Hello, I have been at my current job for the past 13 months. I had presented to me 3 months into the new job a new contract. One that differs to my colleagues contracts and the lady who had my job previously. This has been going on for 10 months now and I am constantly being pressured into signing the contract. We are at the stage where attitudes towards me from my bosses have started to change and have even got very heated from their side. I have got advice from my local Citizens Advice and am awaiting my legal appointment. If I do not sign can they just turn around and ask me to go?
Was this contract a replacement for one you'd been given previously? Or was it the first one?
It's not at all abnormal for employers to change their standard terms for new staff, meaning that for a while, existing staff may be on different sets of terms and conditions. What's your concern with the contract you've been given?
This is my second contract. I’m in a difficult position as my partner and my colleagues are telling me not to sign. In my new contract I have a different sick policy, a radius from the office I’m expected to travel and I’m not allowed to put in overtime. I have been given a copy of previous ladies contract by my colleagues who say it is discriminative to me not to be on the same. My lunch break is now a paid 20 minutes used to be unpaid 1hour. They have given me no extra pay for the 40minutes.
A different contract from other employees is not necessarily discriminative - it all depends what's in it.
I don't think you'll have any luck persuading an employment tribunal for example that paying you for a 20min lunchbreak is discriminative over an unpaid hour off for lunch. Could be seen as a reasonable change. I believe an employer can enforce a new contract on you with 13 weeks notice. The choice you have is whether to accept and stay or decline and leave. With this going on for 13mths, they have been patient with you. Do you have trade union membership - this is just the sort of thing they're good at.
Oh and it’s perfectly common for employers to revise their terms for new staff who come in. As flowery said unless it’s been done on the basis of you possessing a protected characteristic you don’t have a leg to stand on.
They aren’t going to pay you sick pay or a paid lunch just because you haven’t signed a contract.
A contract is an agreement between you and your employer. What other people's contracts say has got nothing to do with it. If you wanted to argue it was discriminatory, it would have to be for one of the protected reasons (on grounds of sex, race disability etc) As someone else has said, an employer will often take the opportunity of giving a new employee different terms, to suit the needs of the business.And yes, in general you can be dismissed if you have less than 2 years service, for not signing your contract. Maybe discuss it with HR and work out terms and conditions that you are both happy with?
Thanks for everyone’s comments. I was prepared to sign it but other people have stopped me from doing so. We don’t have a HR dept or a trade union as we are only a very small company. I’m been very naive and had thought I was being protected by people fighting my corner. Thanks going to sign today.
Hang on though, they're reducing your lunch break with no extra pay and you cannot claim overtime? Were these the terms agreed when you were offered the job? If not then I wouldn't be signing because I would be looking elsewhere. I had a company do similar to me and I put up with it for 6 months and then left because it wasn't what we agreed originally and I got more and more pissed off. Given the chance again I'd fight my corner more.
Not being able to claim for overtime - so you don't work it. Yes - lunch break was reduced, but previously unpaid, now paid. It's a trade off. You don't have to have a trade union where you work - you can join from any size employer. Sometimes its employees at smaller companies who need trade unions the most, as smaller companies don't have HR departments and don't realise what they can and can't ask employees to do.