5 Things you should know before signing an Employment Contract.

As an employee, you must have a clear understanding with your employer before entering into an employment contract. A written contract is important in setting out the employer’s obligations as well as your roles, responsibilities and job security.

Before you sign a new contract of labour, you need to thoroughly review the key details to ensure that your employment contract contains everything it requires. The details of employment usually vary from one company to another and the terms of what is expected also vary. Here are five things you should check before signing a new employment contract.

5 Things you should know before signing an Employment Contract.

1.Job position and duties

You must check the job title and duties as stated in the employment contract. Responsibilities should match those listed in the job description.

It would be surprising to see different job duties and responsibilities than the ones you applied for and interviewed for, but if you notice significant inconsistencies, you should discuss them with the hiring manager or human resources manager before signing the contract. If the changes mentioned are not in line with your skills or work ethic, make sure you tell the employer before signing the contract.

2. Salary and benefits

You must check that the remuneration package in your contract matches the package offered in the offer letter. Check the available payment methods and the salary release date.

Some companies provide comprehensive benefits packages to their permanent employees. Some of the benefits that you may be entitled to in this case include pension, health insurance and other various benefits. You may also be eligible for bonuses as part of your new role.

3. Start date and working hours

If you are changing jobs, you must ensure that the start date of the new job does not coincide with the date you are expected to leave. Before you start working with another organization, make sure you have enough time to sign off from your previous job.

Once you are sure the start date is suitable, check the working hours listed in your employment contract. For contractors, you don’t have to worry about the number of working hours, because you can set your own working hours. When you accept or decline job requests, you are in control of the time you intend to allocate to the hiring company. For employees, working hours should correspond to your expectations and purpose. This will help you stay productive and stress-free.

4. Pay for vacation and sick leave

As with anything else, you need to take regular breaks after starting a new job. Before signing the contract, check the number of days and hours allocated as vacation period. You must also assess whether there are any other restrictions in relation to the holiday. Some companies usually require the use of vacation days at a certain time of the year.

Sick leave is usually subject to minimum laws in the country. You should also check the terms and conditions regarding holiday and sick pay. With contract workers, you do not have to be entitled to any benefits or sick leave from your employer. The company that hires you will only pay you an agreed salary for your services, but other benefits such as health insurance must be processed separately. 

5. Restrictive Covenants

Also known as restrictive covenants, restrictive covenants usually do not apply during your tenure with the employer, but only take effect after the contract is terminated. However, before signing the employment contract, you must familiarize yourself with the stipulated conditions. Restrictive covenants are usually intended to protect the employer’s business, employees and clients.

Some of the restrictive covenants include a non-competition clause, a non-solicitation clause, a non-dealing clause and a non-poaching clause. You should check that this section defines the sectors, types of businesses and geographic limitations in which you will work.

You need to make sure that restrictive covenants do not have a negative impact on your future employment opportunities. For example, you may be banned from working for a competing company for a period of time.