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Question
Posted by: gizmo | 2011-04-28

validity of contract

I was employed by an insurance company. After 12 months, they had me sign a new contract which stipulated that I had to earn a certain amount in commission every month, otherwise I will be fined with x amount penalty per month.
The criteria I had to meet according to this new contract was I had to proof that I earned X amount in commssion in the 12 months before employment, as well as a percistancy ratio of 90% plus. I did not meet that criteria, but was forced to sign because I had no other option open to me.
I did not meet the said amount per month, and had to pay a massive amount in penalties to the company. It later came to light (on my IRP5) that I earned about half of what was expected from me, and my persistancy ratio was about 65 - 70%. This info was in their posession, as they paid my salary.
I feel that it was an unfair contract as I did not meet their criteria and standards. My manager even said to my in front of my wife, I should never have signed that contract and that he knew I was not going to make it.
I was forced to resign as I could not afford any more penalties, and did not receive any pay for more that 7 months. They now sue me for an astronomic amount that I cannot repay (lapsed policies)
Can I get a lawyer to assist me with this, as I feel that it was an unfair contract as they knew beforehand that I will not make it, or do I have no other option than to pay?
N.S. The contract stipulated that you must inform your manager if you can see that you are not going to make it, which I did in the second month after signing the contract. He just said, they will help me to make it, but nothing further happened.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageLabour lawyer

re: Validity of Contract

Once you have signed your contract unfortunately there is not much you can do. It is incredibly difficult to prove that you were forced into signing an unfair contract.

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