In general there are three main ways that an employment relationship can come to an end:
When a fixed-term contract is not renewed or a contract is entered into for a specific purpose and that purpose ceases, then the employee will be dismissed.
In the case of expiry of a fixed-term contract, if the contract is not renewed then, depending on the reason, the dismissal may be unfair and the employee will be entitled to apply for re-engagement or compensation.
For further information see:or for Northern Ireland, the .
Either an employer may terminate a contract or an employee may resign from his or her position giving the required period of notice. See – Employment Contractfor further information on notice periods.
Where an employee resigns, it is advisable to interview that employee and ascertain the reasons for the resignation. The employee should be asked for a letter confirming the resignation and the reasons for it. Place the interview notes and the employee's letter on the employee's personnel file.
A wrongful dismissal occurs where an employee has been dismissed by an employer in breach of a term of his or her contract such as:
An employee who has been wrongfully dismissed can claim compensation in the Employment Tribunal, county court or High Court (depending on the value of the claim) (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or the sheriff court or Court of Session (in Scotland).
Constructive dismissal occurs where the employee resigns in response to the employer's fundamental breach of contract. In this scenario an employee may also qualify for claims of wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal.