/ Would you accept this contract?

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Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
I've been a contractor for a few years now but have just been for my first interview in a long time for a permanent position.

Today I got offered the job and received the contract to sign, but I have a few worries about some of the clauses in the contract and was wondering if these are considered normal and it's me that's lost touch with what is normally in a contract these days.

Here are the bits that concern me and there's quite a few of them as well as a few more that I haven't copied from the contract:

Our normal hours of work are from 08.30 to 17.30 Monday through to Friday (40 hours per week), with a 60 minute lunch break. However, due to the nature of the business which we are supporting, you must be prepared to work shift duties and additional hours when requested by the Company, without additional remuneration, in order to meet the requirements of the business and to ensure the proper performance of your duties. For the avoidance of doubt this may include Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

You are required to complete a probationary period of 12 months duration from the commencement date (‘the probation period’). If during the probationary period the company is dissatisfied with your performance or conduct, your employment may be terminated by the Company giving you the statutory notice period or payment in lieu thereof.

ue to the inherent uncertainty of circumstances within the industry, situations can arise where the Company has excess capacity (for example, reduced business activity). If the Company is required to reduce activity levels for any reason, it is a condition of this job offer that you agree and accept the right of the Company, at its sole discretion, to give you compulsory unpaid leave for the duration of the period the Company considers as excess capacity. The Company will give you as much notice of this eventuality as is reasonably practicable. In accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996 you will be given the statutory minimum payment applicable (known as the ‘guarantee payment’). For the avoidance of doubt no claim for further payment can be made.

1.DEDUCTIONS

You hereby authorize the Company to deduct from your pay (including holiday pay, bonus and pay in lieu of notice) any amounts which are owed by you to the Company, which for the avoidance of doubt would include but is not limited to any overpayments, monies for staff car parking (following the issue of a parking permit), the provision of your uniform, outstanding training bond and the provision of new or replacement ID cards.

1.TERMINATION

Subject as follows the Company can terminate your employment at any time by giving you the statutory period of notice;

Period of Employment Period of Notice

Up to four weeks Nil
Between four weeks and two years One week
Between two years and twelve years One week for each complete year
Over twelve years Twelve weeks

You may terminate your employment at any time giving the Company one months written notice.
The New NickB - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Not if I had an alternative. It is a real piss take of a contract.
Simon4 - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: I think you are right to be concerned!
lost1977 - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

not exactly good but the question is can you afford not to accept in these times
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

The reason that I want a permanent job is for job security and stability. From reading this contract, it seems that I will be just as expendable as a contractor but not getting paid anywhere near as much as I would if I continue contracting.

There's also other clauses about training bonds that don't decrease over time, no sick pay in the first 12 months and the pay offered is lower than what was discussed at interview.

I've pretty much made up my mind not to accept it, but just wondered if other people found some of the terms unreasonable.
Padraig on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:
> I've been a contractor for a few years now but have just been for my first interview in a long time for a permanent position.>


Doesn't sound like a "permanent" position to me! I'd have concerns.
Steve John B - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
>
> Not if I had an alternative. It is a real piss take of a contract.

+1. Some dreadful stuff in there. Paying for your own uniforms? Enforced unpaid leave when they feel like it? Working whatever days/hours they want you to?

What is the job btw?
Steve John B - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:
> the pay offered is lower than what was discussed at interview.

Sounds like that sums them up!
EeeByGum - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

> no sick pay in the first 12 months and the pay offered is lower than what was discussed at interview.

I would imagine that this is basically the minimum required by law, as is the probationary period thing. If I were you I would either continue contracting to take the job and look for something else before leaving them in the lurch.
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to lost1977:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
>
> not exactly good but the question is can you afford not to accept in these times

I think I can because I have other offers of employment paying 3-4 times as much. The problem I have is that the other offers won't allow me to gain the experience I need to get fully qualified in my field that would allow me to get a much better job in the future.
3 Names - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

No way!
professionalwreckhead - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Whilst hardly a desirable position for you, there are only two things in there which are actually unusual and which should be resisted if you intend to consider the role:

1. 12 month probationary period, not completely unreasonable, but 3-6 months is more common and when coupled with point 2 below it's a bit much.

2. The requirement to take unpaid leave in times of "excess capacity". Normally you would have to be paid in cases of temporary lay off, but if you agree to this provision you are waiving that entitlement. Resist this provision unless you REALLY want the job.

Fultonius - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: Take one of the others but keep looking for a better alternative that gives experience?

Or, take this one for the minimum time you reckon it requires the get the experience, then f'cuk off out of there. Can't imagine staff morale could be great with conditions like that!
puppythedog on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: I agree with you that the terms are unnacceptable. Perhaps if you discussed this with them they would alter the terms or offer Money that makes it worthwhile? that way you could get the experience you want too? Always worth a try and they woudl then know why you turned it down if you do and they could reconsider the recruitment practices
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead:

"1. 12 month probationary period, not completely unreasonable, but 3-6 months is more common and when coupled with point 2 below it's a bit much."

Legally it can be up to 2 years now. I'm pretty sure others I've had were the legal 12 months it was at the time.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

"Our normal hours of work are from 08.30 to 17.30 Monday through to Friday (40 hours per week), with a 60 minute lunch break. However, due to the nature of the business which we are supporting, you must be prepared to work shift duties and additional hours when requested by the Company, without additional remuneration, in order to meet the requirements of the business and to ensure the proper performance of your duties. For the avoidance of doubt this may include Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays."

Mine has a similar meaning to that with the exception that it leaves it a bit more open and we have a long standing (but non contractual) arrangement that a lieu day is offered on the rare instance of a full day needing to be worked at the weekend. Evening overtime is a bit of an "as required" thing and doesn't attract payment nor lieu time, but it doesn't happen very often.

I would ask the company their intention on the clause, personally - it reads much more as "this will happen" than ours which is more of an "if we need it" situation, and our lot don't need it often. If they are reasonable to me (they are, very much so) I will be reasonable back :)

"Due to the inherent uncertainty of circumstances within the industry, situations can arise where the Company has excess capacity (for example, reduced business activity). If the Company is required to reduce activity levels for any reason, it is a condition of this job offer that you agree and accept the right of the Company, at its sole discretion, to give you compulsory unpaid leave for the duration of the period the Company considers as excess capacity. The Company will give you as much notice of this eventuality as is reasonably practicable. In accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996 you will be given the statutory minimum payment applicable (known as the ‘guarantee payment’). For the avoidance of doubt no claim for further payment can be made."

I would have a big concern about that, but maybe it's more common on new contracts. I would be very wary of signing that one.

What is the industry? IT consulting can be like that, but I've always had full pay when "on the bench" (though that's only happened for a week and only once ever).

"You hereby authorize the Company to deduct from your pay (including holiday pay, bonus and pay in lieu of notice) any amounts which are owed by you to the Company, which for the avoidance of doubt would include but is not limited to any overpayments, monies for staff car parking (following the issue of a parking permit), the provision of your uniform, outstanding training bond and the provision of new or replacement ID cards."

Pretty sure mine has that but without the examples listed, just the first bit. Very common in principle. ID cards seems a bit odd, though. Whether uniform is provided free or not depends I think on the industry.

"Period of Employment Period of Notice

Up to four weeks Nil
Between four weeks and two years One week
Between two years and twelve years One week for each complete year
Over twelve years Twelve weeks"

I have a feeling those might be statutory minima.

Neil
PixieNinja - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:
If you have offers of much better paid work, could you not go with one of those and just look out for the opportunity of gaining some more experience in the field you want to when something more desirable comes up?
That's would I would do, some of those terms seem quite unreasonable.
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to puppythedog:

This was my reply:

Dear Madam,

After careful consideration, I have decided that I am unable to accept the offer at this time.

Having read the contract, there are a number of terms in it that give me cause for concern. Firstly, the salary offered is lower than that which was discussed in the interview. My reason for applying for a permanent position, having been contracting for a number of years, is for job security and stability for my family. Unfortunately this contract does not appear to offer that as my employment could be terminated at any point and with little notice or I could be forced to take unpaid leave for an unspecified length of time.

Unfortunately there are also a number of other clauses in this contract which I do not consider to be fair to me as an employee and by signing it I would waive any rights that I would reasonably expect to have as a permanent employee.

Regards,

Philip Payne
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

"From reading this contract, it seems that I will be just as expendable as a contractor but not getting paid anywhere near as much as I would if I continue contracting."

The "if we don't want you we almost don't pay you" clause would be enough to make me continue contracting if I were you and I were making a reasonable job of it. At least when contracting you control your work stream.

"There's also other clauses about training bonds that don't decrease over time"

Absolutely would not sign that.

"no sick pay in the first 12 months"

Illegal; SSP must be paid by law.

"and the pay offered is lower than what was discussed at interview."

Sounds like a company that doesn't care for its staff. If you have any other option, definitely decline, and I'd be inclined to tell them why as well.

Neil


SFM - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

As others have said not a permanent contract in the accepted sense. Sounds like they're trying to get a contractor on the "cheap".

Would you take the job if they removed the conditions about compulsory unpaid leave and reduced the probabtion period?

The devil in me says that you should push them as far as they will go with it but still not take the job saying that you have been offered similar but with better conditions elsewhere.
fxceltic on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: you could always negotiate mate? We had a client who offered a candidate a role with similar terms recently, we negotiated them out of the contract on his behalf.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Sounds like a sensible choice and a sensible, measured reply. Well done :)

Neil
rallymania - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

ok, i'm a contract worker to, and i have to say it would have to eb a stunning job to justify those clauses

at the very least i'd want

some sort of max hours before i get paid overtime (ie say 8hr day... i'll work a 9 hour shift onece or twice a week, but beyond that you pay me 1.5 hourly rate)

unpaid leave during low capacity?... GET STUFFED! you are not a contractor, they either employ you or they don't.

and yeah, 6 months MAX probabtion!

oh and if you were "promised" a higher rate at the interview then you want to push for that now, if you allow them to walk over you now, they won't stop doing it in my opinion

and finally... how long will it take you to get the experience you need to qualify?

is this with Ryanair btw?
EeeByGum - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Legally it can be up to 2 years now. I'm pretty sure others I've had were the legal 12 months it was at the time.

Are you sure? This was being discussed as a proposal from the government only last week.
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to rallymania: Yes, it's Ryanair!
professionalwreckhead - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
>
> Legally it can be up to 2 years now. I'm pretty sure others I've had were the legal 12 months it was at the time.
>
> Neil

Neil,

Probationary periods have never had any statutory basis in English/Scots law, it's just a contractual provision, with 3-6 months periods being the most common.

Could you link me to the legislation which captures this now please? Would be interested to read it, but can't seem to find it.

Thanks
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:

Ah right, you may be correct it didn't take effect yet.

We might find that companies don't necessarily follow it. After all, most companies pay more for most jobs than the minimum wage, and a good many offer more than the statutory holiday entitlement even though they don't need to, and the difference between 25 and 30 days of annual leave is unlikely to be a job-breaker.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Ryanair? I'd rather live on the street than work for them.

Neil
fxceltic on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: out of interest, where would the Job be based if its with Ryanair? Since we are approaching this from a UK contract perspective?
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to fxceltic:
> (In reply to Phil Payne) out of interest, where would the Job be based if its with Ryanair? Since we are approaching this from a UK contract perspective?

Prestwick and at the bottom of the contract it says Scottish Law.
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sianabanana - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Dont know what sector this is in but its not normal in my line of work (IT Development).

There is no way I would accept a contract like that.

If we were expected to work out of hours/weekends we might do this as a favour to the company as a one off. The company is good to me, so im good to them. But there is no way that I would write it in my contract that i am supposed to just work what ever they say for no extra wage.

If we ever needed overtime or a substantial amount of out of hours work then we would be asked and if we wanted to do it, then paid for it.

But there is enough jobs around for me to be able to be choosy i suppose.

12 months probationary is also a piss take. Sounds like its an easy way to let people go when their work is slow without going through the necessary legal stuff, like redundancy.
Neil Williams - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead:

Having just done a bit of research I reckon I mixed it up with statutory redundancy which does not apply until you reach 1 full year of employment, and effectively means you can lay someone off for no reason (as it's always possible to find a way to make a "position" redundant if you want to).

Neil
EeeByGum - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to rallymania:

> some sort of max hours before i get paid overtime (ie say 8hr day... i'll work a 9 hour shift onece or twice a week, but beyond that you pay me 1.5 hourly rate)

I think it is horses for courses. Most office jobs don't pay overtime but your general pay is usually higher than someone on an hourly rate. That said, depending on the sector / company you work at will determine if the culture is such that expects excessive hours of over time. My wife works for a company where the senior managers are paid handsomely with bonuses etc, but they do work 70+ hour weeks.
antdav - on 19 Sep 2012
There are clauses in there i would struggle to accept as a contractor. Sounds like a company I would want to steer clear of.
fxceltic on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: ah fair enough. I would say that some of the stuff could be negotiated as well. You didnt say what you do but unless you are engineering or cabin staff then its unlikely that you have to wear uniform and therefore that clause is irrelevant for starters.
The same is also likely to be true of the "slower periods" when you may not be working, that sounds relevant to the above staff mentioned, less so for office based work.

Looks like they have one contract to suit all, which I think they would change if asked.
Trangia - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Well done in politely telling them to get stuffed.

On reflection you have probably made a good decision because having worked for Ryanair won't exactly look good on your CV when applying for jobs in the future.....
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to fxceltic:

I'm an avionic mechanic and trying to become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, for which I need 1 year of work experience in civil aviation as my time in the RAF only counts for 4 years of the 5 year minimum experience requirements.

The whole sector is a bit of a vicious circle, because there are plenty of jobs for licensed guys, but hardly any opportunities for ex-military guys like me to get the civvie experience to get licensed.
fxceltic on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
>
> Well done in politely telling them to get stuffed.
>
> On reflection you have probably made a good decision because having worked for Ryanair won't exactly look good on your CV when applying for jobs in the future.....

what, other employers wont be interested in someone who may have succeeded in a very (internally and externally) competitive, super lean, commercially successful organisation?

the customer experience may be rough, but from a business point of view ryanair are fairly well respected.
fxceltic on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> I'm an avionic mechanic and trying to become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, for which I need 1 year of work experience in civil aviation as my time in the RAF only counts for 4 years of the 5 year minimum experience requirements.
>
> The whole sector is a bit of a vicious circle, because there are plenty of jobs for licensed guys, but hardly any opportunities for ex-military guys like me to get the civvie experience to get licensed.

Ive no experience of that sector, but if you need the experience then i would suggest that compromising on some of these terms for just a year may be a good option.

Nutkey on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Overtime - normal clause in my line of work (IT).
Compulsory unpaid leave. I might consider this if they paid overtime. However, as it stands it seems ridiculous - if times are busy, you lose, if times are quiet, you lose.
Probationary period - pointless clause, you essentially can't claim unfair dismissal for being fired in your first year (didn't this change to the first two years?)
Deductions - normal, but I wouldn't expect to have to pay for my initial ID card. Paying for uniform, and training bonds - guess that depends what sector you're in.
Asymmetric notice period seems a bit off, but it would be pretty hard for the company to enforce it anyway.

EeeByGum - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

> I'm an avionic mechanic and trying to become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, for which I need 1 year of work experience in civil aviation as my time in the RAF only counts for 4 years of the 5 year minimum experience requirements.

Is it worth selling your sole for a year? If you got shunned, you could always go back to contracting no?
Scarab9 - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

don't blame you for saying no.

some of it's similar to what goes in a lot of contracts but with a far more sinister wording - specifically the normal working hours bit.

the bit about unpaid leave is a joke.

Couple of things to note, I'm pretty sure there's some guidelines that are meant to be followed re the overtime bit where there is actually a maximum you can be expected to do, and I'd expect the unpaid leave bit wouldn't stand up in a tribunal too well either. A lot of companies think (inc my last one) that if they put it in writing that it's legal, which is not necessarily the case. However you could have a nightmare fighting them on it should you need it.

could be worth negotiating to see if it gets anywhere though.
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
>
> [...]
>
> Is it worth selling your sole for a year? If you got shunned, you could always go back to contracting no?

The issue that I have with it is that they work a weird shift system where you supposedly accrue time off in lieu by working an extra day a week and then the whole place shuts down for 3 months in summer. It essentially means that I could do loads of extra hours unpaid and then get binned just before the summer holidays and they've effectively had 40 days work from me that they won't pay for.

I also don't want to commit to renting somewhere knowing that I can get the chop anytime, for no reason at all. It's like having the sword of Damocles hanging over you all the time and I don't think I could work under those sort of conditions.
nickyrannoch on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Disclaimer * My training was in Scots law but I'm pretty sure this would apply across the board.

For the avoidance of doubt no terms in a contract of employment can remove the employers or employees statutory or common law obligations.

One of these common law obligations on the part of the employer is to provide the employee with work. The employer may not at his or her own discretion enforce employment holidays.

The other common law provision is that you must be renumerated for work. you can not be asked to work without either pay or time off in lieu.

However, for all the legal protections there are out there at the end of the day you have to be willing to fight for your rights and stand up for yourself and for many people the cons outweigh the pros or they dont have the skills or confidence to do it. Also within the first year of employment you might have rights but if they decide to get rid of you you are pretty much scunnered.

FWIW they sound like a bunch of chancers and not the sort of company I would want to work for but if you do decide to work with them you do have protection. Also, join a union. Your employer may not recognise them but they can still be a great resource of help and advice.
EeeByGum - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: Ahhh.
TOS on 19 Sep 2012 - 178.74.57.137 whois?
In reply to Phil Payne:
> (In reply to fxceltic)
>
> I'm an avionic mechanic and trying to become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, for which I need 1 year of work experience in civil aviation as my time in the RAF only counts for 4 years of the 5 year minimum experience requirements.
>
> The whole sector is a bit of a vicious circle, because there are plenty of jobs for licensed guys, but hardly any opportunities for ex-military guys like me to get the civvie experience to get licensed.

Assuming this is a CAA license, does that experience have to be in the UK?

Reason for asking is I know one of the airlines I fly regularly with (Norwegian) are on a major expansion at the moment and often seem to be recruiting.
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Gaupa: No, as long as the aircraft are on the EASA register then it should count.
professionalwreckhead - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to nickyrannoch:

Nicky, are you currently practising?
John W - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:

> Is it worth selling your sole for a year?

Sounds like he could get a right shoeing! :-)
Trangia - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
>
> [...]
>
> Is it worth selling your sole for a year?

I don't think having been being a fishmonger for a year is the best experience for applying for an airline job :)

Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Trangia:

Being a fishmonger probably pays a lot more than they were offering!
nickyrannoch on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to professionalwreckhead:
> (In reply to nickyrannoch)
>
> Nicky, are you currently practising?

No I am not and my apologies i should certainly have made that clear.



DJonsight - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: Well done for turning this down, and saying why. This kind of thing seems to be becoming more common, the more people that say "no" the better.
Blue Straggler - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

God, I thought the "is it Ryanair" question was just a joke! Blimey. Sounds appalling, I imagine the only reason anyone would take that would be to help with getting first mortgage (i.e. showing a steady wageslip and "permanent" employment). So they can make you work unpaid overtime with no limit on hours, and make you take unpaid leave with no limit on period. What is a year in terms of avionic engineering, is it measured in hours worked? As it sounds as if you'd have to spend a lot longer than a year to make UP that year (if you get put on the bench for several periods). I know you've turned it down already. I am just pondering out loud.
LastBoyScout on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

Run away.....
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to LastBoyScout:

I'm so glad that it's not just me that found this contract to be unreasonable. I suspected that it might turn out like that and I just wish I hadn't wasted so much money on flights, hire car and hotels to go to the interview.
FreeloaderJoe - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne: Take it on the chin mate. You always need to risk money to make some money. Just part of life. Doesn't matter.

Sounds like a lunatic contract. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

Confirms even more my opinion that Ryanair are run my a bunch of scum.
Turdus torquatus on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

I once signed a contract not entirely unlike that. I suspect that it was just some very poor cutting and pasting by inexperienced HR staff, and wasn't indicative of what the guy employing me expected. As it turned out they had offered 1 week's notice either way during the probationary period. I took advantage of that and walked away when it became clear that the contract was an accurate picture of a company that didn't care about its employees or the quality of anything they produced (including employment contracts).
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to FreeloaderJoe:

They never bothered to reply to me or acknowledge that they received my email turning down the job offer.

I had reservations before applying for this job, but I thought that I could put up with it for 1 year just to get the experience I need, but really this contract is just too ridiculous.
trouserburp - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

It's exploitative and wrong but I have heard that new pilots pay Ryanair to get a job in their chosen career, noone else will take them. It might just be a shitty thing you have to do for a year - at least you're not an arts graduate, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
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Duncan Bourne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to lost1977:
> (In reply to Phil Payne)
>
> not exactly good but the question is can you afford not to accept in these times

And by that line of reasoning we are falling back, not to the Victorian era but the serfdom of the middle ages.
Dave Perry - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:


a)This contract is not entirely unusual - but I've no experience of your particular industry so I can't say whether it's normal for yours. Just a few points and clarifications to some of the stuff you've posted.

b). It is quite normal in some businesses to expect staff to work extra hours if it is needed without pay. Most managers have to do this!!

c) A probationary period of less than 12 months means absolutely nothing and has no practical meaning because you have little employment protection from unfair dismissal until you reach one year (including one week's notice) of employment. Excepting you cannot be dismissed due to reasons related to sex race, religion etc., you can be dismissed for any other reason at any time in your first year of employment. Therefore a probationary period means nothing.

d) Whether you agree on or not a company has the right to lay staff off in quiet periods but must pay the statutory minimum. This used to be quite normal in the building industry for example.

1. Deductions. These are perfectly normal although practice varies from industry to industry. No deductions however can be made for clothing provided for H & S (PPE)
1. TERMINATION I think these are the statutory minimum in any case. But in practice an employee can give no notice as there is nothing an employer can do in response.
And just to answer a couple of other points which others have raised.

a) Company sick pay is entirely at the discretion of the company. SSP is paid according to the rules laid down by the government.

b) a). It is perfectly legal to allow companies etc., to choose when employee take holidays. Think schools!!!

Overall there is nothing in the examples you mention that would give me a heart attack if I were asked to sign it!!
Phil Payne - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Dave Perry:

Maybe if they had been offering a reasonable wage I might have been able to overlook some of these points, but the rubbish terms of the contract coupled with crap pay was an instant no from me.
JJL - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

I've skimmed the thread and know that you have turned it down, but a few comments anyway:

> Our normal hours of work are from 08.30 to 17.30 Monday through to Friday (40 hours per week), with a 60 minute lunch break. However, due to the nature of the business which we are supporting, you must be prepared to work shift duties and additional hours when requested by the Company, without additional remuneration, in order to meet the requirements of the business and to ensure the proper performance of your duties. For the avoidance of doubt this may include Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

More senior contracts generally have a clause that the job entails the hours necessary for it's completion. This is rather aggressively worded and if you are being paid less than £50-75k I would say that overtime would be more normal. Contractual overtime maybe, but still paid.

> You are required to complete a probationary period of 12 months duration from the commencement date (‘the probation period’). If during the probationary period the company is dissatisfied with your performance or conduct, your employment may be terminated by the Company giving you the statutory notice period or payment in lieu thereof.

Normal

> ue to the inherent uncertainty of circumstances within the industry, situations can arise where the Company has excess capacity (for example, reduced business activity). If the Company is required to reduce activity levels for any reason, it is a condition of this job offer that you agree and accept the right of the Company, at its sole discretion, to give you compulsory unpaid leave for the duration of the period the Company considers as excess capacity. The Company will give you as much notice of this eventuality as is reasonably practicable. In accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996 you will be given the statutory minimum payment applicable (known as the ‘guarantee payment’). For the avoidance of doubt no claim for further payment can be made.

Unpleasant but not illegal

> 1.DEDUCTIONS
>
> You hereby authorize the Company to deduct from your pay (including holiday pay, bonus and pay in lieu of notice) any amounts which are owed by you to the Company, which for the avoidance of doubt would include but is not limited to any overpayments, monies for staff car parking (following the issue of a parking permit), the provision of your uniform, outstanding training bond and the provision of new or replacement ID cards.

The training bond is normally on a taper; the later info you give essentially means that when you leave (even if it's 100 years' service later) you have to pay it back! Other stuff ok.

> 1.TERMINATION
>
> Subject as follows the Company can terminate your employment at any time by giving you the statutory period of notice;
>
> Period of Employment Period of Notice
>
> Up to four weeks Nil
> Between four weeks and two years One week
> Between two years and twelve years One week for each complete year
> Over twelve years Twelve weeks

Stingey but statutory

> You may terminate your employment at any time giving the Company one months written notice.

Normally this is morrored to the notice required the other way, but a month isn't long and overall this is slightly in your favour probably.
jonny taylor on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to JJL:
Knowing what ryanair are like to their customers, I wonder if they could get away with abusing those terms to tell employee A he was required to work an 80 hour week and tell B that there was no work for him, and then do the reverse the next week...
Mooncat - on 19 Sep 2012
In reply to jonny taylor:

Employee A has a statutory right not to work more than 48 hours if he doesn't wish to.
rallymania - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

lol, i can see why, but a little background

about 7 or 8 years ago i looked at retraining as a commercial pilot, took a few lessons, read up about costs time etc and discovered something absolutely shocking...

it was very easy to get a job as a freshly qualified pilot with Ryanair, however because you had no experience they were paying them less than £20k a year. many FO's were sleeping in their cars at the airport and showering in the crew room because they couldn't afford a hotel / to travel home for the night. i heard one say he was expected to come of shift, drive from stanstead (i think it was) to ayrshire when he was supposed to be resting, to crew a flight departing from prestwick the next day... they refused to fly him there for some reason.

you'd need to stick that for 2 to 3 years to accrue enough hours to get a job with an airline paying decent wages for FO's (900 hours a year max) by then your £50k investment in your training is costing you a fortune in interest.

just to be clear... captains were making OK money, and ryans training department and ongoing evaluation is supposed to be pretty good. it's not all horrendous, but they do seem to have a "niche" in newly qualified people looking for experience.

i still work in IT, if that answers your question :-)
owlart - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:
> ue to the inherent uncertainty of circumstances within the industry, situations can arise where the Company has excess capacity (for example, reduced business activity). If the Company is required to reduce activity levels for any reason, it is a condition of this job offer that you agree and accept the right of the Company, at its sole discretion, to give you compulsory unpaid leave for the duration of the period the Company considers as excess capacity. The Company will give you as much notice of this eventuality as is reasonably practicable. In accordance with the Employment Rights Act 1996 you will be given the statutory minimum payment applicable (known as the ‘guarantee payment’). For the avoidance of doubt no claim for further payment can be made.

Does this effectively make it a Zero Hours Contract?
The New NickB - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to rallymania:

It's the US internal model, the airline just treat the pilots like bus drivers and often pay them less. I have two cousins in the US who are commercial airline pilots, they earn dreadful money.
Jaffacake - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Mooncat:

You say that, I had a job where after we'd accepted the job gave us some forms to sign to say we waiver that right and that if we didn't sign it then we wouldn't have a job.

My partner has had a job where a condition of employment was signing something similar was a condition of employment (although after they bought in the laws about not using tips to top up minimum wage they said 'magic, you're all self employed now, anyway on with business as usual') so I assume this is fairly common practice across industries which expect long hours.
Gazlynn - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to rallymania)
>
> It's the US internal model, the airline just treat the pilots like bus drivers and often pay them less. I have two cousins in the US who are commercial airline pilots, they earn dreadful money.


Damn it!!!

No use lying about being an airline pilot when out and about anymore then :-)
rallymania - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Gazlynn:

depends... if you're trying to get ride of someone you could say, i'm sorry i'd buy you a drink / take you out, but i'm a ryanair FO and i'm broke!

:-)
Dave Perry - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Jaffacake:
Under the working time regs you cannot be dismissed for not signing an opt out agreement.
Did any one raise this with a), A union or b) en employment lawyer?
Phil Payne - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Dave Perry:

In this contract they got round that because 1/4 of your pay is made up with a shift bonus, which you would lose if you opted out of the European working time regs.
Dave Perry - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:

There are a few ways the working time regulations can be avoided. Off by heart, one of them is you can opt out as mentioned , another is if you have 'control' over the work you do - such as a manager might or indeed an aircraft engineer (whether they are or not is down to individual case law) or whether you are member of the emergency services, police, armed forces and so on. And of course as you mentioned, structuring your pay in such a way to promote staff wanting to work hours in excess of 48.

The portion of the 'Main Employment Particulars' you originally posted does rather look like the company have tried to cover as much of the contract as possible. Often contracts are silent on such things as layoffs (the bit about 'unpaid leave' and there is no legal requirement for these to be written into the statement of main particulars, which is what you actually posted I guess. I used to work in the construction industry where layoffs were relatively common but there was plenty of work at the time and I never, ever, heard of anyone getting laid off at that time. Putting too much information can rightly make some folk apprehensive.

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