Fixed-term contracts typically offer a lower level of protection to workers in terms of termination of employment as compared to contracts of indefinite duration. This is because the employer generally does not need to provide a justification for ending the employment relationship, as the FTC includes a set end date. In the majority of cases, no severance pay is paid. Convention No. 158 specifies that member States may exclude workers engaged under “a contract of employment for a specified period of time or a specified task” from all or some of the provisions of the Convention (Art.2(2)). However, it also provides that “adequate safeguards” must be provided against recourse to such contracts that would aim at avoiding the protection resulting from the Convention (Art.2(3)).

The Termination of Employment Recommendation, 1982 (No. 166) provides guidance on adequate safeguards that can be implemented.   It provides, for example, that “provision may be made for one or more of the following:

(a) limiting recourse to contracts for a specified period of time to cases in which, owing either to the nature of the work to be effected or to the circumstances under which it is to be effected or to the interests of the worker, the employment relationship cannot be of indeterminate duration;

(b) deeming contracts for a specified period of time, other than in the cases referred to in clause (a) of this subparagraph, to be contracts of employment of indeterminate duration;

(c) deeming contracts for a specified period of time, when renewed on one or more occasions, other than in the cases mentioned in clause (a) of this subparagraph, to be contracts of employment of indeterminate duration” (para. 3).

While some national systems do not regulate the use of fixed-term contracts, others consider one or several types of safeguards: establishing the list of reasons under which enterprises are allowed to use fixed-term contracts, placing limits on the maximum number of successive fixed-term contract with the same worker, or placing limits on the maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs.

Show data for

Approximately 85% of EPLex countries regulate the use of FTCs

  • FTC regulated
  • FTC not regulated
  • No data

Regulation of fixed-term contracts (time periods are expressed in months)

Year(s) Country Region FTC regulated Valid reasons for FTC use Maximum number of successive FTCs Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs
2010 Iran, Islamic Republic of Asia Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2011 Viet Nam Asia Y
objective and material reasons 2 72
2013 United Arab Emirates Arab States Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2013 Ethiopia Africa Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2013 Syrian Arab Republic Arab States Y
no limitation no limitation 60
2013 Yemen Arab States Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2017 China Asia Y
no limitation 2 120
2017 Germany Europe Y
objective and material reasons 4 24
2017 Denmark Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2017 Estonia Europe Y
objective and material reasons 2 120
2017 Egypt Africa Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2017 Saint Lucia Americas Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2017 Moldova, Republic of Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2017 North Macedonia Europe Y
no limitation no limitation 60
2017 Mongolia Asia Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2017 Saudi Arabia Arab States Y
no limitation 2 36
2017 Sweden Europe Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2017 United States Americas N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2018 Antigua and Barbuda Americas N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2018 Armenia Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2018 Botswana Africa Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2018 Cambodia Asia Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2018 Malaysia Asia Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Afghanistan Asia Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Angola Africa Y
no limitation no limitation 60
2019 Argentina Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Austria Europe Y
no limitation on first FTC no limitation no limitation
2019 Australia Asia N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Azerbaijan Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Bangladesh Asia N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Belgium Europe Y
no limitation on first FTC 4 36
2019 Burkina Faso Africa Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Bulgaria Europe Y
objective and material reasons 1 36
2019 Bolivia Americas Y
objective and material reasons 2 12
2019 Brazil Americas Y
objective and material reasons 2 24
2019 Canada (Federal only) Americas N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Congo, Democratic Republic Africa Y
objective and material reasons 2 48
2019 Central African Republic Africa Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2019 Switzerland Europe Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Côte d'Ivoire Africa Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2019 Chile Americas Y
no limitation 2 12
2019 Cameroon Africa Y
no limitation 2 48
2019 Colombia Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 36
2019 Costa Rica Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 12
2019 Cuba Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Cyprus Europe Y
no limitation no limitation 30
2019 Czechia Europe Y
no limitation 2 36
2019 Algeria Africa Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 36
2019 Ecuador Americas Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2019 Spain Europe Y
objective and material reasons 2 24
2019 Finland Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 France Europe Y
objective and material reasons 3 18
2019 Gabon Africa Y
no limitation 2 48
2019 United Kingdom Europe Y
no limitation no limitation 48
2019 Georgia Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 30
2019 Greece Europe Y
objective and material reasons 3 36
2019 Guatemala Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Honduras Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 12
2019 Hungary Europe Y
no limitation no limitation 60
2019 Indonesia Asia Y
objective and material reasons 2 36
2019 India Asia Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Italy Europe Y
4 24
2019 Jamaica Americas Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Jordan Arab States N no limitation no limitation 60
2019 Japan Asia Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Kyrgyzstan Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Comoros Africa Y
no limitation 2 36
2019 Korea, Republic of Asia Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2019 Kazakhstan Europe Y
objective and material reasons 2 24
2019 Sri Lanka Asia N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Lesotho Africa Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Luxembourg Europe Y
objective and material reasons 3 24
2019 Morocco Africa Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 24
2019 Madagascar Africa Y
objective and material reasons 2 24
2019 Malawi Africa Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Mexico Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Mozambique Africa Y
objective and material reasons 2 24
2019 Namibia Africa N objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Niger Africa Y
objective and material reasons 2 48
2019 Nicaragua Americas Y
no limitation 2 no limitation
2019 Netherlands Europe Y
no limitation 3 24
2019 Norway Europe Y
no limitation no limitation 36
2019 New Zealand Asia Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Panama Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 12
2019 Peru Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Philippines Asia Y
no limitation no limitation 12
2019 Poland Europe Y
objective and material reasons 3 33
2019 Portugal Europe Y
objective and material reasons 3 48
2019 Paraguay Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Romania Europe Y
objective and material reasons 3 36
2019 Russian Federation Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Rwanda Africa Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Singapore Asia N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Slovenia Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 24
2019 Slovakia Europe Y
no limitation 3 24
2019 Senegal Africa Y
objective and material reasons 2 48
2019 El Salvador Americas Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Thailand Asia Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 24
2019 Tajikistan Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 12
2019 Turkmenistan Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Tunisia Africa Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 48
2019 Turkey Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Tanzania, United Republic of Africa Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Ukraine Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation no limitation
2019 Uganda Africa N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Uruguay Americas Y
no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Uzbekistan Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 60
2019 Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Americas Y
objective and material reasons 2 12
2019 Serbia Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 24
2019 South Africa Africa N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2019 Zambia Africa Y
no limitation no limitation 24
2020 Ghana Africa N no limitation no limitation no limitation
2020 Montenegro Europe Y
objective and material reasons no limitation 36
2020 Nigeria Africa N no limitation no limitation no limitation