How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12180
Experience:  30 years experience as a solicitor.
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

I wanted to know about contracts in Employment Law. If a contract

This answer was rated:

I wanted to know about contracts in Employment Law. If a contract is signed with a start date 8 weeks in the future. What can happen within those weeks. Can the Employer decide the job is no longer available. Can the employee decide to cancel the contract before employment begins? What if the employee is offered a different position at a different firm before the actual start date? What if the company suddenly decides to cut costs..
Most contracts written do not speak of the interim between signatures and actual start date.
A contract of employment, like any contract, is binding when both parties have signed up to it.
That means that, once the contract is agreed, if either party tries to back away from it, the other party would have a remedy in damages for their losses arising from the other party's breach.
In other words, a contract is a contract. Neither party can just walk away from it in the way that you describe.
Happy to discuss further.
Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
JGM and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What about a probationary period (time where either party can choose to terminate the employment ( in the UK. From what I gather this is very normal practice in the UK. Is the probationary period the moment a contract is signed?

And can you give me an example in which a contract can be terminated by an Employee?

The contract may provide for a probationary period but that doesn't make any difference to your question. It just means that the employer can terminate the contract at the end of the probationary period.
Most contracts of employment can be terminated by an employee giving the relevant notice, typically one week in the early stages of the contract.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So theoretically,

When does the probationary period begin? When the contract is signed, or when employment commences?

If there is a mutual termination agreement (with notice), can one sign the contract and then legally give one weeks notice before the employment commences?

Think this should be my last follow up question.


The probationary period begins on the first day that the employee starts work. The date of signature of the contract isn't relevant.
You can't give notice of termination where the employment hasn't started as there is nothing to terminate. Notice of termination can be given on day 1 of the employment, however.
If both parties agree, the employment contract can be torn up before the start of the employment.
I hope this answers your questions.