I work for a small company that has only 4 employees (2 directors and 2 workers). I am one of the 2 workers.

I have been working for this company from its beginning. They did not give me a contract when we started. It has now been 2 years and 9 months since then. I have never gone on leave so far. Both my directors are quiet about this.

How do I ask for a contract and my leave days, or money in lieu of my leave days?

  • 3
    Start with telling us where you are. – deviantfan Jul 23 '18 at 4:45
  • No one can really begin to give a detailed answer to this question without knowing what country you are in. Until then you are likely to get "seek legal advice" type answers. The legalities differ from country to country so we cant give a good quality answer until we know that. – UIO Jul 23 '18 at 9:21

Never let go of an opportunity to ask what you want.

What has likely happened here is: In the early days of the company, the directors had plenty of critical or urgent external matters to deal with, and decided to get to contracts, leave policy and other internal matters "later". Since the business kept running without the employment contracts, it never became a priority and they just forgot about it.

The same goes for your leaves. Since you (probably?) didn't ask for leaves, they did not realize it was an issue at all.1 In other words, this situation is the outcome of a combination of "out of sight, out of mind" and "if it isn't broken, don't fix it".

You can shake the status quo easily by asking your director(s):

We never got around to signing an employment contract and defining our leave policy. We are close to completing 3 years. Is this a good time to get those done?

That would bring the issue into their mind space (if you will). Avoid starting the conversation with a confrontation — or much worse, with a lawsuit. Always give people a chance to save face. Assuming good intentions, they would respond with, "Oh, that's right! We totally forgot about it. We will look into that. Give us about a week's time."2

You could then ask for accumulating unused leaves from the previous years, or for encashing them, or for some other compensation. The exact options at your disposal would depend on your local laws.

1 Although good managers notice when an employee hasn't taken a break for a long time.

2 If they explicitly refuse the contract or leaves, then you might have to consider talking to a lawyer.


Generally speaking, and this is not legal advice, but if you have been working for the same outfit sans contract for nearly 3 years, then depending on the employment laws of your country, there doesn't need to be a written contract in place. Suggest you get to a employment lawyer and discuss your options. It's either that or start looking for another job. I don't know which is easier/more cost-effective for your situation.

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