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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default Where do i stand with a new contract, do i have to sign

    Hello Everybody,

    I have been with a company for almost ten years and recently they have approached everyone in division to sign a new contract. I automatically became concerned as they warned us that our division was not profitable and if things did not improve then there would be redundancies a few months back. In the new contract i find there are items of concern, especially it being a "fairwork" contract (given lower entitlements in the event of a redundancy), followed by my role being misrepresented as a lower specification and some of my benefits being omitted. Pressure was applied to get everyone to sign but i said that i have to read it more carefully so effectively have bought some time.

    What are my rights? Can i not sign it and continue working as if nothing happened? Can they fire me if i dont sign it? Can i request to be made voluntarily redundant under the old contract rather then signing the new one? (as i believe everyone will be made redundant anyway)

    Thanks in Advance,
    InTheShadows

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Hi InTheShadows,

    Your employment is subject to the National Employment Standards, and may also be subject to a Modern Award or some form of registered or certified Agreement. These, or the applicable items, set out your underlying entitlements.

    It seems that your employment is also subject to a negotiated contract that provides additional entitlements, and that your employer is trying to negotiate a new contract. However, a new contract requires agreement from both parties, and you are not obliged to agree to a new contract, especially if the terms being offered are inferior to those that you currently enjoy. However, I'd suggest that you at least consider the offer, as redundancies are clearly being contemplated by your employer. Is ongoing employment important for you, even if at a lower salary?

    Can i not sign it
    Yes, you have the right to refuse the offer of a new contract, in which case you will continue under your existing contract. I'm presuming that your existing contract doesn't have an "end date" or some other reason why it would cease operating.

    and continue working as if nothing happened?
    That bit will be up to your employer.

    Can they fire me if i don't sign it?
    If your employer is undergoing financial difficulties or has other legitimate reasons they can restructure or downsize your division. Jobs may be lost.

    Can i request to be made voluntarily redundant under the old contract rather then signing the new one?
    Sure, why not. But redundancies are an employer-initiated option, so your indication of willingness will not guarantee any particular outcome. Your employer would have to consider the costs/benefits of retrenching or retaining or redeploying you.

    Cheers,
    Greg

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