Employment Contract Question

Employers seem reluctant to offer contracts...

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5 Replies - 1727 Views - Last Post: 11 January 2011 - 12:02 PM

#1 andy_pleasants  Icon User is offline

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Employment Contract Question

Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:32 PM

Hi Guys

I'm not to up on the business stuff (very "hard systems" you could say to be kind) and I have this question about why an employer seems so reluctant to offer proper contracts.

I started working for a place on work placement and was never asked to sign any form of contract - OK I got a letter of employment, I accepted it (in writing) but no actual contract signed.

They're now offering me a graduate job and I asked for a contract and they seem very reluctant to draw one up; once again I have a letter of employment with all the necessaries on (i.e. wage, working hours, place of work, holidays etc etc) and I'm expected to sign this and send it back - but to me this is not a "contract".

When I spoke to some other people - they too were saying they don't have one, and it turns out nobody does!

So my question is - why would a company be so reluctant to offer a contract? What rights do I have if I accept the job and do not have a contract? And what rights do they have because I don't have one?

And also what would you guys suggest - I know the company and they aren't under-handed in any way (no more than nay other business) but still, this seems very strange behaviour, because in my opinion a contract is needed to ensure employees don't start taking the p**s ("It says so xxxxx your contract") - should I accept this or not?.

Thanks for your input!!

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Replies To: Employment Contract Question

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Employment Contract Question

Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:01 PM

You sound like my wife who comes from Australia where everyone signs a contract for any job above McDonalds clerk.

It just doesn't work that way in this country. Until you are part of the upper management you are a grunt. If the company isn't worried about you leaving then they don't need a contract to keep you there.

The laws vary from state to state. Take Arizona for example where it is a right-to-work state. The employer can fire you at any time for no reason or grounds. Other states don't work that way.
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#3 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Employment Contract Question

Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:41 PM

Well it all depends on what kind of arbitration system is in place in the country. The OP would appear to be in Britain, so any comparison to the USA is pointless.
In Australia contracts are commonplace because part of the eradication of fat, greedy workers unions involved enterprise bargaining agreements, where each individual workplace/company negotiated with it's own employees to reach an agreement on terms, and then all individuals would sign the agreement.
Unless you know anything about employment in the UK, your experiences are of no use to the OP.
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#4 andy_pleasants  Icon User is offline

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Re: Employment Contract Question

Posted 10 January 2011 - 04:38 PM

Yes sorry guys/girls I am in the UK - shows my lack of knowledge not knowing that all countries were different :helpsmilie:

I'm not expecting some massive contract - but nobody has even seen a computer usage policy let alone signed one, so if there was ever a dispute about computer misuse the employee in question could simply say "I never signed anything" so to me it seems strange this is missing - such a simple thing to draw up and so critical for a IT reliant company.

What I'm cautious of is if I have any disputes somebody turning to me and saying "you never signed a contract", this is what I meant by what rights do I have, and vice versa. Just trying to determine why they'd be so reluctant.
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#5 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Employment Contract Question

Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:42 PM

Suggest you seek professional advice. Try your local C.A.B.

The contract "should" describe what and how the transaction shall operate.
  • What the employer expects from employee (you)

  • What you employee expect from employer (them)
  • Who is responsible for taxes (You/Them)


A letter of employment (too me) isn't a contract, it is more of an opening to negotiations.


Suggest you seek professional advice. Try your local C.A.B.

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 10 January 2011 - 05:42 PM

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#6 andy_pleasants  Icon User is offline

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Re: Employment Contract Question

Posted 11 January 2011 - 12:02 PM

AdamSpeight2008 you seem to have the same idea as me mate with what should be in a contract, I think I may take that advice and go see SAB, cheers
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