sidthar Registered User

Hi there.

I've been working for the company for about 4 years now. Recently, they lost our contracts of employment and gave us new to sign which are different to the old ones (i still have my copy signed by them). No changes to the wages, hours, etc but there are some new terms that I'm not happy with:

1. mobility term - basically i have to follow the company if whenever it change their premises address (whether in ROI or not)

2. variations - signing this contract I agree to further changes that can be applied in the future

+ few more, less important but still new.

My question is: Can I refuse to sign a new contract and continue employment following the terms from my old contract? I asked that already to the HR but they said that if I won't sign this new contract they will put a note that i refused but still new rules will become valid in 28 days and I'm gonna have to follow them :|

What should I do?


Irish_Elect_Eng Registered User

Hi Thomas,

Firstly, Inform yourself, speak with some one knowledgeable to discuss all the new contract clauses. I am unsure if the two clauses that you have noted are even legal, do they interfere with your statutory rights?

Of course it is unlikely that they "lost the old contracts" :-) :-( but we will leave that alone for the moment.

You could play along with their story of the lost contracts. Photocopy your original contract and staple it to the front of the new "unsigned" proposed contract and add a covering letter stating that you still have your old contract and that there is no need to issue a new one referring them to the old contract.

BTW what industry do you work in.

sidthar Registered User

Hey Irish_Elect,

Thanks for your answer.

Thing is, when I asked them last week they admitted it is the new one-just "slightly different" And that they would give us them even if they wouldn't lost the old ones. They are also sorry that I was mislead (Yeah, right - Plenty other foreigners signed that new contract without trying to translate, coz they were told that it's the same as old one...)

When I told them that I'm not going to accept the changes, hr girl told me that I have to give them this in writing, they will put a note that I refused to sign but the new contract rules will become valid in 28 days anyway (and I'll have to follow them anyway)...

It's just ridiculous...

AFAIK if I don't have a "mobility term" in my old contract and the company moves their premises I can say "No, it's too far. I have no chance to get to work and I'm not going to move anywhere" and the company has to redundant me. If I'll sign the new one, I'd have to resign instead...

And this "variation" term!? - like a slave contract

There is more:

- Different notice time
- Over 40 pages handbook (both - contract and the handbook refers to each others)
- + before mentioned "slight differences"

I'd rather not reveal the industry

Nody Servant of Cthulhu

Mobility clause would be a question if reasonable or not if they were to attempt to enforce it; if you were asked to move to Uzbekistan it would most likely fall but if it was a move to the other side of town it might be ok.

The HR lady is more or less correct, if you continue working after the notification you're agreeing to the terms by your continued work even if you don't sign it (but most likely would need more then 28 days but once again I'm not aware of a specific number is set).

Referring to an employee handbook is normal, said book can also change with out you being required to sign a new contract (which is also normal).

To the final point regarding signing or not; most likely you'd need to ask for the redundancy and they would reject it. If they reject it then you're only route for it on the top of my head would be to resign and claim unfair dismissal which is not an easy thing to do.

Well that's my 1c (the other cent was taken in tax by the government).

sidthar Registered User

Thank You Nody!

Irish_Elect_Eng Registered User

Nody said:

The HR lady is more or less correct, if you continue working after the notification you're agreeing to the terms by your continued work even if you don't sign it

I am not sure if this is the case, remember he still has the valid contract that he originally signed outlining his terms of employment. So if he does not sign the new contract he should be able to continue working per the old contract.

I don't believe that an employer can change the contract without agreement, otherwise it would be easy to "constructively dismiss" employees just by changing their contract to unacceptable terms.

(I am open to correction)

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