I'm in a more-than-two-year fixed-contract job in the UK, ending in a few months (employee/employer type of contract). I just received an email stating:

For the record, I need to advise that there would have been opportunity to extend your contract so this would be a resignation rather than redundancy matter.

On that basis, please can you submit your formal resignation to ...

Regarding the "there would have been opportunity to extend your contract", all I can say is that my boss offered me the possibility of extending the contract "for some time" (less than a year), but for personal reasons I need to move to a different town. In any case, I never received a formal extension offer. Perhaps more importantly, because I rejected the "extension offer", my employeer will hire a replacement.

Now, is this an unfair request, perhaps asking for myself to renounce redundancy (or other) rights? The official information in the UK government website about fixed-term contracts states:

Anyone who’s worked continually for the same employer for 2 years or more has the same redundancy rights as a permanent employee.

Further on, regarding ending a fixed-contract, it says:

If a contract isn’t renewed

This is considered to be a dismissal, and if the employee has 2 years’ service the employer needs to show that there’s a ‘fair’ reason for not renewing the contract (eg, if they were planning to stop doing the work the contract was for). ...

They may be entitled to statutory redundancy payments after 2 years’ service if the reason for non-renewal is redundancy. [emphasis mine]

So, there seems to be a difference between dismisal and redundancy. In fact, the official UK government website regarding redundancies states:

Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job. It happens when employers need to reduce their workforce.

So, it seems ending of fixed-contract is not per se reason for redundancy, specially given that the employer will hire someone for my position.

My questions now:

  • is my analysis correct? This is, am I not entitled to redundancy rights?
  • should I send a resignation message for a fixed-term contract, if it is evident the contract is to finish anyway?
  • if not, why would I be asked to do so?
  • I've answered the right/fair question, although Law SE is more usually concerned with questions of whether something is legal (which the sites you link confirm appears to be the case here). I had my "Workplace" hat on for the answer, so we might find the question gets migrated there. Commented May 2, 2019 at 15:32
  • @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere - it is very much harder (?impossible?) to migrate a question with an answer. Commented May 2, 2019 at 16:32
  • @Martin Bonner Several questions which I had already answered have been migrated, so it is possible. I don't know whether it is harder, or how much.For example, I answerd politics.stackexchange.com/questions/40478 on law, it was migrated to politics after I did so. Commented May 3, 2019 at 4:04
  • @MartinBonner - I've seen it happen a few times, but it's worth knowing it makes it more difficult. Thanks - I'll bear that in mind next time. Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:33
  • @ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere Actually, I asked it there first, but was suggested to move it here. Commented May 3, 2019 at 12:33

2 Answers 2


As I understand it, the legal distinction here is:

Whose choice was it that you not continue in your job?

If the company was prepared to offer you an extension, until you told them that you were not interested, you are leaving of your own free will, and would not be entitled to redundancy rights. If your employer did not extend the contract when you would have been willing to continue, that is either a redundancy, or a dismissal of another kind. If you were dismissed for valid cause, you have no redundancy rights. if you were let go because of a lack of work, or because the employer decided not to have anyone doing that job, that I gather would be redundancy.


The wording is a bit strange, but the effect on you (and the company) seems fair. If the employer had not been hiring a replacement, it might have been reasonable to consider this redundancy, but since they are - the job is continuing with someone else doing it - it's not.

You're right that referring to it as "resignation" seems odd, but you don't need to use that terminology yourself. Your reply could be as simple as :

"As defined in our contract, I confirm that my last day with the company will be [date]."

In this case, the "fair reason" the employer could show for not renewing the contract would be your verbal rejection of the informal extension offer, or that your moving to another town would mean that you would be unavailable for work.

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