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New Contract

(6 Posts)
purpleprudence Tue 22-Jan-13 12:35:42

For the past 3 years ago I have worked 16 hours a week for a big store chain . I signed a contract when I was taken on . My team leader has now given me a new contract and told me that I need to sign it ,no explanation offered as to why . I have checked the details and most of it is the same except for agreeing to work 16 hours a week but on whatever days they tell me after giving me "reasonable notice" I have asked why but all he said was I need to sign it and get it back quickly . I am wondering if there is a hidden agenda here but no one in the management team will tell me why I have to sign .
My questions are 1) can they demand that I sign a new contract when my hours haven't changed 2) if I do sign it am I effectively signing away any employment rights that I have accrued over the last 3 years eg sick leave , annual leave , redundancy pay , probationary periods ?
I have also been asked to produce an in date passport as the one that I produced when I was originally employed has expired . Why would they need this now ? I have checked the Government website and it states that a UK passport does not have to be current to be accepted but the personnel lady at work is adamant that I must produce it which I think is a damn cheek .
Any help on this would be gratefully received

FadBook Tue 22-Jan-13 12:56:15

I would go to your personnel/ HR person and request a 121 meeting to discuss the contract in further detail.

Explain that the contract differs to your current one, namely the specific reference to working pattern. Ask her why there is a need for a new contract? Why was a discussion or communication not made about the contract, instead of it just being "handed out" and requested to be sent back ASAP? Have all employees received a new one, or just you, or just part time people? If part time only people, request information on why full time people have been missed? Ask her what are the main differences in the contract and what that means for you?

Explain, politely that you are not signing the contract until you receive some answers about the above.

As for your sick pay, redundancy package etc, this should be detailed in your contract OR in the Company policy. Check for any discrepancies from old one to the new one. If there are some, effectively they are varying your contract of employment and should be consulting with you about the need for the changes. If the change needs to happen, they either get your buy in to change it, or give you statutory notice of the change (normally a month/4weeks).

As for your passport, she is checking eligibility to work in the UK. If you hold an EU passport, this is evidence of your nationality/status to work. I've never known organisations to ask for a new copy when a British passport has expired (normally only when visas expire). I would request her reasons for this in writing and also seek out what alternatives can be provided (such as birth certificate, P60 etc) if you haven't got an up to date passport.

Seems a little strange what they are doing but it could be a case of poor communication, hence my advice to go straight to HR person.

The flexibility clause about "reasonable notice" is pretty standard I'm afraid and even if you weren't happy with it, they would probably find a business need/case to push it on you, and terminate your old contract, rehiring you on this new one. Depends how much of a fuss you want to make and if it will even have that much of an affect on you; ie you work Mondays and Tuesdays, but they give you reasonable notice to work Wednesdays and Thursdays. Throw in dependents such as children and they will need to dread very carefully if changing your working pattern.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Tue 22-Jan-13 13:08:33

Asking for a copy of the new passport is silly, as if you have qualified for an EU passport once, you will be entitled to one for the rest of your life. HR seem to be getting mixed up with work permits for non EU residents which may expire.

purpleprudence Tue 22-Jan-13 13:26:36

Thanks , that's really helpful . I had jotted down some questions to raise when I am next in work and you have echoed those as well as some other things that I hadn't thought of . To clarify , how does signing a new contract affect sick pay and redundancy rights ? Would I be a new worker for employment purposes or is the employment counted as continuous from when I first started even with a new contract ? I thought redundancy rights only accrued when you had been employed for 2 years . HR is someone taken from the shop floor with no HR qualifications who basically does what he's told to by managers , all he would tell me was that lots of people have been told to sign new contracts but wouldn't say which ones but I would guess the part timers as they are easy to cow into submission . I don't like the job much but I do need it to help pay the bills so can cope with the flexibility bit its the lack of communication , the "just sign it " attitude and what effect it would have on me if they make me redundant or tell me I have failed my probation , after I've signed . I would hope to sort this out amicably but they have a record of treating staff with a lack of consideration/ communication so I am not hopeful . Perhaps they will surprise me !

FadBook Tue 22-Jan-13 13:39:43

If you signed a new one, you still have continuous service, so sick pay entitlement (if it changed per length of service) and redundancy should not be affected.

If it a big company, they will have a HR person somewhere, find their contact details and speak to them. The unqualified HR bod doesn't sound like you'll get any straight answer and you may find that the main HR person doesn't know about the managers making changes!!

purpleprudence Tue 22-Jan-13 14:26:21

That was my main concern , are they trying to remove any rights that we have by making us "new" employees. As you can tell I don't trust them as far as I can see them so I am looking for another job , preferably one where I'm treated decently and appreciated . Good advice about the HR expert though , I'll request a phone number when I next work . Thank you so much for your sage advice , it is much appreciated .

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