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Contract salary lower than offer letter salary(3 Posts)
My partner received an offer letter which states explicitly they will receive a salary of £23k~ per annum for a contracted 37 hours of work per week and was told to sign this and return it to the employer so they could start their employment.
After starting their employment they noticed that they had been paid less than they expected to receive and after reviewing their contract it says they will receive 21k~ per annum for a contracted 37 hours of work.
They have now received a letter stating that offer letter is wrong because the original letter was based on a 40 hour week even though it explicitly states 37 hours.
They've only been at this job for a few months and want to stay at this job for the next few years as they're on a course with them.
They don't want to give them a reason to consider dismissing them or want to give them any reason to try and find a reason.
I was wondering if the offer letter is binding and what routes they have available to dispute it?
They were working for 20 days with no contract so it doesn't seem right they can quit their old job and start work and then flip the offer on them.
<Disclaimer> I'm not legally trained, just a random on the internet
If they have signed a letter from the employer which stated terms and conditions, then that surely has to be legally binding.
I get the 'new person doesn't want to cause a problem' feeling, but if there are others started at the same time, then everyone saying the same has got to help, I'd have thought.
I know it happened to my DN recently - offered one thing in the advertisement which was then discussed in the interview. Contract came through with not quite the same offer. In this case, one part of dn's job was actually to check through all the contracts the company signed, so it was not a bad thing to be pointing out they were good at it . Company said that wasn't what they were usually offering and dn pointed out that was what had been offered, and agreed upon and company backed down.
So of course your partner and colleagues are right to protest. What the company then do, will say a lot about the company ~ of course, if it isn't a good response, the next step will depend upon what options there realistically are.
This is a hugely annoying situation but the contract of employment will almost always supersede any offer letter.
Presumably the contract was signed after the offer letter was received, therefore it will be legally binding. It will often have an entire agreement clause in it or something stating it is the principal statement of terms.
One of the two documents has to be a mistake, but unfortunately if the contract was enclosed with the letter or was provided after the letter, it’s likely the lower salary is the one which is required.
It could be worth questioning I suppose but it sounds as though the employer is already suggesting the higher offer was a mistake (and if so, “mistake” is actually a defence to any breach of contract claim anyway).
Even if the offer letter was legally binding (which is unlikely) the employer could argue mistake as above, or terminate and offer a new contract - so from a rocking the boat point of view, you aren’t in the strongest position, as annoying as it inevitably is.
Take it as a learning experience though - next time your partner needs to be sure of the content of the contract before it’s signed! You’d be amazed how many people sign contracts without reading them though.
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