4 Things to Check Before You Sign a New Employment Contract

4 Things to Check Before You Sign a New Employment Contract

If you have recently been offered a new job or a promotion – congratulations! You are probably very excited and looking forward to this thrilling new opportunity. However, if you are poised and ready to sign your new employment contract, there are a few things you should check before doing so.

Working hours

You have probably discussed the hours of work with your employer, but it is wise to check the wording in your contract. Many will stipulate set hours of work and nothing else, but others may include additional clauses that suggest that you will work as many hours as it takes to satisfy the requirements of your role – which may mean that you need to work a lot more than your contracted hours. 

In more senior positions, this is pretty standard practice, but it’s worth looking over, in any case, to make sure you know what is expected of you.

Do you need to sign a non-compete agreement?

According to HKM, a non-compete agreement attorney in Georgia, non-compete agreements stipulates that a former employee cannot work in a specific industry within a certain geographic region for a set period. These agreements are put in place by employers to protect certain information, which, if divulged, could potentially damage their business.  

If you are required to sign an agreement of this nature and need clarification on its content, it’s worth having an employment attorney who specializes in this area look this over before you sign on the dotted line.

Have you spoken with your existing employer?

If you have a new job offer, waiting until you receive a written contract before telling your employer makes perfect sense. Before signing and sending it off, however, it might be worth having a chat with them – particularly if you like where you work. 

Most employers are hesitant to lose loyal and hardworking staff, so they may offer you more money to stay – or you may even be offered a promotion! Find an opportunity to chat with them, then evaluate the situation in full before making your mind up. Once you sign the contract, it could be tricky to get out of, and backtracking at the last minute won’t do your reputation any good either.

Holiday entitlement and sick pay

The number of holidays you accrue will vary from company to company, so don’t rush into signing anything until you have checked your annual leave entitlement. Many companies increase the number of days as your number of years’ service increases, while others offer additional days to more senior employees. Check what you are entitled to and make sure you are happy before accepting the role. 

Similarly, check the policy relating to sick pay. If you are used to being paid in full when you are absent and expect the same from your new employer, you might get a terrible shock when you get your salary slip and realize that you are only entitled to statutory sick pay.

Read the contract over at least twice, and only once you are satisfied with the full terms of conditions should you put pen to paper.

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