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  • FIRST POST
    • okybaca
    • By okybaca 22nd Sep 16, 7:57 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    okybaca
    Is my salary proportionate to contract conditions ?
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 16, 7:57 PM
    Is my salary proportionate to contract conditions ? 22nd Sep 16 at 7:57 PM
    Hello, I would be interested in your opinions.

    What do you think of my contract conditions vs current salary. Do I have a case for salary increase ?

    I am 36 year old, phd chemist, technical job, fairly crucial person as there is nobody else in the company who could do the job. My starting salary was £25k/y four years ago down from £38k/y in previous job but there was not much on offer at that time so I took it. After a year I got a £35k/y offer from a competitor so my employer matched the offer to £36k/y but also gave me 6 month notice period + 6 month ban from working for competition which is defined very very broadly. I have been on £36-38k/y for 2 years now.

    Now, my issue is that I am disqualified from job market unable to apply for better paid jobs due to my contract conditions. My feeling is that the contract conditions say that I am very important but the salary is average at best for my job role and experience. It may be that I end up looking for a job for some time but my feeling is that my contract is massively in favor of my employer.

    I would like to re-negotiate the contract. Acceptable outcome would be:

    1) conditions unchanged - salary increase to £45k/y
    2) notice period decreased to 1 month - salary unchanged (this would put me back on the market)
    3) to hand in a notice - respect 6 month notice or whatever we agree on - leaving the job and probably traveling since I would not be allowed to work anywhere else

    Thank you for reading. I would really appreciated your opinion.
    Last edited by okybaca; 22-09-2016 at 8:20 PM.
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 22nd Sep 16, 8:44 PM
    • 2,081 Posts
    • 3,307 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 8:44 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 8:44 PM
    Hello, I would be interested in your opinions.

    What do you think of my contract conditions vs current salary. Do I have a case for salary increase ?

    I am 36 year old, phd chemist, technical job, fairly crucial person as there is nobody else in the company who could do the job. My starting salary was £25k/y four years ago down from £38k/y in previous job but there was not much on offer at that time so I took it. After a year I got a £35k/y offer from a competitor so my employer matched the offer to £36k/y but also gave me 6 month notice period + 6 month ban from working for competition which is defined very very broadly. I have been on £36-38k/y for 2 years now.

    Now, my issue is that I am disqualified from job market unable to apply for better paid jobs due to my contract conditions. My feeling is that the contract conditions say that I am very important but the salary is average at best for my job role and experience. It may be that I end up looking for a job for some time but my feeling is that my contract is massively in favor of my employer.

    I would like to re-negotiate the contract. Acceptable outcome would be:

    1) conditions unchanged - salary increase to £45k/y
    2) notice period decreased to 1 month - salary unchanged (this would put me back on the market)
    3) to hand in a notice - respect 6 month notice or whatever we agree on - leaving the job and probably traveling since I would not be allowed to work anywhere else

    Thank you for reading. I would really appreciated your opinion.
    Originally posted by okybaca
    I can see no reason on earth for your employer to agree any of this. Unless you are utterly irreplaceable then their best option would be to call you out and tell you that if you wish to resign, go ahead. But be careful, people are rarely as valuable as they think they are. Unless you are going to resign, don't attempt it. And if you are willing to resign, then I wouldn't make it an ultimatum. I'd just do it and see whether they want to negotiate. Ultimatums rarely go down well.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 22nd Sep 16, 9:23 PM
    • 229 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    steampowered
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 9:23 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 9:23 PM
    You can certainly approach your employer to explain you think you are underpaid and try to negotiate an uplift. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

    If you do decide to resign, the employer might agree to reduce your notice period and release you from your restrictive covenant. Once you have resigned they will have to hire a replacement and there is probably no real reason for them to keep you once the replacement has joined.

    If you do decide to resign, you could always find another job and ignore your restrictive covenant. The law on this is that restrictive covenants can only be enforced if they are more than is reasonable to protect the employer's interests in terms of duration and scope. If the restrictive covenant is found to be unreasonably long or broad then it will not be legally enforceable.

    Six months is pretty high and would need a lot of justification from the employer as to why six months is required, and if they didn't bother having a restrictive covenant in your previous contract it seems to me that they would really struggle to justify why they need to have six months. Obviously there is a risk to doing this and you may want to seek a bit of legal advice, but if you want to be working during the six months it may be a risk worth taking.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 22nd Sep 16, 11:45 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    tacpot12
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 11:45 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 11:45 PM
    The fact the restrictive covernant is written in very broad terms is another reason why it is likely to be ruled unfair if it ever got to court. The cost going to court means that an employer would only do so if they had incurred significant losses, e.g you took a significant peice of intellectual property or a customer base with you. If you are just doing analysis or development that any person trained in your field could do, they might have to pay your replacement £45k per annum, but that is not a loss that a judge would regard as significant. You are allowed to take your own skills with you and you are entitled to earn a living in your own field.

    As sangie595 said, you don't have a lot of leverage over your employer and they don't have as much as they think either.

    My best advise is forget about it. Work as hard as you want to for the £38K they are paying you, invest your disposable income and retire aged 50 and leave them wondering how on earth you did it. Who wants the hastle of job hunting, interviews and the risk of rejection and unemployment all for a job where they will want £45k from you if you get!
    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 23rd Sep 16, 7:32 AM
    • 2,318 Posts
    • 3,120 Thanks
    JReacher1
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 16, 7:32 AM
    • #5
    • 23rd Sep 16, 7:32 AM
    You should have negotiated this when you had the other job offer. Agreeing to a six month notice period on a £36k salary seems slightly over the top and the six months don't work for a competitor clause is ridiculous (without some financial golden handcuff deal).
    • YouAsked
    • By YouAsked 23rd Sep 16, 9:29 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    YouAsked
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 16, 9:29 AM
    • #6
    • 23rd Sep 16, 9:29 AM
    Yes I agree - 6 months notice for £36/38K role is disproportionate, but why would your employer change that now you've agreed?

    One plus side is the notice period works both ways so if you were made to leave, you'd either have 6 months to find something new or be paid 6 months' notice.

    Also I echo a previous poster, the broader a restrictive covenant is, the harder it is to enforce.

    I wouldn't worry too much to be honest...unless you're absolutely irreplaceable (are you?) it's common for compromise to be reached regarding notice periods - I think that people become less productive when they know they are off! If it's standard for other people in your industry to work just 3 months' notice, then they would surely have replaced you during the 6 months' notice period - why would they want you to stay longer than necessary?

    Although I say that with a slight caveat...I worked somewhere once and not only did they hold me to my notice period, but they said I 'd missed some deadline or other for handing my notice in so my notice was only effective from the next relevant period so I ended up staying even longer! Looking back I think they pulled a fast one on me but I was young and naive...
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