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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47376
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am looking advice regarding employment contracts.

Resolved Question:

Hi, I am looking for some advice regarding employment contracts. While in my last job, the 1st contract was in the form of an offer letter that I received shortly after I was verbally offered the job, & outlined some important information relating to my pay & bonus, the letter set out how my bonus would be achieved by meeting agreed targets set out by my manager through a regular appraisal process.
The problem is that I never once had an appraisal in my time working for the company, I approached my manager a number of times to ask how I was going to meet my tasks & be awarded my bonus, he just grumbled about how the bonus is a verbal agreement & it would be decided at the end of the year.
The next ssue relates to my 2nd contract, which I received 5 months into my job, it was a standard employment contract & seemed to have everything detailed as you would expect. The only detail that was missing was in relation to my bonus, no mention whatsoever. I did ask before I sgned & again I was told that the bonus was verbal & would be paid out at the end of the year to those who deserved it. I signed anyway, as I had the 1st copy offer letter whch had the details on the bonus.
The other contract issues relate to my personal safety & it is my belef that the employer failed in their statutory duty of care under Health & Safety regulations.
I was employed as a hotel Maintenance Manager with additional responsblity for H&S within the property. I have a number of years experience in this role & understood what I would expect when I took on the job, however, nothing could prepare me for the mess that I was landed into. The building was a death trap, a multitude of flaws & problems to numerous to mention here, but think along the lines of exposed live wiring, discarded asbestos in attic & celing voids, fire safety risks & rats running about everywhere.
I lasted 9 months in the job, I ended up cracking up under the pressure & the stress & I was sacked on a charge of dereliction of duty.
I was recruited into this job, the employer seeked me out as I knew one of them from a previous job, & I am sure that the whole thing was a set up.
As a consequence to all of the above, I became homeless shortly after & three years later I have not been able to get my life back together.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you have a specific question about this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben, Jon is my name, is there a breach of contract in relation to my offer letter which stated the terms of my bonus? I never received any formal appraisals while I worked there. Also on the health & safety aspect..

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Sorry my connection dropped earlier. Can you please let me know when your employment terminated?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks ok, it was December of 2012.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
In terms of the bonus there is indeed a potential breach of contract. If you were offered the chance to receive a bonus and that this was going to be based on appraisals, the employer’s failure to undertake any of these could be a breach. The main issue is whether it would be deemed that you had accepted the situation as it was because continuing to work under the terms the employer had proposed, without formally refusing to accept them, could mean there was an implied acceptance. I know you had raised the issue with them but there really has to be a clear refusal to accept the terms as they stood – you need to tell them you were working under protest, that you were not accepting the position as it stood. Reminding them of what they put in the letter but continuing to work in the meantime without a formal challenge could result in you accepting the changed position. Also there is no guarantee that had an appraisal been carried out you would have received a bonus, for example your performance may have still been deemed at a level not to qualify for a bonus. So any potential claim would be quite speculative and not easy to pursue. Of course it is for you to decide whether you want to or not. As to the health and safety issues, these would have given rise to potential constructive dismissal, where you were forced to resign and claim that. However it is now too late to pursue that as it must be done within 3 months of the issues occurring and it is now 3 years. The only other thing you can do is report them to the Health & Safety Executive but they will not award any compensation to you, they will deal with the employer direct and may fine them or ask them to change their practices at work. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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