Congratulations! After a long, arduous job search process during the pandemic, finally you receive a notification saying that you are accepted into your dream company. Eager to start working right away, there is no doubt that you cannot wait to sign the employment contract.
Despite being the most important document that arranges an employment agreement, only a few people are actually committed to reading their job contracts carefully. Some people simply believe that the content is exactly what they have understood and expected. Some others might try to read the contract, but it has so many points with complex sentences and unfamiliar terms that they do not really understand. In the end, they still do not grasp the meaning of certain clauses in the contract. Meanwhile, even some people do not get how the contract will affect their employment status in an organisation. Those are the most common reasons why employees end up signing their job contracts without reading and understanding each point in the whole documents.
However, reading the employment contract before sealing the deal is vital. It is important to check whether the points written on it have been in accordance with the existing circumstance, or you still need to negotiate some of them with the employers. If needed, asking the meaning of unfamiliar terms in the contract is also important to make sure that you fully understand each point stated in the agreement paper. Here are some points you should check before signing an employment contract for a new job:
See also: Guide to Construct Better Employment Contract
1. Job title and description
You might believe that you have understood about the job you apply for and are ready to take any responsibilities that come with it. However, you should recheck in the contract whether the job title, department, and job scope are the same as what you expected or not. You can read that information in the point of job title and description. If there is any miscommunication between you and the recruiter and yet you choose to ignore this point, there are chances that you will have to deal with different tasks outside your expertise.
2. Compensation and benefits
Salary and bonuses could be one of the most important considerations when people pick a job. While you have negotiated this with the hiring managers in the interview and a certain amount has been agreed upon, you need to check it on the contract nevertheless. Additionally, do not miss to read other benefits such as health insurance, travel reimbursements and other bonuses, if any.
3. Working schedule
Knowing that you have to show up at work from Monday to Friday is not enough. You should make sure how many hours you have to work in a day, including the allocated time for lunch or breaks. During a busy period, you might be required to work overtime so you should learn about the arrangement, including how you will be paid for overtime hours and how to deal with the overtime task. Amidst current global health crisis, you might need to check whether your employer-to-be adopts working from home arrangement or not.
4. Start date
Knowing when you should start your first day at the new job is crucial, as it deals with when you should turn in a resignation letter for your current employer. Besides, you need to prepare for your first day in the new company. There is always a possibility of human error so you should ensure that the start date written in the contract is the one you have negotiated with the hiring manager in the previous meeting. It is also important to know when the contract ends so you can set the next plan if you want to move on.
5. Sick days and paid leave policy
Checking how many paid leaves you can take in a year is important so you can plan how you will use them. As a new employee, you also need to know when you are allowed to take vacation days. Do not forget to check how you can propose vacation leave, emergency leave, and sick leave.
6. Termination terms and conditions
When you know what kind of behaviours might lead to termination of employment, you will know how to avoid making those mistakes. You also need to find out the point about the procedures of resignation, in case if there is a condition that makes you want to leave the company before the contract ends.
Next Read: HR Guide to Employment Contract in China