Signing contract under protest - advice(10 Posts)
Asking for a relative.
He's been in his role for a number of years, worked for employer for over 15 years.
This restructure at work means his role is changing a little, a minor promotion. He's fine with the changes to his role but not with the lack of pay rise as his pay doesn't reflect the new level of responsibility and out of hours work he has to undertake regularly. To explain, he used to get paid o/t for this ooh work but a previous manager unilaterally stopped it. It has been an ongoing issue, much complained about for a few years and promises have been made to address that.
He absolutely deserves a pay rise as there are others in similar (and sometimes less senior!) roles at his place of work who get paid more than him. His line manager says there's no money for a pay rise. HR are looking at the issue of fair pay but in the meantime his line manager wants him to sign the contract so that structure changes could be announced.
What would signing the contract under protest mean?
Also, the new structure creates a new role alongside his, a counterpart, who'll be working on a corresponding area of work. This is the exact same role but in another area. He feel that he is at a disadvantage to whoever will come into that role as they'll be in a stronger position to negotiate a pay rise whereas he is basically ring put in a like it or lump it position. Very frustrating and demotivating!
Absolutely nothing, his signature is an acceptance of the terms and conditions detailed in the contract, whether he signs willingly or not. Is his role covered by a TU recognition agreement and is he a member? If so then I'd recommend contacting his rep and seeking advice about the options open to him if he's unwilling to accept the real terms pay cut.
He can't sign under protest - you either accept the job or not. If he turns up to work in the new role he will be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions - you can't cherry pick bits out. Sorry, that's probably not what you wanted to hear.
If they can't announce the restructure without him accepting this new job, then I'd have thought that was probably his best chance of securing a better deal. Point out to some higher up bosses that his own boss is the one holding things up with the poor deal, etc.
Can he reject the new role and stay in his old one?
No, the new role replaces his existing role.
His manager's manager is the bigger block here, we think. It can't know for sure.
Also, he is in a TU but the reps are his staff. It won't be appropriate to discuss that with one of them.
He should contact his local TU branch or TU Head Office explain the situation and request a more appropriate rep. Effectively his old role has ceased to exist and so his transfer to a new role is to some extent a choice. By the way any restructuring that incorporates redundancy (voluntary or otherwise) requires employee consultation so I'm not sure why they can't announce the restructuring until he accepts his new terms
It's unusual to have a new contract for a new role - it would normally be an update of the job description to reflect the restructure.
On what objective grounds can your relative say his job is now more complex/more responsibility than the current role?
Issues with overtime best kept separate here, though what is relevant are the comparator roles.
People often overinflate their roles, in order to request a raise. Extra responsibility in one area could well have been balanced out by less in another. Jobs could have been previously graded at the wrong level.
He needs to get a copy of his old contract of employment (existing role) and compare both contracts with a fine tooth comb. Look at everything they are changing. I am wondering why they are not just amending his old contract - are there more hidden changes in there?
He must not sign the new contract until he has worked out the differences. Some contractual changes are protected in law - companies can not just change them without agreement, others, may not be worth kicking up a fuss over.
See if his old contract entitled him to paid over-time. This is often stated in a contract. If it says 'at a manager's discretion', then it's not protected.
His company are trying to amend job roles without it costing them any more money. They can change the type of work he undertakes and it's easy for them to slide some higher level stuff in there - there's little you can do about that. He has to agree to a change of job title. They can not reduce pay. If he would be working more hours in the new role unpaid, but his over-time was protected in the contract, then there may be a case here to argue that pay has been reduced. You would need to get some external advice (try TU). It all comes down to the wording in both contracts.
If he does not sign the contract, then they could argue that his old role no longer exists and it's a redundancy situation. He could argue this also. Depends how much he wants to keep his job / annoy his bosses versus how bad the contractual changes are.
Thanks you all for your advice, as with all issues like this it is not straight forward and difficult to explain all the nuances online, in writing. Will try the TU route.
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