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Old 21.10.2015, 10:48
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Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

Hi, I was offered a 3 month IT contract role last week after passing telephone and face to face interviews. After the interviews the agency rang and told me I got it and asked when I could start. After a couple of days I told the agency that I would start in early November.

The agency then sent me the contract to sign and other documentation. However because of the long daily travel required I've now decided not to take the role and I haven't signed the contract.

Is confirming by email that I would take the contract and giving a start date legally binding? Is there anything I should be aware of before contacting the agency and telling them I won't be taking the role?
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Old 21.10.2015, 10:52
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Hi, I was offered a 3 month IT contract role last week after passing telephone and face to face interviews. After the interviews the agency rang and told me I got it and asked when I could start. After a couple of days I told the agency that I would start in early November.

The agency then sent me the contract to sign and other documentation. However because of the long daily travel required I've now decided not to take the role and I haven't signed the contract.

Is confirming by email that I would take the contract and giving a start date legally binding? Is there anything I should be aware of before contacting the agency and telling them I won't be taking the role?
Even verbal contracts are legally binding in Switzerland.
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Old 21.10.2015, 10:53
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Even verbal contracts are legally binding in Switzerland.
Do they have to be witnessed/tape recorded?!
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Old 21.10.2015, 10:57
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

...and you can forget getting anything from those guys (and possibly others) any time soon.
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Old 21.10.2015, 10:57
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Do they have to be witnessed/tape recorded?!
1. In theory no.

2. However, it's probably unenforceable without evidence (but that would be a matter for the courts to decide).

Edit: not relevant in this case, an email confirming start date is clearly a binding acceptance of the contract.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:00
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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...and you can forget getting anything from those guys (and possibly others) any time soon.
It is also a well known fact that agencies never talk to each other - and so other ones would never hear of this - especially as you haven't discussed it on a public forum.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:04
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

Beobachter explored a similar issue and wrote:
1) A verbal acceptance is sufficient. (Swiss civil code art. 320 I)
2) The valid work contract can be terminated by giving notice, usually seven days during the probationary period. (Swiss civil code art. 335b I)

A suggestion: contact the agency by telephone or email to tell them you are not interested in the job and then confirm via registered post.

http://www.20min.ch/community/dossie...story/22726092
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:08
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

No sensible person is going to force a non-interested party to work for them. I doubt they would try and enforce anything at all.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:08
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

Don't worry about it.

First, check your contract for notice periods and if it's shorter than the time between now and the official start date, give notice. If not, or there's no notice/termination period mentioned, just say the commute is too far and you won't be signing.

The agency will hate you for a while but they're just smily salespeople; they'll call you again if they ever need you. Be prepared for them to slag you off to the client though, so that department will no doubt not look at your CV again.

This forum is full of people who will jump up and down in frothy-mouthed excitement about verbal contracts being binding in Switzerland, but don't worry about that. Ring the agency, say you're very sorry but the commute is too much and hence you won't be signing. Same with the email "confirming" the start date - it's only confirming what the contents of the contract will be, which you've not signed. There could be all sorts of stuff in that contract which puts you off signing, so any verbal or email agreement to a contract you hadn't yet seen obviously doesn't matter. People here need to apply some logic to their thoughts.

However, in parallel to all that ... how bad actually is the commute? How come you weren't able to work that out before you even went for the role and then the interview?
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:09
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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No sensible person is going to force a non-interested party to work for them. I doubt they would try and enforce anything at all.
Even if they tried to/did, one could always go off sick from the start.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:18
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Hi, I was offered a 3 month IT contract role last week after passing telephone and face to face interviews. After the interviews the agency rang and told me I got it and asked when I could start. After a couple of days I told the agency that I would start in early November.

The agency then sent me the contract to sign and other documentation. However because of the long daily travel required I've now decided not to take the role and I haven't signed the contract.

Is confirming by email that I would take the contract and giving a start date legally binding? Is there anything I should be aware of before contacting the agency and telling them I won't be taking the role?
It is bad form, but you have to be really badly behaved to get an agency to blacklist you.

I have been contracting for 20 years and been in the situation where agencies try to railroad me into something I do not want to do. They frequently "accept" on your behalf before talking to you.

Generally agencies fall into two camps: box shifters who respond to computer generated job orders from a large corporate, and placement agencies who will go out and market you. The former don't worry about, the people there shift jobs every few months. the latter your probably want to keep friendly with.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:31
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Don't worry about it.

First, check your contract for notice periods and if it's shorter than the time between now and the official start date, give notice. If not, or there's no notice/termination period mentioned, just say the commute is too far and you won't be signing.
Thanks, notice period is 7 days for the first 2 months then 1 month after that. The start date is over 2 weeks from now.

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However, in parallel to all that ... how bad actually is the commute? How come you weren't able to work that out before you even went for the role and then the interview?
The commute would be about 1.5 hours each way so 3 hours per day. It would involve a tram, a 1 hour train journey, then another tram. I told the agency from the start that the commute could be a problem. After I gave them a start date I was talking to friends who do a similar commute and they said they don't have a life from Monday to Friday and it's not worth it, especially coming in to winter. So after thinking about it a couple more days I decided it's too far.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:41
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

Think about this: if the contract arrives and contains conditions that are unacceptable to you, would you be obliged to sign it, just because on the phone (or via email) you'd said "I accept the job"?

Tell the agency that you already mentioned the travel might make it not workable, and now you've looked into it more closely, you reluctantly must give immediate notice (as Adrian advises).

Having said that, a 3 hour total commute isn't so bad. I did it (by car) for two years round the M25 in the UK... By train, and especially if you go first class, it's fine. You can actually use the time.
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Old 21.10.2015, 11:53
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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By train, and especially if you go first class, it's fine. You can actually use the time.
But at home the OP would put on a bit of porn and engage in a bit of self-abuse. In general that is frowned upon in Swiss trains - even in first class!
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Old 21.10.2015, 12:00
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Even verbal contracts are legally binding in Switzerland.
Not sure about that.
That would be only on the assumption that every clause stated in the contract has also been explained verbally. I don't think this is often the case in cases like this.
Just find something you wouldn't like to agree on that hasn't been mentioned before and make that a big issue
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Old 21.10.2015, 12:13
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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Thanks, notice period is 7 days for the first 2 months then 1 month after that. The start date is over 2 weeks from now.



The commute would be about 1.5 hours each way so 3 hours per day. It would involve a tram, a 1 hour train journey, then another tram. I told the agency from the start that the commute could be a problem. After I gave them a start date I was talking to friends who do a similar commute and they said they don't have a life from Monday to Friday and it's not worth it, especially coming in to winter. So after thinking about it a couple more days I decided it's too far.
i did this commute for a while. it is ok short term, but not long term, imo.
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Old 21.10.2015, 13:52
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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But at home the OP would put on a bit of porn and engage in a bit of self-abuse. In general that is frowned upon in Swiss trains - even in first class!
You obviously have never travelled first class or you'd know that it's full of ...
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Old 21.10.2015, 14:10
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

I did Eglisau to Basel by car for 6 years, 100 Km one way. I only took the post because it was a 3 month contract!
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Old 21.10.2015, 14:28
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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The commute would be about 1.5 hours each way so 3 hours per day. It would involve a tram, a 1 hour train journey, then another tram.
If it's to Basel, then it's worth it.

The nine hours a day you spend here will leave you 5 hours more refreshed and 7% better looking (and that's cumulative) than if you'd spent the day in Zurich.
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Old 21.10.2015, 14:52
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Re: Decided not to take a contract role after initially agreeing by email

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If it's to Basel, then it's worth it.

The nine hours a day you spend here will leave you 5 hours more refreshed and 7% better looking (and that's cumulative) than if you'd spent the day in Zurich.
Very true, you'll even decrease your risk of a heart attack (down 32%) and suicide (down 18%). The flip side is you'll less likely to find love (26%), have an increased risk of mental illness (17%) and have a shorter penis (29%).

There is neglible difference between Zurich and Basel in terms of making up statistics. (0.4%)
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