Fixed term employees cannot be treated less favourably than permanent employees doing the same or similar work unless you can show a good reason to do so.
This means that they are entitled to the same rate of pay (including holiday, sick, maternity and adoption/parental leave pay), have the right to be informed about permanent employment opportunities you have and to be given access to training and equivalent benefits and, where their contract term is for more than 2 years, access to your pension schemes.
Once someone has been employed on fixed term contracts for over 4 years they are entitled to become a permanent employee unless you can show a good reason why they should stay on a fixed term contract.
Failure to comply with these rights could leave you liable to a claim for compensation.
Rees Page can health check your existing procedures to ensure you are not falling foul of the law and can advise you if you have any concerns as to how you should treat fixed term employees. We can also assist you if the worst has happened and you are already facing a claim in the Employment Tribunal.