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Signed Contract, Now They Want To Lower My Salary.

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Pashha | 18:12 Mon 08th Apr 2024 | Jobs & Education
21 Answers

Hi all! Been a while.

so I'm in a bit of a pickle at work. 
I've recently gotten a promotion at work that doubled my salary. The whole process has taken forever to go through. I received my offer letter just over 2 weeks ago, and I signed my contract 13 days later.

job advert, offer letter and contract all stating the same salary.

Had a conversation with my new manager the other day, she wanted to discuss my new role and talk about my salary then she said she would get my contract sent over straight away. 
I advised her I had already received my contract, signed it and sent it back.

she asked my the amount the contract was for, I told her and she was shocked. She said she had wanted to offer me 9k less than that.

Im flabbergasted. 
I've been reluctant to sign a new contract as I have an unconditional offer and contract, signed, sealed delivered. And have basically been told that if I don't signed the new contract by close of business on Wednesday they are going to withdraw my offer. (Which with a signed contract I'm not sure that's even possible)

Ive spoken to HR and she appeared to not give a damn, she said it sounded like a genuine error on the hiring managers part. But how can that be? Advert, offer letter 2+ weeks ago and contract all stating the same amount. Even spoken to a director at the company and he's shocked by it! The only advise he could give was don't shoot yourself in the foot as it could ruin my chances of future promotions etc. but I actually don't have any interest in further promotion. My new salary I could live on more than comfortably! So I saw this as the end of the road for me career wise.

Now, I'm not familiar with employment law. But all of this seems morally wrong! But any advise would be greatly appreciated! I could be beyond wrong. But I'm at a loss for words! 
I am a part of the union and even they are saying I'm in the right and encouraging me to put in grievances. But I just want to do this quietly. But feel very wronged.



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Are you in the UK?

Surely the only offer they can withdraw is the new erroneous one which you, very sensibly, haven't signed.  So I think they are bluffing.  I can't see how they can renege on the one you signed without incurring massive compensation liability, but I think you really need to press the Trade Union to confirm a legally sound opinion.


Good luck, and congratulations on your promotion, such a pity it's gone sour.

P.S. Yes, as scorpiojo has stated, try ACAS out, they may come good.


HR bloody useless - that's par for the course in my experience.

Don't bother with HR. They are not there to fight your corner, they're there to try to (see below) protect the company. I have to speak with my HR department a fair amount to try to get advice from them on how to deal with staff matters, and if my experience is anything to go by they get splinters in their *** from their fence sitting. HR are the very definition of an overhead in adding nothing to a business.

Are you in the UK? And how long have you been in continuous employment by that employer?

Question Author

Yes I'm in the UK, and in continuous employment with them for the last 4 years. I have spoken to my union rep already. I do think they're trying there luck as despite numerous times asking they have yet to send any other contracts or threats in writing.

Yes, they're bluffing.  Try a bluff yourself - tell them you're thinking of leaving and prosecuting them for unfair (constructive) dismissal.  HR should wet themselves.

Yes, keep in touch with your union rep and, beyond that, say and do nothing. The ball is in your employer's court, not yours. 

It's time to be bold and confident - this is very wrong and cannot be dealt with "quietly" now. 

1.Make a contact with ACAS tomorrow morning. 

2. Be prepared to put in a grievance and ask the union or ACAS to check it over for you. 

3. Once it's in and you are waiting for a response, give some quiet and private thoughts to what you might be prepared if anything, to accept as a compromise. Don't share it but it's good to consider it to help you prepare for that as an outcome.

4. Don't accept any offer from them or any threats from them. Go back to ACAS with any response you receive.

5. Keep a file of all your evidence and copies of correspondence from start to finish.

Their actions have resulted in a breakdown of your trust and respect.  Don't let them off with an easy life. Personally I think they are trying it on and I hope you get the salary you deserve and are able to enjoy the promotion.


///Personally I think they are trying it on and I hope you get the salary you deserve and are able to enjoy the promotion.///


Hear hear !

what would other people in that position earn? nt that it matters but im trying to work out if what they offered you is SO outlandish from the norm, it's clearly a mistake ie someone typing the wrong figure somewhere.  When you applied, how mch was it advertised for?

HR processes are the pits.  i recently got a promotion at work that was advertised at £xx-£xx dependent on experience.  Well i have been doing the job for 2 years, know all about the processes and team and work etcAnd they offered me the bottom of the scale.  I said as I had experience and basically been doing the job for the last two years that I wanted to start up the scale of it.  They said it's their policy that you either get a 10% pay rise.  or you go to the bottom of the band.  Whichever is more.  This puts me in the ridiculous position the somebody else from outside who applied at the same time (There were two jobs available) but from the outside and who knows nothing about this particular job or the team or the processes has come in and is earning more than me simply because he's not internal

Question Author

Thanks folks. I've spoken to ACAS this morning and they've basically confirmed everything you have all said. 

I'm not sure what the others on my new team earn. All I know is I was sent an offer for the exact amount advertised. It didn't say up to or anything. The salary was the salary. I'm so glad I saved it for reference! 

as for keeping any evidence. I genuinely have none. They've yet to send me anything in writing for me to use. It's all on the phone and obviously I'm not allowed to record the calls. 


if I get a call today I'm just going to advise that I'm not prepared to discuss this over the phone anymore and to ask them to email me and cc in any other relevant people. 

Question Author

So, my union rep has spoken to their legal team who have now said that they can rescind the contract with a weeks notice. So I'm now at a loss. 

I always believed a contract was there to protect both parties but they seem to be able to change anything at any given point! 

I've not heard anything back from my new manager or HR. So I'm at a loss.


now worried I'll lose my new job if I don't sign. Actually completed nothing today. It's completely stressing me out! 

Question Author

Now reached the end of my working day and the deadline for signing my new contract. Not only have they not sent me a new contract, I also haven't heard a thing from HR or my hiring manager.


NGL, I'm absolutely terrified to turn up to work on Monday under the terms of my new contract. Cannot believe what should have been such a momentous moment for me has been completely soured.

I feel for you but have no real solution.  The 'correct' advice would be to pursue a claim for breach of contract; or resign and claim constructive dismissal due to breach of contract.

The real issue is - what would be the consequences of taking that sort of action? 

> as for keeping any evidence. I genuinely have none. They've yet to send me anything in writing for me to use. 

I'm confused. You have said "Advert, offer letter 2+ weeks ago and contract all stating the same amount" which I assume is all in writing? That's all you need. In fact, you don't even need that.

You're the employee, and the following article is written for the employer in this situation, but I think it may help you to appreciate the problem they have made:

Your union rep sounds unhelpful. I would keep talking to Acas if I was you.

Question Author

Thank you. Yes those parts are all in writing. Still yet to receive anything else from them. Not even a new offer letter for me to consider!

This is very helpful, thank you.

the union said they are able to withdraw it. ACAS have said otherwise!

im still turning up on Monday. It's at their HO of a very large company. I'm at my wits end with this, my partner is 20 weeks pregnant and this is stressing her out! Which isn't helpful in her condition! Sadly that means I cannot leave to peruse unfair constructive dismissal. 

really appreciate everyone's help on here!

You are in a rock and a hard place, I hope it works out for you.  Let us know how you get on when you start on Monday.  

If you are getting conflicting advice from the union and ACAS I would be inclined to go with ACAS. 

Have you got anything in writing from ACAS or has it all been verbal?  If you have it might be helpful to produce chapter and verse if you ever need to produce any other evidence.

Good luck on monday, maybe start looking around for something else if it gets uncomfortable at work 


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