Frustration of Contract

Posted in : How do I handle it NI on 10 February 2015
Sharon McArdle
Issues covered:

We have an employee who has been absent due to sickness for two years. For the last year the employee has not provided any evidence of ongoing sickness and we have not attempted to contact him. Due to the length of absence can we now say that his contract is terminated by frustration?

Sharon McArdle writes:

A contract which is frustrated is discharged by operation of law, and in the case of an employment contract, this does not count as a dismissal under the Employment Rights Order. Frustration is usually deemed to occur independently of the fault of either employee or employer.

Case law concerning the doctrine of frustration indicates that Courts will be slow to treat a contract of

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This article is correct at 06/08/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Sharon McArdle

The main content of this article was provided by Sharon McArdle. Contact telephone number is 028 9055 3300 or email

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