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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 66494
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have been working in front of house at a London theatre

Customer Question

JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: hello, I have been working in front of house at a London theatre for two months now with the first month consisting of one training day with a period of off time before commencing work. I signed a contract that they said I had to before raining commenced on the day. on Thursday the 2th of November I was sent and email from the employer stating a formal offer of the position with a choice of two contracts to choose from. within 36 hours of receiving this email offer, I was pulled in to chat with a manager about why we have not submitted out contracts yet. I stated that I had received the contracts in the last 36 hours and that I would like to read them first. the manager stated that it is a matter of urgency and I must sign my contract either way. when i said i wanted to read they said take all the time i needed. today when i came in I have been asked to sign the non union contract as I have been told as i already signed a variation of it on my first training day it doesn't really matter and I have no choice but to sign the employers non union agreement. My partner has explained to me that they can not make sign under duress or this may invalidate the contract. I'm wondering if because i received a letter dated later than my training day offers two contracts to sign as a formal offer of employment would this letter and contract offer overpass the previous one
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: yes as mentioned in my previous message
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thank you I think I have everything i need
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
contracts and letters attached
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 months ago.

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is*****’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
hello all of the information is above
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
no thank you for the call
happy with chat
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My Partner is a Stage manager and often deals with negotiating his and other peoples contracts with agents and third parties but isnt sure on the standing of receiving the second letter
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
would really like a response to give to the manager who is clearly pressuring me into signing
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
can you confirm if you are referring to the documents I have sent> just curious why such the long response time
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello when are you supposed to give an answer to the manager? Please note I am mobile today so may not be able to reply until later today thanks

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
the manager is seeking a response every time he speaks to me insisting i must sign. my partner (boyfriend) is suggesting this could possibly be classified as duress under uk employment law?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
do not wish to switch to a phone call, happy with chat
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. It won’t be duress as such because they are entitled to give you a deadline for acceptance. Failure to meet such deadline would mean that they can either treat the contract as having been impliedly accepted, or they could actually decide they do not want to work with you and terminate your employment. What you should be aware of is that if you have been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it. So you are in a somewhat vulnerable position if they see you as being difficult over this contract issue and decide they can dispose of your services as a result. So if you need a couple of days to read the contract in full then ask for that but try not to delay it too much so as not to risk your whole employment with them because of it.,

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No ultimately my question is can they g not explicitly give you a deadline and pull you in 36 hours after receiving it.
And as I have receiver two contracts attached do I have the choice of either or.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Yes they can ask for an answer even if no official deadline was given initially. It is up to them how much time they give you, they could ask for an answer on the spot if they wanted to.

As to the choice of contracts, if they have given you two, then the newer one should take precedence but you can always query with them what their intentions were as they could have given you the choice of two

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you