New job contract - what to insist on

(14 Posts)
BrightBlueCast Wed 02-Dec-20 11:37:49

I'm in the lucky position of having been offered a new job - one that I would love, and very good pay and benefits. 2020 has slightly redeemed itself.

I've accepted verbally (they rang me up to offer, and I said 'yes please, subject to contract') and have notified current employer verbally (small company, good relationship most of the time, need a reference and needed to tell boss, also wanted to give boss the heads up asap).

Have received what I guess is an offer letter from HR, setting out basic terms 'subject to references and 3 months' probation' ,they've asked for a letter back to confirm. Separately to this they need to do enhanced DBS and background checks, and that's being handled by a different dept. HR have asked for a letter back to accept, and to let them know my start date (job is open from mid-December, so they'll accept me as soon as I can manage it).

I asked if I get a fuller contract and was told 'usually on the first day'. Seems a bit weird? Would an exchange of letters (as above) constitute a binding agreement? I also asked for details of the pension and private healthcare and was told only the name of the provider, but not the percentage, or the cost to me, or what 'subject to eligibility' means).

Given the climate, I really don't want to take any risks. I'd just negotiated a nice voluntary redundancy package (hadn't signed) but obviously this job is a better move, but don't want to end up giving in my notice and then - for some reason - not actually getting this new job. My current notice period is 1 month but I'm reluctant to give that formally until my new position is rock solid.

It's tricky as the new job is with an organisation who should very much understand the law, so I'm a bit surprised that they're not a bit more 'on it'. Or AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
cabbageking Wed 02-Dec-20 11:58:43

Sounds pretty much fun of the mill.

Some health care plans may start after completion of a set time with the company. May not cover pre existing conditions or a range of issues or even those you have had before within a specific time frame. You may qualify and you may not.

BrightBlueCast Wed 02-Dec-20 12:09:32

The private health isn't a deal-breaker (just curious, but I can wait).

The Pension I'd say is more important but, again, I'll hang on.

What I am most concerned about, though, is the risk of not having a cast-iron contract in place but being expected to hand in my notice.

Unlikely to happen but, if the references or background checks aren't favourable, they could withdraw the offer and I might have already started my notice period.

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Orangeboots Wed 02-Dec-20 12:22:57

Employment law has recently changed and you must give new employees their full contract of employment on or before the day they join. Previously you could just give minimum details and then you had 8 weeks to provide full contract. So wouldn't worry on that point.
risk of not having a cast-iron contract in place but being expected to hand in my notice
The contract won't save you - in your first two years it's relatively easy to get rid of someone. It's a risk everyone takes. Their approach sounds normal. Good luck hope you enjoy your new role!

carrottbaton Wed 02-Dec-20 12:26:32

Unfortunately the role won't be rock solid until after your probation and even then you're quite exposed until you've been there for 2 years. I accepted a job offer a year ago after 12 years in my previous job and and didn't get my contract until the day before starting, and then I had some problems with it. My heart was in my mouth a bit, I have to say until it was signed.

BrightBlueCast Wed 02-Dec-20 13:54:58

Thanks for your replies. I'm very nervous about it all as it's so unusual for jobs to come up in this field, especially at this time, and for a very unusually good salary and benefits. Maybe I'm feeling it's too good to be true!

Current job I'm utterly fed up with but have been there 11 years and did have the prospect of a decent redundancy lump sum coming up in the next few months if I wanted it. And, of course, can't be easily got rid of.

I guess I just need to go for it and spend the next couple of months, even years, worrying about it!

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Orangeboots Wed 02-Dec-20 14:24:58

I guess I just need to go for it and spend the next couple of months, even years, worrying about it! Better to spend the time working hard proving your worth. Worry never fixed anything. Enjoy your new job, congratulations!

BrightBlueCast Wed 02-Dec-20 14:42:51

Ha yes, thank you! I will work hard. It's a good job and it's all stuff that I can do so i have no reason to feel I would have problems. But I am by nature a worrier!!

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WineIsMyMainVice Wed 02-Dec-20 16:06:39

They have a legal responsibility to issue the contract within 8 weeks of you starting. Most contractual terms are very similar. But if you want specifics before you receive that then email HR and ask the following:

Holiday entitlement
Working hours
Number of contracted hours
Things like if you are expected to work on bank holidays? If so what do you get paid?
Pension contribution rates (both employer and employee)
Your notice period
Is overtime payable? If so at what rate?

Those are the main things. Good luck!

WineIsMyMainVice Wed 02-Dec-20 16:09:06

Oo just remembered - is there any company sick pay or is it just SSP?

BrightBlueCast Wed 02-Dec-20 16:40:37

Thanks Wine: I'm compiling a list of questions and having a Zoom call with the HR person tomorrow. Not all of those are outlined in my offer letter and I hadn't thought about sick pay. They did say they might get the contract to me before I start but that it was normal to have it on the first day. I hope they don't think I'm being a total diva. But, given that my job will involve contractual negotiations and dealings with outside bodies, I'd like them to think that I'm conscientious, cautious person both at work and personally!

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Feminist10101 Wed 02-Dec-20 16:44:03

They have a legal responsibility to issue the contract within 8 weeks of you starting.

If you’re going to advise on legalities, it helps if you are up to date. Employers don’t have 8 weeks anymore. Since April this year the contract must be given to the employee by the starting date at the latest.

Orangeboots Wed 02-Dec-20 16:53:51

Feminist10101

*They have a legal responsibility to issue the contract within 8 weeks of you starting.*

If you’re going to advise on legalities, it helps if you are up to date. Employers don’t have 8 weeks anymore. Since April this year the contract must be given to the employee by the starting date at the latest.

Maybe you should read the whole of my post before commenting

Orangeboots Wed 02-Dec-20 16:55:09

Sorry Feminist - thought you were talking about me - carry on, as you were😂

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