You’ve been offered a job, considered all the possibilities, and are ready to sign on the dotted line and make it official. But there are a few things to double-check before you sign your employment contract.
It might look like an endless, jargon-filled pile of paper, but don’t just sign blindly to get it over with. Conditions you may not be aware of could be lurking in the fine print, so ask a friend in the know or family member to read through it carefully with you.
Here are five things to look for before signing that contract.
1. Job security
Be really clear about exactly what kind of contract you’re getting into and what it means for your job security. Is it a zero-hours contract that doesn’t guarantee you a certain salary each month? Is it fixed-term or full-time? Make sure it’s the type of contract you agreed to and that you’re aware of what that means. Also make sure you check what the grounds for termination are, so if something goes wrong in the future you know exactly what your rights are.
2. Job title and responsibilities
Check to see that your title is correct and that your duties are outlined in detail. This affects what your employer can and cannot require you to do. The more specific the job description, the less your boss will be able to pile on extra responsibilities that you may not want.
3. Salary and benefits
Hopefully you’ve taken our advice and negotiated the starting salary you’re actually worth! Make sure the numbers reflect what was in your offer letter, and that any other benefits that were agreed upon are accounted for in the contract. If there are bonuses involved, find out if they are guaranteed or discretionary. If they’re based on performance, be clear on what the targets are and who decides if you’ve met them.
4. Hours and place of work
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Don’t agree to working hours that you’ll come to regret. You should be aware of being expected to work weekends or holidays, whether you’re required to do overtime and how much you’ll be paid for it. If you agreed to work in a wide geographical area, be prepared for the possibility of being asked to move to a branch in another city or country. If you were told you could work from home some days, that should be in your contract as well.
5. Holiday time
Check when the holiday year runs from, and if you’re able to roll over untaken holiday into the next year. If you’re restricted from taking holiday at certain busy times of year, that should all be detailed in the contract as well. You wouldn’t want anything to come between you and the perfect vacation, right?
By Reenat Sinay