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Can I be dismissed if I do not sign my contract

(17 Posts)
Sendmenoflowers Wed 13-Jun-18 15:58:37

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?

aprilanne Wed 13-Jun-18 16:01:53

yes basically in the first two years they can sack you no questions asked just not suitable .i am amazed it has went on this long

Katescurios Wed 13-Jun-18 16:05:09

Found this on acas.

Katescurios Wed 13-Jun-18 16:06:42

Do you have a written audit chain of your contract negotiations? As above if you have less than 2 years service an employer needs very little reason to fire you.

flowery Wed 13-Jun-18 16:08:30

Yes, basically.

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?

Sendmenoflowers Wed 13-Jun-18 17:25:49

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.

DPotter Wed 13-Jun-18 17:41:48

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.

flowery Wed 13-Jun-18 17:56:32

”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”

Previous employees’ contracts aren’t relevant. If this is the second contract they’ve given you, you should be comparing to the first one you were given, not to what people used to get historically.

Why do your colleagues think it is discriminatory? Do they think you are on less favourable terms because of a protected characteristic you have?

BakedBeans47 Wed 13-Jun-18 23:34:37


You’ve been happy enough to take their money for 13 months. If you were my employee it would be put to you that these are my terms and if you didnt like them you’d be shown the door.

BakedBeans47 Wed 13-Jun-18 23:37:37

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. hmm

Singlenotsingle Thu 14-Jun-18 00:05:25

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?

Sendmenoflowers Thu 14-Jun-18 07:23:26

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.

fruitcider Thu 14-Jun-18 07:26:00

Not allowed to claim for overtime? Sod that! I certainly wouldn't sign that I'd be looking for another job.

Figgygal Thu 14-Jun-18 07:27:13

They're just causing trouble for you sign if you happy to and hopefully the damage isn't already done. If they are being nasty in their dealings with you over it though do you even want to stay there?

Why is the contract different? Are they me applying those terms to all new starters?

HidingFromDD Thu 14-Jun-18 07:30:13

If the other people are work colleagues, they're probably worried that you'll be setting a precedent and it'll result in a change to their own contracts.

I think you're being used to prove a point tbh, and it's not a good strategy if you want to continue working there.

Contracts for previous or existing employees make no difference to yours unless it's discriminatory (protected characteristic)

Travis1 Thu 14-Jun-18 09:39:50

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.

DPotter Thu 14-Jun-18 17:07:15

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.

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