'I stressed the expiry date on the fixed-term contract! Why is my employee claiming unfair dismissal?'
With labour laws looking out for the interests of fixed-term employees, it's easy to find yourself in a tricky situation with a fixed-term employee.
In other words, if you're not careful, your fixed-term employee could, for a number of reasons, claim that the end of his fixed-term contract is an unfair dismissal.
This has the potential to cause much confusion among employers. And it often does! Especially with the following scenario...
Be warned! The Labour Relations Amendment Act changes the way you treat fixed-term and temporary employees!
Scenario: You've emphasised the expiry date on the employee's fixed-term contract. How then can he have a claim of unfair dismissal?
Emphasising the expiry date of a fixed-term contract isn't enough to stop an employee from claiming unfair dismissal.
This is especially true when you renew a contract because it's less effective with every successive contract you enter into with an employee.
The law is there to prevent you from continuously keeping an employee on a fixed-term contract to avoid the legislation on dismissal. You simply can't do this!
Also keep in mind that the wording in your contracts is only one small factor which the Court will take into account.
At the end of the day, the main thing you should take away from this is the simple desire to prevent any unnecessary claims of unfair dismissal against you when it comes to your fixed-term contracts.
And one of the best ways to do just that is to prevent any 'expectation of contract renewal'
within your fixed-term employees. Because this 'expectation' is a fixed-term employee's most important legal weapon against you when it comes to claims of unfair dismissal.
*To find out what you can do to prevent fixed-term employees from claiming unfair dismissal against you, page over to Chapter F 01
in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management
handbook, or click here
to order your copy today.