At what point can an employer justify “frustration of contract”?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 July 2014
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

A contract of employment may come to an end when an unforeseen event makes performance of the contract impossible or radically different from what the parties originally intended. The contract is then said to have been “frustrated”.

When a contract is frustrated it ends automatically by operation of law, without a dismissal on the part of the employer or a resignation on the part of the employee, and the parties are discharged from further obligations under it.

Frustration of employment contracts is most likely to arise in cases where an employee suffers a prolonged or sudden illness or disability, or is imprisoned. But it can also happen where there has been a change in the law which makes

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email

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