Varying the Terms of a Contract

25th March 2011
Varying the Terms of a Contract image

Varying the Terms of a Contract

The recent decision of the EAT in Morgan –v- Network Europe Group Limited is a useful case for businesses to take note when trying to vary the terms and conditions of an employee’s contract of employment.

In this case the employer issued a new handbook to its staff, which contained a new “lay-off” clause.  The employee signed a form to acknowledge receipt of the new handbook.

Initially the Tribunal held that the employee was bound by the new “lay-off” clause and by the handbook so far as it amended his contract of employment.  However the EAT reversed this decision.  Since the employee had not signed a new contract with the new “lay-off” clause stated therein, there had been no agreed variation of the contract of employment.  The EAT pointed out that had the handbook been accompanied by a new contract with the new “lay-off” clause and duly signed by the employee, then the variation would have been binding.

Daven Naghen, head of our Employment Team added:-

“The moral of the story is that generally speaking if an employer wants to amend an employee’s contract then the employer should get the employee to sign a new contract with the variation. Failing which there is a real risk that the variation will not be binding, especially if the variation does not necessarily have immediate effect.”

If you want advice on terms and conditions of employment for your staff, and/or amending the same then please contact Daven Naghen on daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com or 01775 722261.


How Banks are Cashing in on Wills image

How Banks are Cashing in on Wills

Recent headlines have reported how banks are now cashing in on Wills.

During the 1990s and early 2000s, banks offered customers low cost Wills (or sometimes even free Wills) but the small print allowed the bank to charge extortionate rates to act as Executors. It is reported that banks are expecting billions of pounds of revenue from their Will writing services and administering estates and in some cases their fees have been over £12,000 to administer an estate as they look to charge a fixed fee PLUS a percentage of the deceased’s wealth.

If you or a loved one has made a Will through a bank we would urge you to check who you have appointed as Executors and check any small print which you may have signed. If you are unsure then please speak with one of our lawyers in the Wills and Probate team who can look at your existing Will with you. It may be appropriate to make a new Will which revokes any previous Will you have made which could save your family thousands of pounds when your estate needs to be administered.

In the majority of cases, when someone has passed away we can provide the family with a quote of how much the legal fees will be so that there are no nasty surprises once the administration is complete.

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