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Fixed 1 year job contract secure?

Hi, I was employed on a 1 year fixed term contract in June 2008 (with option for employer to review staffing options then, in terms of possible full time position). My employer is now beginning to lay off staff members as business prospects are reducing (Kitchen Retailer). Can my employer let me go or are they obliged to fulfil my contract until June 2009? A letter signed by my employer setting out the terms of the contract does not mention anything about the way in which they would terminate the contract early. Could they terminate it early? The contract covers maternity leave but still states a one-year contract. If they do try to terminate my contract, what options do I have? – (Name given but requests anonymity).

Hi listener, I have to say that unless the contract is for a clear and unambiguous term of one year and no less (specific) then in the face of redundancy it is likely to be taken as to allow early termination. 

If there is no work and the company could go broke, my view is that the law will favour redundancy. 

If you have a union you should talk to your union rep and If necessary the union solicitor.   If not you should bring the agreement to an experienced Labour Lawyer for opinion.  

It is possible that if you seek to enforce the agreement the employers in the face of possible litigation might leave you as one of the last in just to avoid that litigation.

Having said all that - tread carefully. In the current environment it might be better to get secure a good reference rather that litigate - alternatively you might convince your employer to give you contract or part time work. It's up to you to decide.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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