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Different types of employment agreements and arrangements

Fixed-term agreements

What is a fixed-term agreement?

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 66

This is when you and your employer agree that your employment agreement will end on a specific expiry date or when a specific event occurs or when a specific project is completed.

When fixed-term agreements are allowed

A fixed-term agreement is allowed only if:

  • there’s a genuine reason, based on reasonable grounds, for having a fixed term (for example if you’re filling in for a permanent employee who’s on leave or you’re doing seasonal work like fruit picking), and
  • the employer tells you this reason before employing you and tells you how and when your employment will end.

If your fixed term agreement is being extended (“rolled over”) more than once, it is more likely you’re a permanent employee (see the next section, “Casual work arrangements / Identifying whether you’re a casual or permanent worker”)

Note: It won’t be a “genuine reason” if your employer uses a fixed-term agreement to exclude or limit your rights under the Employment Relations Act or the Holidays Act, or to find out whether you’re suitable for a permanent job.

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