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Hi,

I recently received an employment contract for a new job that starts in May. There are a number of terms which concern me, so I'd just like some advice/ opinions on them.

 

I've listed the terms that I have concerns over with my thoughts. I'm not really sure if these are standard or common? In some cases just clarification will be enough. I realise that I may be seen as picking at things, but I want to know what i'm getting into.

 

Here I go:

 

1) "The first 6 months of the appointment shall be a probationary period and the appointment may be terminated during this period at any time during this period one one prior weeks notice for up to a further 3 months"

 

Is this a standard term?

 

2)a) "normal working hours shall be 8.30 to 5.00 pm Mon to Fri and such additional hours that are necessary for the performance of duties. The employee acknowledges he shall not receive further remuneration in respect of additional hours"

 

b) "An average working time of 48 hours including overtime for each 7 day period as set out in WTR 1998 Sect 4 shall not apply and by signing this document the employee confirms agreement to this. The employee may give 3 months notice to the company to terminate this agreement"

 

What do you think about that one? I'm concerned I may be forced to do overtime without pay/ further hours. It sounds a bit draconian. It doesn't also state number of hours

 

3) "Employee may hold an investment by way of shares or other securities of no more than 5% of the total issues share capital of any company"

 

So if I own 5% or want to, I can't?

 

4) "There is no entitlement to pension benefits in relation to the appointment but the company shall provide access to a designated stakeholder pension scheme"

 

Not sure about this one

 

5) Any incentive scheme is discretionary and shall not form part of contractual remuneration under this agreement"

 

Again not sure?

 

6) "The employee shall not except as a rep of the company or with the approval of the board be directly or indirectly engaged, concerned or have any financial interest in any capacity in an other business or occupation"

 

Not sure?

 

 

Any advice or opinions is much appreciated. If these terms are restrictive/ prohibitive i'll just carry on my search.

 

Thanks

Schizoid-man

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4) "There is no entitlement to pension benefits in relation to the appointment but the company shall provide access to a designated stakeholder pension scheme"

 

Not sure about this one

 

Hello there. I expect the guys will be along with other comments for you later, but I can comment on this one.

 

It seems to be common procedure. Employers are not currently obliged to make pension contributions for you, they have to provide a scheme for you to pay into if you want to.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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it all looks pretty standard to me to be honest.

I am not a legal professional or adviser, I am however a Law Student and very well versed areas of Employment Law. Anything I write here is purely from my own experiences! If I help, then click the star to add to my reputation :)

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Hi

1 seems std and quite common

2. seems like it is an opt out of the working hours directive and again seems fairly normal if it is, depending on the type of job

3. says no more than 5% so that is the maximum permitted,

4. as HB says ok,

5. very std and

6. seems like a bar on 2nd jobs unless co has agreed again quite normal in some industries.

 

It really depends on what the job is but it looks a bit like a contract for a rep, or someone who dosnt work in a fixed location or works from home.

 

It would be ok with me but thats just my opinion.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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1) "The first 6 months of the appointment shall be a probationary period and the appointment may be terminated during this period at any time during this period one one prior weeks notice for up to a further 3 months"

 

Technically the first 12 months of employment (or now that the qualifying period for unfair dismissal has been extended, arguably the first two years) is a probationary period, so yes, this is normal.

 

2)a) "normal working hours shall be 8.30 to 5.00 pm Mon to Fri and such additional hours that are necessary for the performance of duties. The employee acknowledges he shall not receive further remuneration in respect of additional hours"

 

This is also normal, providing your earnings don't fall below minimum wage. It's also job dependent, in that all lawyers at my place of work have these clauses, but support staff do not.

 

b) "An average working time of 48 hours including overtime for each 7 day period as set out in WTR 1998 Sect 4 shall not apply and by signing this document the employee confirms agreement to this. The employee may give 3 months notice to the company to terminate this agreement"

 

This is an opt out to the 48 hour working week, something which is required by law or your employer could face criminal sanctions. Your statutory right to refuse to opt out is detailed by giving three months notice.

 

3) "Employee may hold an investment by way of shares or other securities of no more than 5% of the total issues share capital of any company"

 

You can only be a shareholder in another company to the tune of up to 5%. I suggest this is effectively to stop you competing by setting up your own company, for example.

 

4) "There is no entitlement to pension benefits in relation to the appointment but the company shall provide access to a designated stakeholder pension scheme"

 

By law, employers have to give employees access to a stakeholder pension scheme, but they don't have to provide contributions. So you can join the pension, but your employer won't pay into the fund.

 

5) Any incentive scheme is discretionary and shall not form part of contractual remuneration under this agreement"

 

Incentive schemes could cover, for example, bonuses, company cars or share options. This is protection for the employer to attempt to ensure any such payments do not form part of your contract, so that they can withdraw the benefits at any time.

 

6) "The employee shall not except as a rep of the company or with the approval of the board be directly or indirectly engaged, concerned or have any financial interest in any capacity in an other business or occupation"

 

You are not allowed to hold another job or compete with the company and the only work you can do is under the name of your employer. You also can't, for example, be a director or majority shareholder or undertake another job.

 

I hope the above assists. I wouldn't be concerned, they're all fairly standard clauses.

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