Fixed-term contracts and the reasonable expectation of renewal and the effect of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill 2012.
This dissertation aims to explore the nature of fixed-term contracts and their effect. Employees who are employed on fixed-term contracts usually develop a reasonable expectation of renewal. A reasonable expectation may arise where an employee, who has been employed on a fixed-term contract, or successive fixed-term contracts, then develops a reasonable expectation that s/he will be offered permanent employment. The common law position was that employees who were employed on fixed-term contracts could not have this expectation, as their contract expressly provided for automatic termination on a specific date, or on the completion of a specific project. However, the Labour Relations Amendment Bill which is now in force serves to change this position. It provides some relief to employees who are exploited in the sense that they are essentially kept in limbo- employed temporarily and without certainty or job security. In this dissertation, fixed-term contracts in general and relevant provisions of the Bill will be compared to international developments and standards.
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