New Year, New Job?
Updated: Dec 28, 2019
As the turn of the year approaches and brings with it a host of changes, some of us may begin to plan some changes for ourselves.
You may be thinking about a change in fitness and opt to join a gym. A change in spending habits might be one of your New Year’s resolutions and you may decide to open a new savings account. Many of us decide that the new year is the perfect time to make the bigger lifestyle change of finding a new job. If that’s you or if you have already been offered a job to start in the new year, congratulations!
The process of changing from one job to another can bring with it lots of items to check off your to-do list including reviewing your new employment contract. But what on earth are you supposed to look for when reading through it?! We have put together a few things to bear in mind when reviewing your employment contract to make sure you have a sound understanding of your rights and responsibilities before you begin your new job.
Read on for more…
1. Check your start and end date
Read the contract and any supporting documents in full to ensure that any start and end dates of employment that may have been agreed between yourself and your new employer have been correctly recorded in the documents.
2. Job description including working hours and place of work
Ensuring you are clear on what is required of you whilst in your role will avoid any difficult discussions about workload and/or completion of specific tasks later down the line. Read the job description thoroughly. Ask your future employer about anything you are unsure about or anything that appears in the job description that was not discussed at the interview stage.
It might not be at the forefront of your mind as you start your new job but its’ important to talk about termination. You should ensure you understand exactly how and when you or your future employer can terminate the contract. Termination provisions will usually change after any probation period so ensure you are aware of what is contained within the contract.
4. Pay and Pension
Even if you are signing up to volunteer with an organisation, there may be compensation you are entitled to such as reimbursement of travel expenses and food. Read all documents and ensure the hourly rate, annual salary, bonus structure etc. is what was agreed between yourself and your future employer before signing, and if it isn’t, put the question to the appropriate individual within the company. The contract should also give details about the company’s pension plan and contributions that both you and your employer will make.
A full time employee has the right to 28 days’ holiday but how this actually plays out can vary between companies. Bank holidays may be included within your statutory entitlement so it is important to read and understand what your entitlement is before signing.
6. Restrictive Covenants
Employment contracts can contain elements that bind employees during or after a period of employment. Common covenants include those which restrict employees from working for a competitor within a specified period of time, dealings with clients/customers and provisions detailing what happens if you decide to start your own business whilst still in employment. You should read any restrictive covenants in full before signing to ensure you do not breach your contract and risk legal action or termination.
Contracts of any nature can be lengthy and at times include confusing language or clauses that may cause you some concern. Always bear in mind that you should never sign a document until you feel confident you are well aware of what is contained within it. Contracts are able to be negotiated and you can have a talk with your employer before signing to amend the contract until you are both happy with it.
Reading and understanding your employment contract is important and helps to asses whether the role is right for you.
Our team can review any contracts or specific clauses with a view to ensuring you have a complete understanding of your rights and obligations before you sign. Should you wish to have any documents reviewed by a member of our team, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 871 3076
Wishing you all a pleasant festive season.
From all at KANR Legal