Can an employee claim unfair dismissal where a contract that was entered into for the completion of a specific task comes to an end?
Yes, an employee can claim unfair dismissal where a contract entered into for the completion of a specific task comes to an end, provided that they have at least two years' service. It used to be the case that, where a contract was entered into for the purpose of completion of a specific task or until the occurrence of a specific event, when the task was completed or the event occurred there was no dismissal. However, the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2034) amended the law to provide that such a termination does amount to a dismissal. To defend a claim of unfair dismissal, the employer must show that it had a fair reason for the dismissal (in these circumstances, this will usually be redundancy) and that it followed a fair procedure in dismissing the employee.