I recently started with a large MNC. When I joined they sent me a contract which had been signed by their CEO, I signed it and returned it. A couple of weeks later my new colleagues were chatting over lunch and mentioned a particular condition which apparently applied to everyone, which I had not seen. I checked my contract and it was not there. So I queried with HR and they said they had sent me the wrong contract, they would have to send me another one to sign. Can they do this? What if I don't want the change? Is this a red flag, even if it's a relatively minor point?
Can they do this?
Yes, of course. Why not ?
What if I don't want the change?
You can refuse to sign. Your employer can either accept your refusal, negotiate, or terminate you. If there is a real disadvantage in the change you can ask for reasonable compensation, accommodation, or adjustment so that its equivalent to the original contract that you signed. In general this will not be good for your career, so you should only pick a fight if the change is important to you.
Is this a red flag, even if it's a relatively minor point?
No, at least not if it's a one-off. Paperwork mistakes are (unfortunately) fairly common. Often, the people who process the paperwork don't understand the document but are just handling the "administrative side" of it.