11. Ending employment

Other than by either party giving notice, there are a number of ways in which employment may end. The parties may mutually agree that the employment is terminating, or a fixed-term contract may expire without it being renewed. The employer may summarily dismiss the employee (i.e. dismiss without notice. This is usually on grounds of gross misconduct) or the employee may resign immediately in response to a breach of contract by the employer (i.e. constructive dismissal). Finally, the contract may be “frustrated” ­ i.e. it may be impossible for one or both parties to perform their obligations. The most common examples would perhaps be a long and serious illness or a lengthy period of imprisonment. The key is that the contract is unlikely to be capable of performance within a reasonably foreseeable period.

There are 5 potentially fair reasons for dismissal: capability, conduct, redundancy, some other substantial reason and illegality. Perhaps the most relevant in recent times has been redundancy.