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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49850
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have recently started a new job with a Scottish Government

Customer Question

I have recently started a new job with a Scottish Government agency. I signed and returned the contract but the HR dept are now saying that the salary in the contract was wrong and they now want me to sign a revised contract for a reduced salary. The difference between the 2 amounts is approx £2k pa.

Both salary figures are below what I was being paid in my last job. Before i accepted the job I had originally been told that they hoped to pay me a salary similar to that in my contract but then I was told that the figure would be lower. When the contract arrived I thought that they had revisited the salary figure.

My question is, should I sign the revised contract or do I have any rights to insist on the salary in the original contract?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When did you start the job and how long have you been paid the wrong amount? Please note I am just going offline as I have an early start but will respond in the morning, thanks
JACUSTOMER-wtmff84h- :

Hi Ben

JACUSTOMER-wtmff84h- :

I started the job last Thursday (18/3) so iI ahventhaven't been paid at all yet. I signed the original contract on 9/3. I havhaven't signed the new contract yet. I do worry that a long delay by me will affect when I am paid for the first time so I do want to get back to HR this week. My new employer is Education Scotland. I'm of to work now but will check this at lunchtime. Regards John

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst you may certainly try and challenge the change in salary by asking the employer to honour the originally agreed amount, if they refuse to do so then your rights will be somewhat limited and I will explain why below.

First of all, in terms of basic contractual law, once the parties to a contract have agreed its contents, it would be legally binding on both. This is your main argument to try and get them to honour tis. However, if they can show that the salary was agreed due to a mistake, this could overrule the contract and the correct amount could be substituted. You can still challenge this as a breach of contract and it would then be for the employer to show that a mistake applied in this case and would enable them to change our terms from what was originally agreed.

The main issue here is your length of service, which does not protect you against unfair dismissal (you need 2 years for this). This means that the employer could legally issue you with notice as per your contract, terminate your employment now, and then refuse to re-employ you, or re-employ you under a new contract that incorporates the terms they want, such as the reduced salary. So regardless of what you do, you are just your contractual notice away from potential termination of employment and the best you can expect then is to be paid up to the termination of employment on the original salary, with any pay after that (if you are re-employed), based on the new pay that is contained on your new contract.

So as mentioned it is possible to try and negotiate with them to see if they would be willing to retain the current ay but if they are adamant that this would not happen, they can force through the revised pay, by terminating your current contract and issuing you with a new one straight away.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks