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Non‐renewal of fixed‐term contracts: Critical analysis of award

C.M. van der Bank (Vad University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide tests to apply and establish what factors are relevant in determining whether or not an employee had a reasonable expectation of renewal of a fixed‐term contract as envisaged in section 186(1)(b) of the 1995 LRA.


The paper draws from case studies to examine whether these actionable conducts can be defined in a precise way.


The common law scenario, has been materially altered by the provisions of section 186(1)(b) of the 1995 LRA that the employers' non‐renewal of the contract or offer to renew the contract whilst the employee reasonably expected the employer to renew the contract therefore it constitutes a dismissal.

Practical implications

The common law interpreted that where a fixed‐term contract expires, where an express term in the contract stipulates that there is no expectation to renew the contract in the mind of the employee concerned that the contract will be renewed again; the employer will have no contractual remedy available to him. This paper calls upon common law to use and pro‐actively manage labour law responsibilities and further refine the existing dismissal tools.


This paper contributes the rethinking of labour rights is necessary because the social, economic and political environments in which they were first conceived have been fundamentally affected by modern globalization and the expansion of the network society.



van der Bank, C.M. (2008), "Non‐renewal of fixed‐term contracts: Critical analysis of award", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 50 No. 4, pp. 158-167.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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