Employment contracts aren’t just meant to serve as proof that you work for the company; they are the most official and legal way to ensure that you and the company both keep up your ends of the employment "bargain". It should include the proper legal terminology that shows what your responsibilities are to the company, as well as what their responsibilities are to you.
Here are the most important terms to find in your employment contract:
- Names -- This should include the names of both parties--you and the company hiring you.
- Start date -- The date of your contract is important, as that marks the date that you begin working for the company. Most employees don’t receive benefits until the first or second year of working, and that "start date" helps to make it clear exactly when you begin to receive these benefits.
- Job title/description -- This will tell you exactly what you should be doing, as well as what your job title will be.
- Hours of work --This details the number of hours of work required from you each week. As long as the hours do not exceed 48 per week (the max), you’ve got nothing to worry about.
- Place of work -- This is the physical location where you will be employed, both now and in the future. (Note: Even if you are to work from home, the place of work will be the company offices.)
- Salary -- It should be abundantly clear how much you earn--both in base salary and bonuses/commissions.
- Probationary period -- Some companies use a probationary period to evaluate the quality of their employees, and whether or not they will hire them full-time. The length of the period should be clearly stated.
- Deductions -- The company makes certain deductions from your salary, and the contract should make it very clear what those deductions are.
- Assessments -- This will detail when your performance will be reviewed (yearly, semi-annually, etc.), as well as the date of your first work assessment.
- Holidays -- Not all companies do holidays the same, so it’s important that your work contract specifies the dates when you will be given off, or at least the number of days per year you’ll be granted for vacation time.
- Disability/Sickness -- Every company has a policy for sick days, and the policy should be clearly stated. Terms of disability/compensation should also be outlined clearly.
- Notice -- Should you decide to quit or the company decide to fire you, notice will need to be given. This should be spelled out in the contract.
- Pension -- Depending on the company, you may be offered a company or stakeholder pension scheme, or even no pension at all. Whatever the case, it must be spelled out clearly.
- Restrictive Covenants -- This may include a Non-Disclosure Agreement, a Non-Compete Clause, and any other restrictions. It’s a very common business practice, and nothing to be alarmed about.
- Severability -- This section should clearly state the behavior that could lead to your being fired, as well as the terms of severance.
- Particulars of Employment -- The main terms of the contract must be laid out clearly so both employee and employer can refer to them quickly if necessary.
Look for these terms when reading over your employment contract to make sure that everything is in place!
Are we missing any important terms? Leave comment below to let us know…