Over a third of us don’t fully understand our employment contracts but sign them anyway with Londoners and those in the South East amongst the worst, a survey reveals.
The survey undertaken by Ipsos MORI on behalf of internet employment resource hiringandfiring.co.uk, reveals that a significant 37 per cent of employees who have ever signed a contract of employment do not understand everything they’ve signed.
The survey of 1000 men and women also showed that 112 respondents hadn’t ever signed an employment contract as opposed to 888 who had.
Regional variations showed that only 56 per cent of workers in the South-East and London understood every clause compared to 68 cent in Wales and the South-West.
The survey also found that senior white-collar workers and professionals were more likely to understand what an employment contract said and were far more likely to say “I understood every single clause” compared to all lower socio economic class workers.
The survey also found 18-24 year olds, the new generation of employees, were less likely to understand every single clause of their employment contract in comparison to those over the age of 35.
MD of hiringandfiring.co.uk, Simon Dawson, said, “It’s staggering that people are prepared to sign these documents without understanding them fully. This is not a good position for the future of employee relations.
“We take for granted that long complex contracts like those attached to house buying, may not be read or fully understood. But agreeing our job on the same basis is unbelievable.”
He concluded, “As set out under the Employment Act, an employment contract is a simple document.
“The law requires an employee to be given a basic written statement of pay, holidays, performance etc. They are not intrinsically complicated things.”
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