Ending and renewing your fixed-term contract


Fixed-term contracts normally end automatically when they reach their agreed end point, so there is no need for your employer to give you notice. However, your employer must still act fairly and follow any dismissal procedure if necessary. If they do not, you can make a claim of unfair dismissal.

Ending a fixed-term contract:

If you are on a fixed-term contract, generally no notice of the contract reaching its end date will need to be given by the employer. However, failing to renew a fixed-term contract is considered to be a dismissal. You have the right:

  • not to be unfairly dismissed (after one year’s service)
  • to a written statement of reasons for the dismissal (after one year’s service)
  • to statutory redundancy payments (after two years' service)
  • to a minimum notice period of your contract ending before the agreed end date, task or event

The minimum notice period you are entitled to be:

  • after one month’s continuous service, but less than two years: one week’s notice
  • after two years continuous employment: two weeks’ notice if you have been continuously employed for two years

If your contract states you should have been employed for one month or less, but you have actually been employed for three months or more, you are still entitled to the minimum notice period of one week.

If you have been employed for one month or longer, then you must give your employer the statutory minimum notice of one week. If your contract states that you should give a longer notice period than the statutory minimum, then you have to give your employer this length of service.