Additional fixed term contract exceptions

Additional fixed term contract exceptions have been extended

The additional fixed term contract exceptions that were due to end on 1 July 2024 have been extended.

The information on this page has been updated.

There are some additional exceptions to the fixed term contract limitations for contracts made on or after 6 December 2023. These apply in certain circumstances.

On this page, we use ‘limitations’ when referring to the fixed term contract limitations.

What is an additional exception

Certain fixed term contracts aren’t required to follow the limitations if they’re entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and before:

  • 1 November 2025 for:
    • organised sport
    • high performance sport
    • live performance
    • funding reliant positions
  • 1 January 2025 or higher education.

These are known as additional exceptions.

The limitations will apply in full to these categories of fixed term contracts entered into on or after these dates.

Continue reading for information about these categories of fixed term contracts and the specific rules that apply.

Organised sport

The limitations don’t apply to certain employees engaged by particular employers primarily to work in certain roles in connection with organised sport on fixed term contracts entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and before 1 November 2025.

These roles include:

  • an athlete
  • a coach for an athlete
  • a match official, or
  • a performance support professional for an athlete or match official, whose work primarily involves direct support or assessment of an athlete’s participation or the performance of a match official.

For the purpose of this exception, the employer who is engaging the employee on a fixed term contract must be one of the following:

  • a national sporting organisation or a national sporting organisation for people with disability recognised by the Australian Sports Commission
  • a governing body for an organised sport in a state or territory, including non-metropolitan governing bodies
  • a body conducting a state or territory level competition for an organised sport, or
  • an organisation that is a member of, or otherwise affiliated with, any of these bodies.

High performance sport

High performance sport is sport that is performed at the elite level by athletes or athletes with disability.

The limitations don’t apply to contracts entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and before 1 November 2025 if all the following apply:

  • the employee is engaged under a fixed term contract to perform work that primarily involves direct support of the administration or organisation of a particular international event for a high performance sport
  • the employer is either:
    • the international organising body for the international event
    • the Australian organising body for the international event, or
    • the Australian organising body for the particular international event
  • the international event isn’t regularly held in Australia
  • either:
    • the international organising body or the international event has granted the employer the right to host the particular event, or
    • the employer is seeking to be granted the right to host the event.

Live performance

The limitations don’t apply to fixed term contracts that are entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and before 1 November 2025 and:

  • the employee is covered by the Live Performance Award at the time the contract is entered into
  • the contract is for 12 months or less.

Higher education

The limitations don’t apply to fixed term contracts entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and before 1 January 2025 where the employee is covered at that time by either the:

Funding reliant positions

An exception to the limitations applies to fixed term contracts for positions that are funded (in whole or part) by particular philanthropic entities or by testamentary gift or contribution, where the funding is for more than 2 years and it is unlikely the funding will be renewed afterwards.

The limitations don’t apply to these contracts entered into on or after 6 December 2023 and before 1 November 2025 where:

  • the funding is provided either:
  • the employer or person who entered into the contract with the employee is not an associated entity of the philanthropic entity.

About our information

The information on this page is general in nature and outlines the rules for the use of fixed term contracts under the Fair Work Act only.

We (the Fair Work Ombudsman) can’t provide specific advice about individual arrangements under employment or other contracts, or make determinations about the law or how it applies in your circumstances. For tailored advice about your specific situation, consider contacting:

  • a union
  • an employer or industry association
  • a lawyer for legal advice.

Find out where to access legal help.

Source reference: Fair Work Amendment (Fixed Term Contracts) Regulations 2024

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