I work for a company (in the UK) who took on a rather large project, and being the lead developer I estimated a time-frame based upon two developers.
This, sadly did not work out and meant that I handed in my notice and was due to leave. Due to personal reasons I decided not to leave the company during my probation period and remained, on the same salary etc.. The understanding was that I worked on the project solely, but was able to manage the project how I saw fit, but this was quickly shut down once my notice period had ended.
My directory has suggested that I sign a contract that means that I would not be able to leave until all of the project is finished and if I did leave then I would be legally liable for damages and loss of earnings. Something, which I do not want to commit to for some reasons:
If the project takes, let's say 6-12 months then I would not be in a position to negotiate an increase in salary, because my directors could turn around and say "Well, you're in a contract..."
Being the only developer, there is way too much pressure on me to finish this project on time and to to budget. If I feel that things are not going to plan, there will be no negotiating and if I was pushed into a corner I would not be able to leave, at all.
Doesn't benefit me. Of course, working on this project is my job and that's what I'm employed to do. However, originally discussed this was a two developers projects and with recent events, it's now being made clear that this would only be a single developers job, but my wage has not increased nor are there any incentives for me - Something I don't want to commit to incase there is another opportunity that comes up that offers more money, or better opportunities.
I do not feel as though signing this contract would be in my best interest. However, I don't want to be backed into a corner where my directors say
"If you don't sign this contract, we're sadly going to have to let you go"
But, I don't want to accept it and take on all this pressure and potentially miss any opportunities that may come up in the future. Granted, if I was a freelancer then I would not hesitate to sign this contract as in the long run it would mean I benefit from.
How can I therefore politely decline this contract change without effecting my chances or getting fired?