a person who has recent practical or commercial experience. 

(h)  Disestablished Organisational Area means work in an area that is performing one or more functions or teaching one or more programs where the University has made a decision to cease these activities within a reasonably certain time. Where part or all of an organisational area is to be disestablished, a fixed-term contract of up to 2 years, with the possibility of a further 1 year appointment, may be offered to new staff in the area or part of area to be disestablished. If the University reverses its decision to discontinue functions or teaching of programs then, subject to satisfactory performance and original appointment through a competitive selection process, the Staff Member will be offered continuing employment

(i)  New Organisational Area means work in a new organisational area, function or program where the prospective need or demand for which is uncertain or unascertainable at the time of establishment of the new area, function or program, in which case fixed-term employment may be offered for up to 3 years.

(j)  Convertible Level A Appointments means an appointment by a competitive selection process at Level A of an individual who has completed their PhD during the 12 months prior to an offer of appointment or is due to complete (i.e. meet the requirements for) a PhD in the 12 months following appointment. The appointment will be for no less than two (2) years, but no more than three (3) years and:

(i) the term may be extended for any period of parental leave taken that is greater than12 weeks;

(ii) the probation period for these appointments will be no more than four (4) months;

(iii) Staff employed under this circumstance may apply for promotion in accordance with the University's Promotions Policy in place from time to time;

(iv) Staff who successfully apply for promotion to Level B before the end of their contract will be offered a continuing appointment at Level B effective from the date of promotion;

(v) if a Staff Member is unsuccessful in gaining promotion to Level B the term may be extended by 12 months by the Head. In this case the PDR Supervisor and Staff Member should develop a program of work that reflects feedback received from the Promotions Committee;

(vi) the University may employ up to twenty (20) Staff at Level A in a calendar year under this circumstance.

(k)  Teaching-focused appointment means an appointment on a fixed-term basis for Staff who may otherwise be employed on a casual basis. These appointments may be offered for a minimum period of 6 months to a maximum of two (2) years with no more than 2 two year contracts to be offered under this circumstance. The positions will be advertised internally only to the University's pool of casual Academic Staff. Appointments may be made to Levels A or B. Workload allocations will include teaching and related scholarly activity with a maximum 80% teaching allocation. Staff appointed to a fixed-term Teaching Focused contract will have access to:

(i) the Performance Development and Review process;

(ii) professional development funding from Faculty or Department allocated budgets;

(iii) the conversion provisions in accordance with sub clause 3.6.32 with a consideration that for the purpose of satisfying sub clause 3.6.32 (c) the University will recognise any related merit-based panel selection process by which a Staff Member employed under this circumstances has been appointed; and

(iv) the Academic Promotion provisions.

(l)  Sudden unanticipated rise in student enrolments means an appointment on a fixed-term basis may be offered for work in an academic unit where there is a sudden unanticipated increase in enrolments. In this circumstance fixed-term employment may be offered for up to three years. If the enrolments persist at the increased levels beyond three years then, subject to satisfactory performance and original appointment through a competitive process, Staff will be offered continuing employment

(m)  Early Career Fellowships (ECFs) will be Level A or Level B teaching and research or research-only appointments of two years' duration. Appointment to an ECF will be on merit through a competitive selection process. Where a Faculty advertises an ECF it will develop an appointment process that will include a call for applications and a selection panel that includes a Head of Department. Eligibility to apply for ECFs will be restricted to casual Academic Staff who have:

(i) been awarded a PhD and performed casual teaching work for the University in at least 3 entire teaching periods, over the last 5 years; or

(ii) been active candidates for their PhD for at least 2 years and performed casual teaching work for the University in at least 5 entire teaching periods, over the last 5 years.

At the end of the ECF, an assessment will be made as to whether a further fixed-term appointment of two years will be made. A further appointment will be subject to an assessment of the Staff Member's satisfactory progress and the continuing need for the work being performed as evidenced by the subjects or like subjects continuing, or further research funding being available.

Back to the top of this page