Termination of employment limited in time or by task

Where an employer terminates the employment of a person in circumstances where either the contract expressly permits termination when funding expires, or it is implicit in the working arrangements that this is the case, the dismissal will not be related to the person’s capacity or performance and thus the decided cases on whether there is a valid reason (see sec 387(a) Fair Work Act 2009) are not relevant.
“South West NRM rely on the decision in Department of Justice v Lunn (2006) 158 IR 410 where it was explained that a genuine contract for a specified period terminates by the passing of time at the end of the period rather than by termination at the initiative of the employer. In Andersen v Umbakumba Community Council (1994) 126 ALR 121, 125-126 von Doussa J further found that in order to be a contract for a specified period of time the dates of commencement and completion of the contract must be unambiguous.”

Newson v South West NRM Limited T/A South West NRM (2016) FWC 7063 delivered 9 December 2016 per Simpson C