Hi I am taking Union advise on this but wondered if any employment law/HR bods could advise in the mean time. So I am on a 1 year temp contract till end August. 2 months ago I was offered a further year temp contact from September. I chased up the contact several times and it finally landed on my desk 2 weeks ago. Now I have been offered a new position from September on a perm contract in the same industry but slightly different field. Standard is to give a terms notice however I believed I was simply not taking up my new contact so no issues. I went to see line manager on Friday to let them know and they caught me on the hop about and said that they could block my notice as not a full term given. In hind sight I am wondering if they are unaware I have not have new contract signed back to HR yet? So can I be held to notice if I haven't signed the contract? Thanks for any advice.
Well they can't physically lock you in the building until you've worked a term, so from that point of view they can't hold you to it as such, however obviously if you (one) were to walk out without serving full contractual notice that would impact a reference and technically could result in legal action (although very unlikely unless they incur financial loss).
However if a term isn't your contractual notice period that doesn't apply. Presumably your current contract ends in August therefore doesn't involve a term's notice to terminate, and the new contract starts in September, from which point you would be required to give a terms notice? Assuming you are still under the old terms and the proposed new terms don't start until September, there is no issue.
Thanks for your advise. Yes current contact finishes August and I haven't actually signed the one for September yet as they were so slow giving it to me. The ref etc is what i was conserned about. If I was on a perm contract or had started the new one I understand I would be bound by the notice period and work as such. However I assumed as no new contract there was no notice per say. Some one has mentioned that they could say the me verbally agreeing to the year extension was binding, is that right? Thanks again for the help
I think if you verbally agreed the new contract it would be polite to give them notice so they can find a replacement. Regardless of legality I think to leave on good terms and therefore strong reference etc you should give them the respect of a terms notice. If this is no longer possible go and speak to your line manager and see if a compromise can be reached- what would the company who have offered you a perm post say if you had to work at old company a bit longer? Would it be a massive hassle?
Yes verbal agreement could be binding, but if the terms you verbally agreed to don't come into effect until September that doesn't matter. If the new contract was already in effect then the fact that you haven't technically signed it yet might not help you. But if the new contract says it has a start date of 1 September then the terms within it aren't effective yet.
There is a thing whereby if someone is offered employment, accepts the offer and then withdraws, they could technically be in breach of contract. But I think arguing that in circumstances where you've only had the contract two weeks before withdrawing would be a stretch to say the least.
Since actually receiving the contract and seeing the terms within it, have you confirmed verbally that you are happy with it and accept the offer?