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I'm meant to start a job very soon.

I was interviewed a few weeks ago, offered the job and accepted.

The problem is I have not yet received a contract, despite my insistence of it. I have had some response from the company with a potentially understandable reason (personal circumstances) however some time has still passed and there has been no follow through.

I'm currently feeling very resentful towards this company as I am essentially being ignored. I have attempted to follow up on this as above alas no luck. To make matters complicated, I will also need to relocate for this job on top. I have two options here. Walk into the job blind, knowing nothing about my terms, conditions, hours etc beforehand as I expect they want. No paperwork at all.

Or I could simply say to hell with it and let the verbally agreed start date lapse and see if they follow up with me. A tempting option at the moment as I feel I am being treated with total disregard in this situation.

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In the UK you don’t get the formal written contract up front in 99% of cases - there is no statutory right to a written contract in the UK.

You have a contract when you accepted the job offer – the offer letter does have the major features of your terms of employment grade, hours of work and salary, did your offer have these or not.

Employers must provide a written statement of employment particulars within 2 months for employment lasting more than on month.

Attempting to insist on written contract will be seen as odd and just not turning up puts you in breach of contract don’t do that.

Additionally, if you are claiming benefits you run the risk of being sanctioned by the DWP and losing your benefits.

The government has a guide here https://www.gov.uk/employment-contracts-and-conditions/written-statement-of-employment-particulars

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I have two options here. Walk into the job blind, knowing nothing about my terms, conditions, hours etc beforehand as I expect they want. No paperwork at all. Or I could simply say to hell with it and let the verbally agreed start date lapse and see if they follow up with me.

You could just show up and hope for the best. You could also remain quiet and let the deal fall apart. Neither of those options seem best to me.

The third option is to contact the company now. Make sure they understand in no uncertain terms that you have absolutely no intention of showing up and working without a written, signed contract.

Then continue your job search in case they can't manage to come up with a contract in the time allotted.

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    'Make sure they understand in no uncertain terms that you have absolutely no intention of showing up and working without a written, signed contract.' The OP would have to play any such stand carefully - since they are already in a contract of employment with this company. It would be unlikely to get this far but the company could legally require her to show up and work her notice period or face litigation. – motosubatsu Jan 4 '18 at 13:39
  • I'd also add that while continuing the job search as a plan B is very good advice she would be unable to accept any alternative offers without confirming her release from the current one. – motosubatsu Jan 4 '18 at 13:42
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In my experience UK employers are a bit lax about getting the paperwork of the contract squared away (I've never received one in advance of a start date for any of my permanent roles) so I doubt there is any nefarious intent behind them not providing you with it yet but I can understand why you're feeling some trepidation about this situation - the relocation in particular means you'll want things firmed up.

However simply not turning up on the agreed date is a very bad idea - by verbally accepting the job offer (assuming it was unconditional or that all the conditions have been met) you've entered into a binding employment contract with the company and in the worst case simply not turning up could leave you open to being sued for breach of contract!

I'd suggest that you need to keep pressing them for it in a polite but firm manner. Stress that you are going to have to relocate for the role and that you aren't comfortable to commit to doing this without getting the full contract in place. Emphasize that you are still keen on the job (assuming you are!) and that you are eager to get started on the agreed date but that the paperwork is holding you up. As Patricia Shanahan suggested in her comment earlier you'll want to build some time in for the relocation after receiving the contract so let them know what your first available start date will be after receiving it.

  • the UK has no right to a written "contract" the OP has agreed a contract by accepting the offer – Neuromancer Jan 4 '18 at 17:40

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