Termination of employment

Produced by Tolley in association with Hannah Freeman at Old Square Chambers

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Hannah Freeman at Old Square Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Termination of employment
  • Expiry of a contract
  • Resignation
  • Mutual agreement or mutual consent
  • Operation of law ― frustration
  • Dismissal
  • Effective date of termination

Termination of employment

Termination occurs every time a contract comes to an end. While dismissal may be the most common and the most important in terms of employee rights and employer obligations, there may be other reasons for termination.

The types of termination are:

  1. expiry of a limited or fixed term contract

  2. resignation by the employee (with or without notice)

  3. mutual agreement

  4. operation of law / frustration

  5. dismissal by the employer (with or without notice)

See also the Wrongful dismissal and Constructive dismissal guidance notes.

Expiry of a contract

A contract and employment under that contract will terminate when a period specified in a fixed term contract comes to an end or where an event specified in a limited-term contract occurs.

Termination of a contract does not constitute a dismissal at common law but is a dismissal under unfair dismissal legislation and for the purposes of the law on redundancy payments.


A resignation is effectively a decision by the employee to terminate their own contract.

It is only treated as a dismissal if the decision is made in circumstances that amount to constructive dismissal or where the cause of the resignation is a threat by the employer to dismiss the employee. See the Constructive dismissal guidance note.

Mutual agreement or mutual consent

Many situations arise in which it suits both parties to end employment without observing the notice provisions set out in the contract

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