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I work at a relatively small software company, and have done so for around 6 months. When I landed the job I was told the employment contract would be signed on my first day, and since I have asked the upper management multiple times for a contract. However each time I ask I'm told that it will be done in a month or two, and nothing is ever done about it.

I hate to be one to complain about small things, however at this rate I will have lost a large chunk of workplace pension contribution. It would seem silly to leave my job over such a small detail, but given the number of times I am starting to suspect this may be a deliberate ploy. I'm perfectly happy with my job apart from this, and others seem happy with my progress and contributions.

Is this behaviour typical within the industry? What is the best way of dealing with this situation? Is it worth moving on if other opportunities arise if this keeps happening?

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    This isn't a small thing. You shouldn't be working with a contract for both your sake and the sake of your employer. This does not seem like a normal situation to me. Ask, in writing, when you can expect the contract to be delivered. And ask your local labour board what you ought to be doing to get the situation resolved. – alroc Jan 2 '17 at 20:19
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    This is a big red flag. 6 months is way too long to be just sloppy organization. This smells like fraud. – nvoigt Jan 2 '17 at 20:38
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    Time to move on – WorkerDrone Jan 2 '17 at 21:26
  • Please explain 'lost a lot of my workplace pension contribution'. Are they not giving you pension contributions you were expecting? – DJClayworth Jan 2 '17 at 21:32
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    How are you being paid? Do you get a proper pension slip that contains your salary paid, your total for this year, taxes deducted, employer tax contributions, NHS contributions? If you don't have that, then they are more than dodgy. Also see gov.uk/workplace-pensions/… – gnasher729 Jan 3 '17 at 12:11
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Your employer is obviously not making the contract available a priority. It doesn't seem to bother your employer that their dilatory approach has cost you a chunk of contributions toward your pension.

I'd say that your employer's failure to keep their word, resulting in avoidable financial damage to you, is or should be a big red flag to you.

You want your employer to comply with the law and with their own policies. It's probably time for you to consider that your contributions will be better appreciated elsewhere.

At your exit interview, make sure to mention the subject of the missing employment contract as a deal killer. You will run over the course of your career into situations where what's important to you is not important to your management. If management acts the way your management does, it's time for you to consider firing them. If that's how your management acts currently toward you, imagine how much less cooperation you'll get from this management if you need something from them and you're no longer working for them. This management is bad news.

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Despite the absence of a signed document, if you were told terms and accepted them, and started work, you and your employer have a contract. Your employer and you should be abiding by it in terms of pay and other benefits. If that is not happening you should complain immediately to your employer. If they don't immediately give you whatever money and benefits you are expecting, go see a lawyer.

However be aware that some benefits don't kick in for a few months. This should have been made clear to you in your offer. Read it carefully.

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Memo in writing the terms of contract they verbally agreed with you, and the date they verbally agreed. If they said "medical, pension and stock vesting start on day one", then say that. Include numbers and detail (how much pension? etc). Then you at least have a written agreement of what was agreed. Also document on your memo that they promised you a written employment contract to be signed on you first day. Have all your interactions with them in writing, preferably by certified mail.

At this point they're just playing you, and pocketing your $$$ premia and laughing at you. Maybe they will suddenly come up with a written contract if you quit (and maybe they won't), but it's your call whether to put up with that. You could quit, and if they then give you the written contract, ask (again, in writing) for retrospective payment for the period.

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    If they offer you a contract when you quit, you should keep walking out, because you already have an offer elsewhere. – Bernhard Mar 11 '17 at 5:48

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