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How to deal with a fixed-term contract that comes to an end

Author: Lynda Macdonald


Click on any of the hyperlinks to go to more detailed guidance below.

  • Recognise that the expiry of a fixed-term contract is regarded in UK law as a dismissal.
  • Make sure that it is possible to demonstrate the reason for the dismissal (usually redundancy).
  • Take appropriate steps to ensure that the dismissal is fair in all the circumstances.
  • Take care not to allow a fixed-term contract to expire without renewal and then engage someone else to do the same work.
  • Establish whether or not the fixed-term employee is entitled to statutory redundancy pay.
  • Take steps to ensure that fixed-term employees are informed of any permanent vacancies.
  • Give the employee written notice in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996, if ending the contract early under an early termination clause.
  • Be aware that employees with the requisite service can request a written statement of reasons for dismissal.