Termination of Employment

Termination of employment issues have become commonplace in Ireland today. It is important for any small business to seek legal advice about the procedures involved, and the rights of employees and employers, when it comes to terminating employment.

At Julie Breen Solicitors LLP in Ferns and Enniscorthy we can guide you through this process, whether you are an employer or an employee.

The most commonly litigated aspect of employment law is cases involving the termination of the employment contract itself. Although most disputes in the workplace will be resolved without the need to terminate the employment contract, in some cases this may be the only reasonable avenue available.

Contracts of employment may be terminated in a number of ways including: agreement, dismissal, repudiation and frustration.

Contracts of employment may be terminated with the consent of both parties. This may be the case in certain circumstances where the interests of both parties are served by the immediate termination of the contract of employment – for example if the employer is actively seeking to cut back on staff numbers, and the employee has been offered more lucrative terms with another employer.

A dismissal is legally defined as the termination of the contract of employment by the employer. In circumstances where an employee refuses to accept this termination, then he/she may decide to sue for damages for wrongful dismissal.

A repudiation of the employment contract occurs where either party fails to abide by the terms agreed.

In circumstances where an employee is the one alleged to have committed the breach, the contract is not deemed to be terminated – it is still at the discretion of the employer to retain the services of the employee. The reasoning behind this principle is to avoid rewarding employees who seek to prematurely end their contracts deliberately.

The legal principle of frustration is defined where circumstances outside of the control of either party mean that the contract comes to an end, and any further contractual obligations are set aside. Examples of this would include such things as the destruction of the workplace, illness on the part of the employee, employee’s imprisonment or liquidation of the business.