Thursday, 1 March 2018

Expiry of Fixed -Term Contracts

A recent decision from the EAT serves as a useful reminder  for employers that the law on unfair dismissal still applies  to the non-renewal of a fixed -term contract and that the usual procedures to avoid a claim for unfair dismissal  may need to be followed  when the fixed-term comes to an end.

In this case, concerning a locum doctor employed on a series of fixed - term contracts , the EAT upheld the employment tribunal's finding of unfair dismissal because, when notice was given of the non-renewal of the fixed - term contract , there was no discussion about alternative roles and no mention of a right of appeal.

The EAT,in dismissing the Appeal, did not err in law either by substituting  its own view for that of the employer on the issue of fairness , nor by placing too high a burden on the employer when decidiing that it should have offered to discuss possible alternative employment with the employee.

Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust v Drzymala

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