Purpose of the Procedure for the non-renewal of a fixed term contract

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the non-renewal of a fixed term contract is treated as a dismissal. By following the University’s Procedure for the non-renewal of a fixed term contract and considering alternative employment (see section on Redeployment in this guidance), managers will be able to ensure that any such dismissal is ‘fair’ and minimise the risk to the University of an employee claiming unfair dismissal.

The University reserves the right to terminate fixed-term contracts early – ie prior to their notified expiry date – in appropriate circumstances, by following the appropriate procedure in its Ordinances or, if the University is considering terminating the employment prior to the notified end date but within the probationary period, the appropriate probationary procedure. The Procedure for the non-renewal of a fixed term contract should only be used where the dismissal arises on the expiry of the fixed term contract. Managers should consult their HR Business Partner about which other procedure should be used if consideration is being given to terminate the contract prior to its notified end date.

In many cases, the employee will be aware of the fact that the employment will not be renewed and may choose to waive their right to a formal meeting under the procedure (see section on Roles and responsibilities). If the employee indicates that they do not wish to proceed with a meeting under this Procedure, the Procedure ends at this point and the University will be under no further obligations under the Procedure.