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Can your employer change your employment contract?

When you decide to become part of a new company, there's a good chance you'll be presented with an employment contract. And if you're not, it's something you should discuss with your employer, as a comprehensive contract can help protect both parties.

At some point during your employment, your employer may wish to alter your contract. While this isn't always a bad thing, it's critical to understand exactly what's happening.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • You must consent to the change: It's unlikely that your employer can alter your contract without first discussing it with you. Also, your signature will be required, along with a date, before it goes into effect.
  • You can negotiate: For example, if your employer wants to change your contract to better suit them, it's your right to negotiate with the idea of securing better terms moving forward. Don't simply go along with whatever is asked of you.
  • You're in control: If you enjoy your job and hope to help your employer out, there's nothing wrong with discussing a new employment contract or a change to the one that's currently in effect. But remember, you're in total control. Both parties signed the original contract, and until a change is made this is the one that you'll go by.

There may come a point when you're in a standoff with your current employer regarding some aspect of your contract or a change they want to make. If this happens, review your contract and employee handbook, all with the idea of taking steps that will protect your legal rights.

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