Getting Your Initial Contract Changed
Sometimes getting your initial contract changed is of paramount importance.
If you‘ve ever tried to back out of taking a job, as I have, by citing clauses in the contract, you‘ll realise how far an agency will go in terms of changing clauses in the contract.
Don‘t use the contract as an excuse anytime for not taking a job. The agent will change almost anything to get you to take the job.
Once you‘ve passed an interview and you‘ve got the job you should realise how very much that you hold all the cards. So, you should use this to your advantage.
One thing that you should always do is to try to get contract changes in your favour.
The clause where they can give you a month‘s notice, but you must work out your contract without giving notice, has to go every time. I‘ve always asked them to take it out and they always do. In contract law between employers and employees, notice periods must be reciprocal.
I don‘t know what the situation is company to company, but it doesn‘t really matter.
Illegal Contract on Notice Periods
What I do is to phone up the agent, who is desperate to close the deal and say that the contract is illegal. By law notice periods must be reciprocal. I say, therefore, that there is a clause there (which there always is), which says that English law governs the contract. Say that under that you cannot sign away your Common Law rights in a contract.
They will say that their lawyers check all their contractsthey and are legal. I always say that my sister is a High Court barrister and she informs me that it’s illegal.
There‘s not much that they can say to that, therefore, as they are not legal experts. So they will normally say that they will get back to you. Most agencies do not employ a legal expert on a full time basis, and will incur a fee for any advice.
As you well know, it will also be difficult to get hold of their contract lawyer. Even if they do, they cannot expect him, or her, to take it up at short notice.
Contract Changes by Agency
What they will do, and have done in 100% of the cases where I insist on it, is to phone up and say that I should cross it out and put my signature across that. I should sign the main contract and get it back to them.
This is just a one-off for them, and they don‘t have to do it for all their contractors.
They will be happy just to get the contract back in their office with your signature on it.
So, getting your initial contract changed needn’t be so difficult.