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I got a job offer after a successful interview - I then got an email stating that the pay will start at £30k for one month, due to the company wanting to avoid higher recruiter fees. After 5 months it will increase to £33k and finally after this period, provided I'm doing a good job, it will raise to 35k at some point.

35K for this position is about average however, 30K is well below especially for the city. I'm hoping this appears in my contract however I'm worried if it does not, that I could be kept at ~30k for longer than the agreed plus 6 months salary.

If this stipulation is not written in my contract, how can I ensure the company advances my salary as was outlined in an email without rescinding the contract

  • Anything preventing you or them from including or stating this in your contract? You say you got an offer, so I presume you are soon to sign your contract. – DarkCygnus Apr 25 '19 at 19:12
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    Hmm.. Will a company which wants to save 10% of a one-time fee give you a permanent raise of over 10% ? I'm just thinking out loud. – Chris Apr 25 '19 at 20:25
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    This is a red (or at least pink?) flag to me. They're asking you to be underpaid by ~£3500 over a year, to save them ~£500. Assuming you are moved to £35K after a year, they'll likely consider THAT your annual raise, putting you a year behind from then on. If you're willing to walk away from this offer, I'd say you lay out that underpaying you to save a little more is a big concern and see where it goes. – John Spiegel Apr 25 '19 at 20:54
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    Promises of future raises have led to a plethora of frustrated questions on this SE. Even if they stick to this schedule you are out over 1,000. Are you ok with forfeiting this 1,000 if you can get the promised raise in writing? If not I'd insist on either 35k as per the agreement or that there be raises with a schedule in writing and a signing bonus to make you whole. Be very careful, this sounds a lot like a bait and switch. – Myles Apr 25 '19 at 21:36
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    Completely agree with @JohnSpiegel - they are penalising you before you've even starting, by asking you to take a hit on your salary and attempting to justify it by claiming it's so they can save a couple of hundred in fees. And it's not for a month, it's for 5 months. I would politely refuse, and insist on the full salary from the outset. If they refuse, then you don't want to work for them anyway. – AdzzzUK Apr 26 '19 at 11:45
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If this stipulation is not written in my contract, how can I ensure the company advances my salary as was outlined in an email?

You can't. The company is only bound by what is written in the contract so if this stepped salary is a deal-breaker for you then you need to have it included in the contract.

If you receive the contract without the stipulation written, the most graceful way to ask for it to be included is forwarding the original email where they outlined your stepped salary and simply asking them to please add it to the contract. If the company was sincere about their reasons for proposing this stepped salary then they should have no issue adding it to the contract.

  • Thanks, you reaffirm what I thought. Though the issue remains that if the contract does not stipulate the stepped salary, how can I ensure the company adheres to it? It might be a change of question - but where I can work there are not many job offerings so this one would be great IF I end up on the 35K before 12 months. If I see the contract in the next day and it is not specified, how can I ensure it gets added to the contract without losing faith with the company. – ResoundingBoom Apr 25 '19 at 19:22
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    @AKennedy unfortunately you cannot ensure anything if it is not in the contract. Yes they can send you emails of assurances but those are usually not legally binding and they can always come up with excuses to delay or ignore the steps of the salary increases. – sf02 Apr 25 '19 at 19:24
  • Yeah I get that, I guess I'm asking how not to get taken advantage of, the contract might appear without the stipulantions but if this is a job where I can't just push aside, how would I gracefully ask to have the stimulation put into the contract? – ResoundingBoom Apr 25 '19 at 19:27
  • @AKennedy I edited my answer to reflect that – sf02 Apr 25 '19 at 19:43
  • yep, think it comes down to sincerity. Great answer, thanks! – ResoundingBoom Apr 25 '19 at 19:57
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How to guarantee commitments made by email appear in a contract?

Read the contract once it arrives.

If it doesn't contain everything you want it to contain (in particular the commitments made by email), then don't sign it. Bring it to the hiring manager's attention that there is a mistake in the contract. Ask that it be corrected before you sign it.

If it still doesn't get corrected to your satisfaction, then walk away.

If this stipulation is not written in my contract, how can I ensure the company advances my salary as was outlined in an email without rescinding the contract

Anything that isn't written into your contract isn't real.

The company may or may not give you what the email implies that they will. You are free to trust them and hope for the best, but I wouldn't advise that.

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I'm hoping this appears in my contract however I'm worried if it does not, that I could be kept at ~30k for longer than the agreed plus 6 months salary.

It won't be in the contract. It can't be in the contract. The purpose of them coming up with this scheme is so that they can make the company they have a contract with think you agreed to work for 30K a year.

That recruitment company requires them to submit a signed copy of the contract you sign so they know how much you are making. That is used to set the fee.

Therefore expect that they may drag their feet when it comes time to honor the email agreement.

Normally the advice would be to require them to put in the contract these items they promised by email. But as mentioned above they can't do that and maintain the fictional agreement they are showing the recruiter.

Normally the advice would be about how enforceable the email statement might be. In some jurisdictions the email will be enforceable, in others it won't be enforceable. But remember they have shown a willingness to ignore the provisions of a signed contract.

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I believe this is an issue of United Kingdom law. Apparently it is possible for an email to be considered as a binding contract.

There are many articles online that state that email conversations can be legaly binding in the United Kingdom. Important is what is being said/discussed in these.

As an example from this article:

For contracts to be legally binding, five essential elements must be present. There must be:

  • An offer;
  • Acceptance of the offer;
  • Consideration (i.e., some form of payment);
  • An intention to be legally bound by the contract;
  • Certainty as to what the parties have agreed.

In simple terms, two people must reach an agreement between them. So, one email on its own can’t be a legally binding contract. However, there’s no reason why an exchange of emails can’t contain all of these elements. Therefore, an exchange of emails can form a legally binding contract.

[...]

To decide whether an exchange of emails forms a legally binding contract, you have to look very carefully at the words used.

As I'm not a laywer, I can not say if the email in OP's case is yet legally binding. I would presume that you'd at least have to give a positive reply to their email to apply with the 'Acceptance of the offer' element.

Perhaps you should ask this question in Law?

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If this stipulation is not written in my contract, how can I ensure the company advances my salary as was outlined in an email without rescinding the contract?

You can't, so make sure it's in the contract. If it isn't then don't accept the job. If it is in the contract then have an attorney review it and make sure that it's legally binding.

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I was going to put this as a comment to @sf02, as I think that answer is best. I ended up posting this, as I thought it too detailed for a comment.

They, like many companies, will probably have a boilerplate contract (or 3) which "can't be changed". And that's fine. What you should be looking for within the contract are references to a separate document which, if it is mentioned, must be included. This is usually called "The schedule" and will likely detail the specific salary.

I have occasionally seen employment contracts which aren't like this, having blank spaces for insertion of name, start date and salary. Those are harder to change.

So anyway, if there's a schedule document, that's the place to get the additions made and it is legally binding as it it forms part of the overall contract.

+1 to anyone else who said you can't guarantee the company will add the clauses, and that if they're not in the contract - they're not in the contract.

+1 to it being a flag against the company for them to try and cheat their recruiter.

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