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Contracts of Employment - SNA

The template contracts and supporting downloads on this page have been developed by CPSMA.


In this Section



Permanent Contracts of Employment

A standardised contract provided by the DES is currently used for the appointment of permanent teaching staff. However it should be noted that the terms and conditions of employment of Special Needs Assistants may not only determined by legleslative provision but also DES directives and national agreements negotiated by the education partners.

A copy of the recruitment advertisement for the SNA position and the letter of offer should also be retained as they may be deemed to form part of the terms and conditions of employment.

Please also see:


Fixed Term/Specified Purpose/Temporary Contracts of Employment

Fixed Term Contract is the term used to describe a contract awarded to a person employed on a temporary basis for

  • a fixed term
  • a specific purpose or to complete a specific task

When issuing a fixed term contract it is important to ensure that the correct contract is used.

  • A Fixed Term Contract should be used when the employer is certain of the end date or duration of the employment e.g. career break.
  • A Fixed Term Specific Purpose Contract should be used when the end date or duration of the contract cannot be determined or may be subject to change e.g. sick leave, maternity leave.

End Date of Fixed Term Contract (as determined by DES directive)

If a fixed term contract that commences on or before the first working day of November is for an entire school year (to last day of the final school term) then the term of the contract will expire on the day before the new school year begins (ie. the contract holder will be paid for July & Aug).

If a fixed term contract commences after the first working day of November the term of the contract should expire on the last day of the school year (ie. last school day in June).

Ending/Extending Fixed Term Contracts

Where an employee has been employed on a fixed term contract for one year or less the BoM can decide not to offer the employee an extension to the existing contract or a further contract (providing the contract was validly drawn up and). If the termination of the contract is for any reason other than the expiration of the stated term or specific purpose the employee can challenge the dismissal.

A fixed term employee can, at the end of the term of the contract, be retained in one of two ways:

  • by extending the duration of the contract
  • by being offered and entering into a further fixed term contract

In the event that an initial fixed term contract is being extended the employee must be given a letter of renewal on or before the date of the extension. The letter of renewal should clearly state

  • that the employee will remain in employment under the original fixed term contract but for an agreed extend time
  • the objective grounds justifying the extension
  • the grounds for not offering a contract of indefinite duration.


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