Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

This case concerns the application of Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (“the Regulations”) to employment where it is argued that the original employment was offered under a particular Government scheme.

The facts in Hudson v The Department for Work and Pensions

Mrs Hudson (“the Claimant”) commenced employment with the Department of Work and Pensions (“the Respondent”) in April 2006 under a fixed-term contract. Her fixed-term contract was renewed after the initial contract a number of times and the latest fixed-term contract took effect on 19 October 2009. The Claimant sought a declaration from the Employment Tribunal in 2010 to the effect that she was now a permanent employee of the Respondent, as per Regulation 8 of the Regulations.

A Pre-Hearing Review was held. The Claimant claimed that she had completed the necessary four-year period of service referred to in Regulation 8 to allow her to be deemed a permanent employee. The Respondent resisted this on the basis that the Claimant’s employment was excluded from the Regulations as under Regulation 18(1)(a) her employment had originally been designed to provide the Claimant with training or work experience for the purpose of assisting her to obtain or seek work under arrangements made by the Government.

The Employment Judge held that the Claimant could not rely on Regulation 8 because of the exclusion in Regulation 18. The Claimant appealed on three points:

  1. That she satisfied the conditions of Regulation 8 (she was an employee, was employed under a contract purporting to be a fixed-term contract, and had been previously employed on a fixed-term contract prior to the start of the current contract) and was therefore entitled to the declaration sought
  2. That there was in the present case no “Government scheme” which she was employed on
  3. That if she had been employed under a “Government scheme” then the purpose of the scheme was not to help her obtain or seek work

The law relating to fixed-term contracts and permanent employee status

The Regulations have two broad main aims – to protect fixed-term workers from less favourable treatment as a result of their employment status, and to establish how and when a succession of fixed-term contracts is deemed to become a permanent contract (with no fixed ending date).

Under the Regulation 8 of the Fixed-Term Employees Regulations employees who have been employed for a period of four years or more on a series of fixed-term contracts are deemed to be permanent employees unless the continued use of fixed-term contracts (instead of a permanent contract) can be objectively justified. The effect of the change from a fixed-term contract to a permanent contract is simply that the fixed contract term is of no effect – all other terms of the contract remain the same.

Unless the use of fixed-term contracts can be objectively justified or the employment falls within one of the exclusions listed in Regulation 18 then the employee’s contract of employment will be deemed a permanent one.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Hudson v The Department for Work and Pensions

The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld all 3 points of the Claimant’s appeal. It was held that:

  1. The Claimant was an employee, she was employed under a contract purporting to be a fixed-term contract, and she had been employed under a succession of fixed-term contracts until the current contract
  2. She was not employed under a Government scheme in the current contract; and
  3. That if she had been employed under a Government scheme in the current contract then the purpose of that employment was not to provide her with “work experience”

The EAT also allowed the Respondent permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Our specialist employment lawyers’ thoughts on Hudson v The Department for Work and Pensions

The aim of the Regulations is clearly to prevent the less favourable treatment of fixed-term contract employees, either by virtue of certain tangible issues (such as less favourable contract terms) or by employing them on a succession of contracts “purporting” to be fixed-term contracts when they were actually permanent.

Hudson v The Department for Work and Pensions shows that Employment Appeal Tribunal will take a broad view of whether the employee was employed on a Government scheme and the fact that she may have been employed as part of a Government scheme at first does not preclude her from either relying on that period of continuous service which would otherwise be excluded or asserting that the nature of the employment had changed since.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Contact us

    Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

    T: 020 3397 3603
    E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
    W: www.redmans.co.uk


    4.77 Average

    213 Reviews

    Gareth J

    Very efficient, helpful and pragmatic support from Caroline. Happy to work with my requirements / suggestions but also made some very good points which helped to achieve a higher settlement amount. Would highly recommend Caroline and Chris.

    Posted 41 minutes ago

    Ellen S

    Excellent, professional, timely. Friendly when I needed it most. Would recommend to anyone.

    Posted 17 hours ago

    Ellen S

    Excellent, professional, timely. Friendly when I needed it most. Would recommend to anyone.

    Posted 17 hours ago

    Cristina G

    Very professional and reliable. Timely answers, clear and to the point. Always looking for the best for their customers.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Rob T

    Very professional and on target - highly recommended.

    Posted 4 days ago


    Very efficient service and knowledgeable solicitors.

    Posted 4 days ago


    Excellent response time from first contact. Quick and easy completion of documents required. Fast response to any queries I made.

    Posted 4 days ago


    Redmans Solicitors did a great job and were very professional at all times. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Gary P

    All good advice, prompt and efficient

    Posted 1 month ago


    Excellent advice and customer service.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Aneet G

    I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Fern M

    Very efficient and friendly

    Posted 3 months ago

    Neville S

    A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Daniel T

    Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

    Posted 3 months ago

    Paul T

    Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Marina E

    Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Rosa B

    Fabulous service all round.

    Posted 3 months ago


    Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Alkhas K

    Excellent service.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Mathias G

    Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

    Posted 4 months ago

    Mark W

    Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

    Posted 5 months ago