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Fixed term contracts: notice provisions

Is a fixed-term contract still a fixed-term contract if it contains a provision that allows the contract to be ended earlier than the set date by notice? An employment tribunal had earlier decided that such a provision meant the contract did not fit within the meaning of a ‘fixed-term contract’ under the Fixed-term Employees Regulations, and that as a result, the claimant in question was not employed.under a fixed-term contract. However, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) reversed this decision, and held that the ability to bring the contract to an end at an earlier date does not make the contract anything other than one for a fixed-term. Providing for earlier notice in a contract does not destroy the original intention of such a contract that the parties would see through the fixed term, unless and until something outside the normal course of events occurred.

Allen v National Australia Group Europe Limited


Tribunal procedure: failure to attend a hearing

The EAT held that in every case where a party fails to attend a scheduled hearing, the employment tribunal must consider whether to telephone that party to find out if he intends to appear before exercising its discretion to proceed with the hearing in his absence.

Cooke v Glenrose Fish Company




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