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Delayed Contract Post-Easter :(

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by amylyall85, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. amylyall85

    amylyall85 New commenter


    I hope someone can please help me? I signed my contract to start a teaching role, for the summer term, a few weeks ago with a specific start date until 31st August. The school has told me that they are delaying my contract indefinitely as they don't really need me right now but will give me a month's good will pay. This still leaves me with 4 months' worth of pay to find until schools look like they'll resume in September and things on the job front look bleak right now! I need to know if, legally, they can do this? I emailed the union a week ago and I'm waiting for them to come back to me still, and I'm trying to find work but there's not much out there :( Thanks, Amy
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Type of school? (LA? Academy? Private?)
  3. Melj16

    Melj16 New commenter

    I may be wrong but I didnt think that was allowed.
  4. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Does your contract have a notice period on it? If so for how long? I suspect that it will have a notice period of 7 days. What you are describing happens in the private sector quite often I believe, it happened to a neighbor of mine who had a 6 month contract ended abruptly after a couple of weeks. Sorry I know that comment doesn't help but what you are experiencing is not personal or unusual. Supply teachers can have work taken away abruptly if a school can find a cheaper alternative.
    It is a rotten situation to be in since you aren't likely to find an another teaching job at present. I would have thought you will be eligible for universal credit since you are now unemployed through no fault of your own. Other financial help? perhaps, and I believe the NEU has a hardship fund.
    Do you have any legal redress? perhaps but that will take time and won't alleviate any immediate financial hardship. I am sorry that I cannot offer any more specific advice I do hope you can find some alternative financial support.
  5. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    Countless number of commenters on this site would say once you accept an offer, even if verbatim, it constitute a contract on the part of the teacher and that you shouldn't do otherwise (e.g. seek another position or attend another interview, etc, even if something better comes up), blah, blah, blah. If a school truly behaves in this manner, leaving a colleague out of pockets, I wonder how those fellas would respond to this. Besides, what stops a teacher from declining an offer after accepting it?
    meggyd likes this.
  6. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Get a job in a supermarket in the meantime?

    Yep the Govt does not seem to be helping anyone who has only just started a job somewhere or self employment.
  7. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    Speak to your Union Regional Centre today. Number will be on their National web sites Both the large Unions have hardship funds.

    There is plenty of work in the supermarkets at the moment,for your short term needs.
  8. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think a contract like this should be binding on both sides, so I would be horrified. If, as has already been suggested, the notice period in the contract is less a month or less, then the OP doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it. If it is longer, then, as suggested above, speak to your union. If that is possible.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The notice period could well be a month.
    Summer term doesn't start until the end of April and they are paying the OP for a month after that.
    The school could argue they have given almost 2 months notice.

    It's not great at all, but is possibly perfectly legal.
    The OP's union may well have be able to help from their hardship fund?
    Piranha and Flanks like this.
  10. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    First of all sympathy for a horrible situation that you have no control over. I am not optimistic but really hope the union can assist the OP, to obtain a better outcome.

    It is almost certainly not the school's fault that it is underfunded, forcing the Head into hardball decisions like this. Money saved on a temporary teacher not required due to the current circumstances is probably desperately needed elsewhere.

    That the Covid-19 crisis has to be seen by schools as an opportunity to conserve money is a sad reflection of the reality in English schools.
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Not sure about the two months' notice - there have been discussions about whether notice can be given by either side before a contract starts. Noone has come up with anything definitive, but I hope not as it would allow employers to back out of contracts without any redress if they give enough notice. But I agree that it would cover the loss if one month's (or less) notice is needed, which was part of the point I was making in my previous post.

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