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B. Key Considerations

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Objective Condition Bringing the Contract to an End

A fixed-term contract must specify the objective condition which brings the contract to a natural end.  This may be a specified date, the completion of a specific task, or the occurrence of a specific event.  Once this objective condition is satisfied, the natural expiry of the contract occurs. 

Objective provisions may include

  • A fixed term – the contract expires on a particular date
  • A specified purpose – the contract expires when the specified purpose of the role is fulfilled, e.g. completion of a project,
  • The occurrence of a specific event, e.g. Employee X returning from maternity leave.

Unfair Dismissals Acts and Natural Expiry of Contract

Fixed-term contracts must also include a clause precluding the provisions of the Unfair Dismissals Acts applying to a termination resulting solely from the expiry of the fixed-term contract.  Note that the Unfair Dismissals Acts will still apply to termination for any other reason other than the natural expiry of the contract, e.g. performance, conduct, attendance, redundancy etc.