Contractors' Questions: Why no termination clause?
Contractor's Question: I have just been offered a 2-year IT service contract which seems to say nothing about termination prior to the contract expiry date. If there is no formal procedure, such as a notice period, for early termination, where does that leave me?
Expert's Answer: The simple answer to your interesting question is that if there are no termination provisions in the contract, then you would be in breach of contract if you left. That said, and from a practical point of view, if you went to your principal and told them that you wanted to leave, it is very unlikely that they would force you to continue. This is because it is simply not in their interest, as you may not work to the best of your abilities.
Assuming there are no formal procedures for termination in the contract, the best option in the event that you wish to leave would be to speak to your principal. Explain the situation and attempt to come to an agreement. It may be, for example, that you could just work for a further month in order to give them time to find a replacement. In that scenario, it will very much depend upon what you can negotiate.
The expert was Jody Tsigarides, of Lawdit Solicitors.