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I have started a new job in Singapore. I agreed a working…

Customer Question
I have started a...

I have started a new job in Singapore. I agreed a working week of Mon-Fri 8:45 - 4:45 however when I started on Monday they said that I would be required to work some weekends and evenings. This information was nover given to me. My contract states a start date of 4th December but I didn't begin my employment until 8th January. Is my contract still binding. I am trying to get out of it, but they are threatening that I need to pay three months salary in lieu of notice

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Singapore

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No. I had a discussion yesterday. The parting words of the senior manager when I said I dindt want the job anymore were 'I have nothing else to say on the matter. Best wishes for the futre. You can leave". I took this to mean a verbal termination of contract but I received an email from the employer today stating that I needed to attend or would unilaterally trigger the termination clause to pay salary in lieu of notice.

Lawyer's Assistant: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.

Okay

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 58 minutes by:
1/9/2018
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,787
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Verified

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

Does your contract state your employment is at will? Does your contract specify the hours you will work?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
no it doesn't stipulate - these were verbally agreed in contract talks
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
here is a copy. IVe been reading about employment law in Singapore and the only thing I can find is that if an employee doesnt turn up to work on the first day of the contract then it is void. My start date of my signed contract is 4th December, they then asked me to start on the 8th Jan but I didn't sign a contract to agree this
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I therefore didnt turn up to work on the 4th Dec as the contract said
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

When there is a written contract, the only terms of a contract that can be enforced by the court would be what is written in the contract. If these were verbal agreements, unless the employer admits they agreed that you did not have to work weekends, it is going to be impossible for you to prove in court that your employer agreed to those terms. So, if the employer is not admitting they agreed that you only would work Monday through Friday, legally you could not succeed in breaking the contract or winning a case against the employer.

If you leave, even based on what your senior manager said, and do not comply with the contract terms, then you would be in breach of contract and they can pursue you for what is written into your contract. The reason terms and conditions are put in writing is because that is the only way the court can bind parties to those agreements. So if it is in the contract the court can enforce it, such as the termination provision, but if it is not in the written contract the court cannot be enforced.

If you had showed up, even if it was January 8 and the contract says 4th, then the contract is arguably still enforceable, because YOU DID SHOW UP. Had you not showed up January 8 and the contract says December 4, then you have the argument that the contract is void because you never showed up at all. Once you did show up however, even on the 8th, the contract became active at that time.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
the working hours are stated in the staff handbook as 8:45 to 4:45 and this is referenced in the final paragraph of the contract. They do not state that weekends and evenings are required
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply

The agreement also says the school reserves the right to make reasonable changes, so that would mean they could change the hours and days they need you to work and that is the problem. If you are not happy with the terms you have to give 3 months notice as stated in the contract.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
If they terminated the contract due to me breaching the contract ie. Not attending, would I still be legally required to pay the salary in lieu of notice?
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
is it worth me asking for a mutually amicable termination with no value exchange on either part?
Employment Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, if you claim they terminated the contract due to your breach, they can still pursue you for the payment for breaching the contract.

You can ask for a mutual termination agreement instead of the 3 month notice, but the employer is in control here based on that written contractual agreement. So, the employer may refuse to negotiate this.

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