Leading article: Contract justice

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The Independent Online

Almost 35,000 academics who have suffered job insecurity by being kept on a series of short-term contracts will enjoy greater peace of mind from this week.

New European Union laws mean that staff on fixed-term contracts for more than four years must now have permanent jobs. There are almost 70,000 academics and academic-related staff at UK institutions on short-term contracts. Nearly half of these have been employed for four or more years at their institution, and are now entitled to a permanent job. The change in the law is welcome and should end the insecurity that has deterred young people from academic careers.

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