Having a work contract might be the most exciting moment of your career life, and it should be. Despite the need to skim through the details, it’s crucial you read through the fine print to have a better understanding of what your contract entails. A verbal agreement is not sufficient to grant you the job, but a signature on that contract is. It will tie you down to the requirements, laws, and regulations of the work. In essence, it will guide you on what to expect of your new employer, and what’s they expect of you. A basic contract should include, but not limited to, the following.
- Job title and description
The contract should indicate the new position that you will be filling. Inclusive of the title should be the responsibilities and your role within the company team. In case your contract does not have a description of your responsibilities, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
This clause details your salary, bonus, and other benefits. Foremost, check if the indicated salary is as you had negotiated. If the contract offers a bonus, get an understanding of how the company will calculate it; is it on personal or company’s performance? If a comprehensive health package is in the deal, what large insurance companies offering long term disability coverage is the business working with.
- Working hours
Understand how many hours you will be required to work both on a weekly and daily basis. The contract should stipulate some compensation for overtime. Your place of work should be detailed and further information given if the contract offers flexible working practices such as working from home.
- Employment period
Unless the contact is a permanent one, the start and end dates should be indicated. In the case of short contracts, check for the notice period, which gives you the allowance of notifying your employer upon your impending end of the contract.
You are about to start your new job, so why think of leaving yet? Every good thing has an end to it and this includes your contact. Look through and understand amicable ways the contract can be terminated by either party. There are bound to be some legal words and phrases in this section. So before signing that contract, ask for an explanation on areas you do not understand. If you have a lawyer, it’s always a good thing to have them take a look.
- Sick leave and holidays
You will be giving the best of you to this business, therefore the need to seek some time off to re-energize. Understand how many leave days you are entitled to, and can you carry over any unclaimed days over to the next year. If applying for sick leave, what is the procedure?
These few recommendations are not an exhaustive list. The devil is in the details, therefore read and re-read the fine print for a better understanding. Find clarity on areas you don’t fully comprehend before you handshake to affirm acceptance of your new job.
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