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Topic - Would you accept this contract?

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.


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.


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.
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