When receiving a new employment contract, whether that’s because you have a job with a new company that you haven’t worked with before, or a new role, or promotion, with your existing employer, do you know what you should be looking out for?
Although you may not feel you want to ‘rock the boat’ with an employer before beginning a new role with them, or when receiving a new employment contract from your existing employer, clarifying your contract, making sure everything you are expecting is in the contract and removing any uncertainties (or asking for their removal) can make all the difference, as your employment gets underway.
Here’s a simple checklist for what to look out for in your new employment contract to ensure you have all the information that you are entitled to and may well need as your employment continues, or indeed ends.
Your employer’s details (full name of the company) and their address should be included, usually at the beginning, of the employment contract. This may become important should you ever need to bring a claim against them.
Ensure that your details are correct – your name, address, date of birth etc.
Your employment start date should be stated, or the date that your new contract is due to begin.
The contract should state whether any previous employment with the company, or any associated company counts towards your ‘continuous employment’.
Permanent or temporary?
Here your contract should state whether the role is a permanent or temporary position.
Place of work
The place that you are expected to work from should be clearly state. Also, the contract should specify whether your employer can vary your place of work, and whether there are any limitations on this.
Your Employment Contract may give flexibility to your place of work (home working etc.).
Job title & description
Your job title and a description of the work that you will be required to do should be included. The job description may well be brief and give the employer flexibility, however, some descriptions will be extremely detailed and may even form a schedule or annex to the employment contract.
Possibly the section that you are drawn to first, the employment contract should state the amount that you will be paid. This section should also give details of the date you will be paid and how you will be paid. Where applicable, it should also mention overtime payment rates.
Your employment contract should state your usual working days and times (or whether this is flexible) and the number of hours/period of time you are expected to work.
How much holiday you are entitled to is an important consideration for most but you should also consider when your holiday year begins (this may not always be from the 1st of January each year) and the procedures for making holiday requests.
This should give details of your Company Pension Scheme.
Details of what you should do if you are unable to attend work through sickness or injury should be provided, as well as details in relation to the pay that you are entitled to (whether that be Statutory Sick Pay or company sick pay).
This is the length of time that you are required to give notice of when you want to end your employment. This section will also state the period of notice you are entitled to receive from your employer if they want to terminate your employment (and these may well be different). The notice period may change depending on the length of your employment.
Post termination restrictions
Restrictions that may well restrict or hinder you after your employment has ended may be included in your employment contract. These should be checked very carefully to ensure that they are not too restrictive for you.
If you are in doubt…seek legal advice!
This article was written and contributed by Leah Waller of Greystone Solicitors
DISCLAIMER: This article should not be regarded as constituting legal advice in relation to particular circumstances, and is merely a general comment on the relevant topic. If specific advice is required in connection with any of the matters covered in this article, please speak to Greystone Solicitors directly.