Prominent challenges of fixed-term contracts for administrative and professional employees in higher learning institutions of Gauteng Province, South Africa

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The use of temporary workers by organizations is growing, and has extensively extended to higher learning institutions (HLIs). This paper discusses the challenges of fixed term contract administrative and professional employees (FTC A/Ps) in Gauteng Provinces’ HLIs in South Africa. The research methodology used was exploratory. Surveys were used to collect data. The study sample consisted of 107 FTC A/Ps. Primary data were collected using a questionnaire. Text data were analyzed using the thematic content analysis of qualitative design. The study revealed that the HLIs did not provide training to the FTC A/Ps, but required them to perform as if they were trained. The FTC A/Ps were not getting employee benefits, were abused, underpaid, lacked privileges, lacked morale, could be dismissed any time, were driven to lose trust on managers and to be disloyal to their HLIs. They sometimes caused unscheduled turnover. Their commitment to work diminished. Still, they were bound to increase their productivity under punitive working conditions. The study recommends involving of FTC A/Ps when necessary, and not to abuse them. This also includes possibilities of integrating them in the HLI workforce, but to put proper precautionary measures when empowering them.

Keywords: abuse, fixed term contract, higher learning institutions, roll over.
JEL Classification: J71, J81, J82

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