LLA 340 Fixed term contract dismissals


Context: This article is part of a series dealing with the meanings of the word ‘dismissal’ in section 186(1) of the LRA. It discusses dismissal in the context of employment on a fixed term contract.

 Content: The article explains the use a fixed term contract as a form of atypical employment, and sets out the elements which the employee is required to prove in order to show that he was dismissed in terms of s186(1)(b) of the LRA. The article discusses in detail and with reference to relevant case law what is meant by a reasonable expectation of renewal of the fixed term contract. The question of the appropriate remedy and the retrenchment of an fixed term employee are discussed as well.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The use of the fixed term contract
  3. What must the employee prove?

3.1        Was the employee employed in terms of a fixed term contract?

Types of fixed term contract

The reason for the dismissal

The date of dismissal

3.2       The employee expected the employer to renew the contract on the same or similar terms

The expectation was a reasonable one

3.3        The employer did offer to renew the contract but the offer was on less favourable terms

  1. The award
  2. What must the employer prove?
  3. The remedy
  4. Retrenchment of employees employed on a fixed term contract

7.1        Retrenchment during the course of the fixed term contract

7.2        Retrenchment where there is an reasonable expectation of renewal



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