Agreed Statement C1a1 Contracts of employment
This statement sets out the basic elements of the continuing and fixed term
contracts of employment
2 Age of Retirement
With effect from 1st October 2006, staff who are employed on a continuing or
fixed term contract of employment have a contractual and a normal
retirement age of 65.
Staff have the right to request to continue working beyond their retirement
date and the BBC has a duty to give consideration to such requests.
Note : Prior to October 2006, the normal age of retirement was 60. Staff may
continue to choose to retire at age 60, or continue in employment up to the
age of 65. (Staff who wish to retire before age 65 should confirm the pension
options and benefits available to them with the Pensions and Benefits Centre)
Continuing contract of employment
3 The contract
A continuing contract is open-ended up to the normal retirement age of 65
unless terminated earlier by notice. It may be used for full-time or part-time
staff. The present form of staff contract was introduced on 31 January 1972
to replace Unestablished and Established contracts. The agreements
associated with contracts of staff established before 31 January 1972 remain
The Agreed Statements which describe terms and conditions of employment,
are incorporated into individual contracts.
Managers should decide when appointing staff whether a formal probationary
period is appropriate and, if so, to determine its length and method of
monitoring. This will depend on the nature of the job, its level of responsibility
and any specialised skills it requires. In most cases where newly-appointed
staff, or their work, are unknown to the BBC, good practice will be to
undertake a performance review after three or six months. This will be within
the framework of the appraisal procedures, will indicate any areas in which
performance needs to be improved and will indicate specific training needs.
When an appointment has been made conditional upon satisfactory
completion of a probationary period, the manager who is responsible for the
original contract will notify the individual that the period has been completed
The salary will be that appropriate to Grades 1-11 in the job evaluation
system. Pay structures are set out in the Handbook Current Salary Scales.
Weekly, temporary, catering and cleaning staff
Agreed Statement C1a1 1
Conditions of service are set out in Agreed Statement Conditions of Service
Weekly, Temporary, Catering and Cleaning Staff.
The BBC has a defined benefit pension arrangement, the BBC Pension
Scheme, which staff on continuing contracts may choose to join, subject to
satisfying the eligibility conditions. The provisions of the Scheme including the
eligibility conditions and benefits are set out in the relevant Members’
Handbook which are available to staff. The definitive provisions of the Scheme
are set out in the Trust Deed and Rules.
The Scheme is registered by the Inland Revenue and established as an
irrevocable trust. The effect of the trust is to separate the pension fund
assets from those of the BBC. The Trustees (BBC Pension Trust Limited) hold
the assets, administer the Scheme and pay benefits in accordance with the
Trust Deed and Rules.
Staff on continuing contracts who choose not to join the BBC Pension Scheme
are eligible to join the Group Personal Pension Scheme (GPPS). The BBC will
match the employee's own regular contribution up to 6.0% of salary. A
summary of the provisions of the GPPS is set out in a handbook available to
6 Life assurance membership of the BBC Pension Scheme
The lump sum death in service benefit for active members of the BBC Pension
Scheme is 4 x pensionable salary. For staff on continuing contracts who are
not members of the BBC Pension Scheme, life cover of 2 x pensionable salary
will be applied
7 Notice periods
Notice periods on the part of the BBC and staff are as follows:
7.1 Monthly staff – Grades 1-11:
• less than five years’ service: one month on either side;
• five or more years’ service, but less than nine years: two months on
• nine or more years’ service: three months on either side;
• during a normal probationary period: one month on either side.
These notice periods apply to staff employed with effect from 1 March 1996
and are intended to provide equal treatment irrespective of grade.
7.2 Monthly staff – appointed before 1 March 1996
Staff appointed before 1 March 1996, and whose contracts remain in force,
will be subject to the notice periods based upon the previous arrangements,
(a) Former band 2-5 and associated staff
• three months’ notice on either side (after a probationary period
Agreed Statement C1a1 2
(b) Former band 1 and associated staff
• less than five years’ service: one month on either side;
• five or more years’ service, but less than nine years’ service: two
months from the BBC, one month from the individual;
• nine or more years’ service: three months from the BBC, one month
from the individual.
The former Band 1 and Associated Staff, and other staff appointed before 1
March 1996 who have a contract of employment which specifies less than
three months’ notice from the BBC are eligible for the following provision:
If employment of such staff is terminated with notice, eg by reason of
redundancy, they will be entitled to no less notice from the BBC than the staff
referenced in (a) above, in comparable circumstances, ie three months’ notice
(after a probationary period where appropriate).
7.3 Weekly and catering staff
From the BBC
• up to four years' continuous service: four weeks;
• from five to 11 years inclusive: one week for each year;
• 12 years and over: 12 weeks.
From the member of staff
• four weeks at any time.
Fixed term contracts
8 Fixed term contracts – less than 12 months
Fixed-term contracts of less than 12 months will be applied only when the
initial need, in terms of the job to be done and its likely duration, is assessed
as being for less than one year. This form of contract may be renewed or
extended if the original need changes.
9 Fixed term contracts – 12 months or more
This contract would apply typically for a minimum of one year and not more
than five years. It will be appropriate in the following circumstances, when:
• the nature and/or level of activity in the area is liable to significant
change, whether in volume, content or style;
• it is known that the engagement will be short, eg to cover absence
or to undertake a specific assignment;
• the role is of a specialist nature where recent knowledge of a
particular subject, country, region or language is essential;
Agreed Statement C1a1 3
• the BBC is obliged in law to offer a contract limited by its term (eg a
contract for training offered under the terms of S.37 of the Race
Relations Act 1976).
10 Fixed term contracts – benefit provisions
The salaries of staff employed on fixed-term contracts will be set within the
established pay structures and staff will be eligible for pay increases
appropriate to the structure, subject to performance and conduct.
The conditions of service and terms of employment for staff on fixed-term
contracts are the same as for other staff in the same pay structure, unless
10.2 1 BBC Group Personal Pension Plan
Staff who are on a fixed-term contract are eligible to join the GPPS. For staff
on a fixed term contract of 13 weeks or more, or the total of consecutive
contracts is 13 weeks or more, the BBC will match the employee's own
regular contribution up to 6.0% of salary. Details are provided to new staff by
the Pensions and Benefits Centre.
10.2.2 BBC Pension Scheme
Staff on fixed term contracts are eligible to join the BBC Pension Scheme after
completing 2 years’ continuous service. Details of the Scheme are contained
in the Members’ Handbook.
a. ‘Service’ means employment on a continuing or fixed-term staff
‘contract of service’. It does not include casual engagements or
periods covered by a ‘contract for services’.
b. When considering whether service has been ‘continuous’, any break
in employment of six calendar weeks or less will be ignored except
when a severance payment was made under the Agreed
c. Staff whose membership of the Scheme was terminated
automatically when they transferred to short-term contract will not
be treated as having opted-out.
d. Any question as to whether staff are eligible or not shall be
determined by the BBC.
Reference to provisions of the BBC Pension Scheme is included for
completeness and is intended only as guidance. The Scheme is governed by a
Trust Deed and Rules, and Regulations issued by the Trustees which amplify
and (in cases of conflict) override this Agreed Statement.
10.3 Life Assurance Membership of the BBC Pension Scheme
For staff on fixed term contracts who are not active members of the BBC
Pension Scheme, life cover of 2 x [pensionable] salary will be applied.
The lump sum death in service benefit for active members of the BBC Pension
Scheme is 4 x pensionable salary.
10.4 Sick Pay
Agreed Statement C1a1 4
All staff on fixed-term contracts will be eligible for the BBC discretionary sick
10.5 Maternity benefits
Women on fixed-term contract are eligible for BBC maternity leave and pay;
the actual amounts will be determined by length of service. Entitlement to
maternity pay ceases, however, if the contract comes to an end during the
maternity leave period, except that any entitlements to SMP payments will
continue beyond the date of termination if the employee is qualified to receive
them. (If the principal reason for non-renewal is the employee’s pregnancy,
or any reason connected with it, then non-renewal will constitute
automatically unfair dismissal.)
Adoption Leave and Parental Support Leave are also available to staff on
fixed-term contract; details are contained in Agreed Statement B5a Maternity,
Paternity and Associated Benefits.
10.6 Severance terms
Where staff on fixed-term contracts are deemed to be redundant because
they meet the legal definition of redundancy, they will qualify for the level of
redundancy payments set out in Agreed Statement G5a Redundancy
Procedures and Payments. Staff on a fixed-term contract must have
completed two years’ continuous service to qualify for redundancy payments;
this period of two years’ qualifying service will be included in the calculation
of redundancy payments.
10.6.2 Terminal payments other than redundancy
Subject to the exclusions set out below, when a fixed-term contract expires
without renewal, the member of staff is eligible for a terminal payment. This
payment is calculated as one-twelfth of basic salary on cessation of
employment, multiplied by the number of complete years’ continuous fixed-
term service. prior to 15 January 1989 and aggregate short-term service
thereafter. The qualifying period is two years, but this is excluded from the
calculation of the terminal payment. The maximum terminal payment is 12
(a) In this context, cessation of employment means a period of four weeks or
longer, during which there is no contract of service with the BBC.
(b) In calculating fixed-term service, no account is taken of:
• fixed-term service that ended before 15 January 1989 or in respect
of which a severance payment has already been paid; or
• any contiguous service on a continuing contract of service; or
• any period of unpaid absence, other than maternity leave; or
• fixed-term service in respect of which no terminal payment was due
by virtue of the exclusions set out below.
Agreed Statement C1a1 5
(c) Basic salary includes London Weighting, when that is paid. It does not
include any other additional allowances or payments.
(d) A terminal payment is subject to income tax and no relief is available to
spread the payment over tax years.
(e) A terminal payment is reduced by:
• any redundancy payments due on cessation; and
• any other terminal payments such as severance pay or terminal
(f) No terminal payment will be payable when staff on fixed-term contracts:
• refuse a written offer to renew or vary the end date of their existing
fixed-term contract. For an offer to be valid it must be made at least
one calendar month before the existing fixed-term contract expires
and must not involve a worsening of terms and conditions of
• are dismissed on grounds of capability or conduct;
• transfer to a continuing contract of service without ceasing to be in
employment with the BBC. Such a transfer does not affect statutory
or contractual rights that depend on continuity of service; or
• die in service, when the provisions for Life Cover, as described in
10.3 above, come into effect.
Except when a fixed-term contract is brought to an end prematurely, notice is
not required to terminate it.
In order to cover circumstances where it is necessary to bring a contract to an
end before its stated expiry date, fixed-term contracts contain a notice period
equivalent to that for staff on continuing contract, which is service related.
The BBC intends that when it decides to let a fixed-term contract end on the
due date, without making any further offer of employment, the member of
staff will be given advance warning, in writing. The period of advance warning
will not be less than the contractual notice that might otherwise be required.
13 The Offer of a Continuing Contract to an Individual Employed on a Fixed
The Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment)
Regulations 2002 contain provisions addressing the use of successive fixed-
The effect of the Regulations is that unless the BBC objectively justifies the
use of a fixed-term contract, an employee employed continuously by the BBC
on a series of fixed-term contracts will be deemed to be a permanent
employee upon attaining four years’ continuous service.
Agreed Statement C1a1 6
The Regulations provide that continuous service is counted from 10 July
2002. which gives an effective date of the provision of 9th July 2006.
Staff employed on a series of fixed-term contracts with four years’ continuous
service have the right to request written confirmation of whether their
contract has been converted to a continuing contract or if not, the reasons
why their contract will remain fixed-term, and to receive a written reply
within 21 days. This written request should be sent to HR Direct.
The Regulations apply differently where an employee has been employed
continuously on a single fixed-term contract for four years or more. If such a
contract is renewed or a new fixed-term contract is issued, that renewed/new
contract will be deemed to be a continuing contract at the point of
renewal/start of the new contract unless the BBC can objectively justify the
use of a fixed-term contract.
In addition to the Regulations, the BBC made a commitment with effect from
1st August 2000 that any member of staff who has been engaged in the same
grade/job for three years on one or more fixed-term contract will be offered a
continuing contract, provided they have a commitment of at least a further
one year’s work and their performance is satisfactory, ie. there are no issues
under consideration within the BBC’s disciplinary or capability procedures. The
exceptions to this commitment are where further work is project based or
may not continue beyond a further year. This commitment remains
The above provisions do not affect the BBC’s continuing need to use fixed-
term contracts of a longer duration ie. 3, 4 or 5 years which would not
necessarily be project based but which are required for specific business
reasons, in limited circumstances. In these circumstances the non-renewable
nature of the contract will be made explicit before the job is offered.
Staff who are employed on a continuing contract will not be transferred to a
contract on a fixed term basis.
Agreed Statement C1a Contracts of Employment
Revised 1st October 2006
Agreed Statement C1a1 7