So I have been looking for jobs recently and was contacted by a place that I had sent my CV to. The company director asked me to come in and I had a informal 1-2-1 with him in which we just met and chatted for a few minutes.

Moving forward a week, I am asked to come in as they think I might be a good person for the job. When I enter the company building, I said to the main company director that I am not prepared to work anymore than that day until I get a contract with my employment Terms and Conditions in writing. The Director responses my saying that he will give it to me by the end of the day. By the end of the day I have not received the written contract and I speak to another member of management that I will not work another day unless I get the written contract, to which this member of management says that they will send me it shortly (which I assume to mean by the end of the next day.)

It has now the end of the week and the company director has recently phoned me to say that he has a written contract with terms and conditions, and will email me it by the end of the day. I told the director that I would like read over the contract and that I would contact him tomorrow (he asked that I would contact before 11am.) The director also asked if I could work on the weekend this week.

The phone call with the company director was at lunchtime today. It has been 5-6 hours and I have not received an email with the contract yet (it is the end of the working day.) I am temped to stop all efforts and look elsewhere as I do not want to be taken for a joyride and not be paid for my work - hence why I am persevering that I am given a written contract. Should I invest any more time in this job process or should I move on and look elsewhere for work? Is this what I should expect?

Additional information

The job in question is a restaurant staff (e.g.-catering assistant/bartender) job that will run over the summer period.

As asked in comments, I do not currently have an arrangement in place yet for when I will work, the timings or the salary that I might receive. I have a policy that I will work for at the most a shift without a written agreement.

  • 3
    Some context is missing; you had a chat with the director, and between that chat happening and now, you've been doing work without an agreement in place - either oral or written?
    – Makoto
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:35
  • @Makoto I do not have a agreement yet, which is what I am pushing for as I do not want to be manipulated into working for free without a written contract
    – user105492
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:37
  • 3
    Just to be crystal clear - when you say "I do not have an agreement" Do you mean that there's literally nothing at all in terms of the details of your employment? Or just nothing written in a formal contract? Do you have any idea what your hourly rate is supposed to be, or any other details? Verbal or otherwise? Asking because in the US at least, it's somewhat common in some service jobs - like restaurant work - to never have a written contract.
    – dwizum
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:40
  • ...so you don't have an agreement yet, but you did work for them? That's the point I want to be absolutely clear on.
    – Makoto
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:41
  • @dwizum I have just added some more context to the additional info section. In my last place of employment I had a written terms and conditions of employment, my line manager at the time kept a copy and I kept a copy.
    – user105492
    Jun 6, 2019 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


I am temped to stop all efforts and look elsewhere as I do not want to be taken for a joyride and not be paid for my work

I hate to say, but you have already been taken for a joyride. All the work you have already done you will probably not get paid for. This is not a job process, you are doing real work.

Do not do any more work for this company. I would be hesitant to continue with this company even if they do present a contract as they have already demonstrated that they are underhanded. In the future, do not start doing work for a company until they provide you with a contract.

  • Contracts with employees are almost unheard of in the restaurant industry. This answer simply isn't accurate.
    – Summer
    Jun 6, 2019 at 21:56

In the UK one does not require a written contract to be employed. Thus the standard advice about not walking out on the job would seem to apply. You may indeed find that within that business (or within that sector) that this is normal practice and the delay in providing terms is because it is not a normal thing. From your description of a the job being entry level unskilled seasonal work there seems to be little point in a formal contract.

If you can talk to others and find out what the deal is, do they have a written contract, when pay day is and do they know of people not getting paid. But be careful not to raise any red flags if you are planning to stay.

Don't worry about the level of pay unless they have agreed a specif rate of pay you can assume this will be whatever minimum wage is for your age bracket.

The absence of a contract does not necessarily work in their favour as a contract protects both the employer and employee. Also most of the protection in employment doesn't have much practical effect unless either you have been employed for two years at which point unfair dismissal can go to a tribunal or can you afford your own lawyers to sue them.

None the less if you are concerned document the hours you are working the various agreements to provide a contract and so on in case this is ever needed. You could also start looking for another job.

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