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I havent actually signed a contract - am I bound?

(9 Posts)
peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 05-Sep-09 07:45:35

Long depressing story which I wont go into sad.

New job - were changing contracts in the period I joined so was only sent a 'acceptance of appointment' letter. Contract has only just turned up a month after starting. I havent actually returned it as am crap at posting stuff blush.

New boss has changed a number of things compared to what is the norm for such a post and what I was verbally assured by the old boss. Nothing in my contract stating I have to follow the new boss rules.

I want to withdraw - as I havent signed a contract am I able to?

So many more issues going on here but just wondered about that one.

annh Sat 05-Sep-09 14:17:48

Of course you can always leave a job! I presume your question is more regarding what kind of notice you need to give? What does your now-received contract say about that? As you are presumably in your probationary period, it is probably quite short. Do you feel able to stay for that length of time? On the other hand, if you outline your concerns about the job, they may agree that it is mutually best for everyone if you leave immediately.

flowerybeanbag Sat 05-Sep-09 15:24:20

If you are not happy with the terms and conditions and they were not as specified, it's fine not to sign it. However if you are not going to sign it, you need to actually say so and explain why. Don't just carry on working as normal as you could be deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions offered to you.

If you want to leave, you can of course do so, give a week's notice.

As an aside, you mention the contract not saying you have to follow the new boss' rules, but a contract wouldn't normally say that anyway. If it's 'rules' or ways of working that are the problem, that may not be a contractual issue in any case. Obviously things changes, bosses change and things as transient as that, and as 'rules' wouldn't be in a contract.

Regardless of that, if you want to leave, give a week's notice immediately. If you don't want to leave immediately, make sure you write making clear you are not going to sign the contract and why so that they can't later try and hold you to it.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 05-Sep-09 18:18:37

I am in a job which is reknown for being flexible - new boss is insisting on being present in the office all the time despite it being discussed otherwise. If i stay and work in this job I will not have the experience needed to get a new one so am stuck. I chose the job for its flexibility. I dont want to be out of the house 6.30 til 7.30 every day sad

It is awkward - we can only leave on 3 days of the year - next date is jan 31st. I am also stuck as I need a job and its the wrong time of the year to get them in my field sad. By taking this job I have missed applying for others.

StillSquiffy Sun 06-Sep-09 07:12:42

Not sure what you want to happen next? If you want to leave but feel trapped because contractually you have to stay for a lengthy period, then the law in the UK is such that if the contract terms (including notice periods) are unreasonable, then the employer cannot rely upon such terms. 'Unreasonable' depends on the judgement of the courts but unless it is a very senior or specialised role ('director' level, or Uni professor, for example) then I cannot imagine any court upholding a term that states that once you join, you are in hock for a minimum of 6 months without some kind of trial period (as seems to be the case here). The fact that you haven't signed your contract helps, but you would have to act soon, because following the contract (even without signing it) can be deemed as acceptance of the terms.

If you did up and leave, then technically - if the employer convinced the court that it's terms where reasonable - you would be liable for the additional expenses incurred by the employer in finding someone else to do your job. But a lawyer would IMO only advise them to do this if you were doing a very senior or specialist job. Even then, the fact that you are leaving after just a month weakens their position comsiderably - it is normal for people to find the role doesn't work, for all sorts of reasons.

Saying all of that it sounds as if you don't want to leave, but you just want to enforce the 'normal' perks? As flowery syas, if these weren't in the contractual terms then you are not in a strong position - you either accept what you have, or decide to move on. If you were promised something verbally in interview and are not being told otherwise then your position is stronger and you need to write to employer stating that you were verbally promised X and Y and can they please confirm they will abide by these verbal agreements? If you had very clear assurances about some aspects of the role (and even better if you can get your old boss to confirm to you in writing that he made these assurances), then you can try to get the company to enforce them.

If you are in a position which you feel is inherently unfair because you picked this org over others and have suffered loss of flexibility as a result, then there is no 'redress' for lost alternative opportunities as such, and if you leave and then end up unemployed until January because of the job market, then that is something you have to accept (if you decide to leave).

Bear in mind that whatever you decide to do will need to be explained to future employers further down the line.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sun 06-Sep-09 08:20:45

Thank you stillsquiffy. What I want is my job duties to be normal.

I am worried about revealing too much on here just in case.

It is abnormal what I am being asked to do - and the problem is that if I sit tight and stick it out for a bit I damage my chances of getting another job because I wont have done the part of my job which every other place would see as the major part - if that makes any sense.

I think I need to talk to personnel first - see what can be sorted out. I dont want to leave - this on the face of it is/ was an excellent post and I need the money. It is just my line managers vision is in compatible with other institutitions - and importantly changed from what the job was described at at interview.

I cant really give details but it would be like someone signing up to be an entry level teacher and then being put in a back office organising timetables all day and never ever seeing a student. When they came to their next job and were asked to give experience of working with children they wouldnt be able to.

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Sun 06-Sep-09 08:34:20

Talk to ACAS.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sun 06-Sep-09 08:39:22

Thank you - have contacted my union and will see what they say.

peppapighastakenovermylife Sat 12-Sep-09 19:33:16

Union were horrified - as were personnel. I now have a meeting with them so fingers crossed we come to some happy conclusion. They were completely shocked as what I am trying to do with my time makes me an angelic employee in their minds...they spend most of their time trying to get people in my job to do this and cut back on what he wants me to do!


Fingers crossed, and thanks for everyones advice

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