EU Court Ruling May Lead to Permanent Jobs for Fixed-Term Staff

In a landmark decision by the European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU), the legal landscape for civil servants on fixed-term contracts could be significantly altered. The Isotita union has seized upon this ruling, urging the government to take swift action to convert thousands of temporary civil service positions into permanent roles.

The CJEU’s judgment, dated February 22, clarifies that temporary employees should be considered under the definition of ‘fixed-term employee’ and are subject to fixed-term contracts. The court found that the indefinite extension of such contracts without announcing the vacancy is an “abuse of successive fixed-term employment contracts or relationships.” This practice is something that EU member states must actively work to prevent by implementing appropriate measures.

The court was explicit in its stance against national regulations that fail to offer effective deterrents against such abuses. It stated that mere compensation for unfair dismissal does not suffice, nor does the practice of awarding posts through competitions that inherently favor permanent workers.

In light of this judgment, Isotita has reminded the government of the president’s pre-election promises to level the playing field between fixed-term and indefinite-term employees with their permanent counterparts and to find a lasting resolution for the status of indefinite-term employees.

The union’s call to action, which has been shared with the finance ministry, insists on immediate compliance with EU law obligations. Isotita demands the necessary steps be taken to ensure permanent employment for all workers affected by this issue.

As this story develops, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the union’s call and the CJEU’s ruling. The potential shift towards permanent employment for civil servants on fixed-term contracts could represent a significant change in the public sector employment landscape.


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