Things to note before signing an employment contract

We all know the excitement we get when we get a new job; knowing that the sleepless nights you passed through, countless practices in front of the mirror, and the grueling recruitment process you had to face has finally paid off.

Not to be a spoilsport, but while you are excited about getting this new job and signing the employment contract that is sitting pretty in your mail, it is important to go through the contract thoroughly before signing it.

You have to be sure everything stated in the contract aligns with what is in the job description and anything that was mentioned during the recruitment process.

This is the time to take a deep breath, assimilate everything and ask questions where necessary.

Below are five things to note and checklist before signing an employment contract;

  1. Job description and duties

This may seem straightforward because you have discussed it during the recruitment process and you understand it. However, some employers add more duties to what has been previously discussed and include vague descriptions of what you are supposed to do.

Pay attention to the wording carefully and always clarify each point.

Ask yourself if the duties described are straightforward, not ambiguous.

  1. Remuneration and Benefits

The next thing to note is how much your base salary is. Are they deducting anything from it if you come late or if you go on leave?

Some companies provide benefits ranging from gym subscriptions, and data to health insurance.

Ensure that every benefit that they promised you is written down in the contract.

  1. Working hours

Most employers don’t pay attention to this. Some just write the typical 9-5 working hours and expect you to work overtime. Clarify if you would be working during weekends, and what would happen when you work overtime. Remember that flexible work life is key.

  1. Start and end date, probation period, clauses for termination 

I’m sure you are wondering why you have to go through this again because it seems straightforward. You must know when you are starting and how long your probation period would last to avoid any unforeseen issues.

The probation period is usually the time for the company to decide if you are the right fit for them and an opportunity for you to decide if the company is right for you.

Also, take note of the termination clauses as termination can be a result of various reasons.

Clarify what is expected of you and ask the HR personnel to be sure.

  1. Restrictive clauses

Restrictive clauses are very important because they usually take effect after leaving your job and may hinder your future work prospects.

For example, companies usually state that you can’t work for another company for a certain period after leaving their company.

Some clauses restrict you from working with a competitor in that geographical area.

Any clause that seems fishy or doesn’t sit well with you should be clarified and noted.

While I have listed some things to note before signing in an employment contract, make sure you read all the pages before signing.

Also, make a physical copy or send a copy to yourself in case of an emergency.

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