A fixed-term contract terminates automatically by expiry after a particular period,
upon completion of a project, or the occurrence of an event. The use of conditional
employment arrangements is accepted as a commercial reality. Awareness of the potential
for the abuse of "automatic termination" clauses in employment contracts as a mechanism
for termination is increasing. Recent case law on the issue indicates that public
policy, which serves as the test for the validity and/or enforceability of "automatic
termination" clauses, has changed. The impetus for the protection of "non-standard"
or atypical employees is underscored by policy considerations that have been incorporated
by the recent legislative amendments. These developments may very well place a heavier
evidentiary burden than before on employers who opt to rely on "automatic termination"
clauses to sustain an argument in favour of their validity and/or enforcement.