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Fixed-term regulations: requesting a written statement

Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 - Regulation 5 - Requesting a written statement from your employer

The right to equal treatment

Since 1 October 2002, fixed-term employees have had the right to be treated no less favourably than comparable employees on indefinite contracts. A comparator is someone employed by the same employer, and is defined in the Regulations as 'engaged in the same or broadly similar work having regard, where relevant, to whether they have a similar level of qualification and skill'. The search for a comparator does not have to be limited to an employee with the same job title or on the same salary scale, but will have to satisfy the requirement of a similar level of qualifications, skills and the nature of the work role.

The right relates to all terms and conditions including pay and pensions as well as training opportunities and the opportunity to apply for permanent posts. It does not only apply to contractual terms and conditions, but to any benefit offered to employees. [Regulation 3]

If a fixed-term employee believes he/she has identified a difference in treatment compared to a permanent employee, he or she has the right to request a written statement from their employer giving reasons for the difference in treatment. An employer must provide the statement within 21 days of the request. [Regulation 5]

In the event of a case progressing to an employment tribunal, this statement may be used in evidence. The failure or refusal to provide a statement without a reasonable excuse, or an evasive or equivocal statement, can be used by the tribunal when determining whether there has been an infringement of the employee's rights.

Getting information for a written request

If you think you have identified less favourable treatment than a comparable permanent employee(s), you may wish to consider requesting a written statement of the reasons for the difference in treatment. A model letter is provided for this purpose. Before submitting the request, please seek advice from your UCU representative.

Model '21 Day' letter - request for written statement

Important Please ensure you have read the appropriate guidance and involved your local UCU representative before submitting this request.

The text is set you below and can also be downloaded here: request for written statement letter draft [1kb]

To [The Director of Personnel/ Human Resources for your employer

Including full address]

From [Your full name, job title and workplace address]

Date [.........]

Fixed-term Employees [Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment] Regulations 2002

I believe I am being treated less favourably than a comparable permanent employee and that this infringes my right under Regulation 3 of the above Regulations not to be treated less favourably than a comparable permanent employee. I believe the difference in treatment to be:

[detail difference in treatment - this may relate to one or more issues]

I am formally writing to request from my employer [....................] a written statement giving particulars of the reasons for the less favourable treatment as detailed above.

I would be grateful of you would provide the statement to me within the statutory 21 days defined in Regulation 5.

Yours sincerely


cc [The UCU officer dealing with your case]

Last updated: 6 January 2016