How to Get the Best Employment Contract

People move from job to job all the time these days. In fact, job hopping seems to be more popular now than ever. This has become a huge problem for many companies because they are finding it harder and harder to keep key employees. Because of this, employment contracts are becoming more and more complex in an attempt by the companies to keep a hold of their employees.

But there is a golden lining. Because companies are so keen on holding on to their employees, you can negotiate a better employment contract in many cases. There are benefits and disadvantages for you and the company when it comes to signing an employment contract and I’m not going to go into these in any sort of detail in this article, just keep in mind that there are pluses and minuses involved from your point of view and also from the company’s point of view. It’s not a bad idea to try and look at it through the eyes of the company, but that’s a subject for another article…

So what should you expect to find in your employment contract? In other words, what should you expect to find in a normal employment contract?

The first thing you’ll find is the “term”. The term indicates when the contract should begin and when the contract should end. Many if not most employment contracts tend to run from 3 to 5 years.

The next thing you’ll find are your specific duties. Some people call this a job description. This is a very important part of any employment contract because it is the basis for any employers claim to fire you “for cause”. Many times this section will be generic or general in nature, but for your sake you want it to be as specific as possible.

The next thing you’ll find is a section on compensation. How much will you earn? This usually discusses the minimum salary as well as lays out any bonuses or stock options and things of this nature that you can expect.

The next thing you’ll find is a section on vacation time. How often each year and for how long can you expect to have a vacation? Can your vacation days be accrued? Will you be paid in lieu of a vacation? These are all things that you can expect to find in this section of your employment contract.

Benefits, including life and health insurance, and any sort of pension plans you can expect your company to provide will be found in this section. You can also find information on relocation expenses especially if you will be moving to your new job from another area of the country or world.

Next you can expect to find a section on termination. We don’t like to think about this but it’s good to be spelled out before hand in your contract exactly what circumstances will lead to your termination. It will probably also discuss how you yourself can terminate your employment contract; making it a very important section.

Expect another section on severance pay. Will you receive a golden parachute if you get fired? Under what circumstances will these things occur?

You should also find a disability provision that discusses exactly what happens should you be unable to continue your employment due to disability; as well as what does and what does not constitute a breach of contract when it comes to disability.

Finally expect a clause that discusses perks. Will you be receiving an expense account? What about a limousine or club membership? Will you have to sign a noncompete provision or arbitration clause? Will the company buy your old house from you in order to relocate you? These are all things that fall under the category of perks.

Well there you have it… these are the main things you can expect to find in any employment contract. They are all negotiable, so keep that in mind before signing anything. Depending on the level of the job and the amount of compensation, you may wish to speak to an employment attorney who specializes in employment contracts.

Why Small Businesses Need Lawyers for Employment Contracts

Contrary to popular belief that only employees are suffering in the rampant redundancy problem in the UK, small businesses are also getting their share of the burden. While workers are losing their jobs, the other half of the story is the fact that small companies are shutting down too. Because much of the attention is on the individual employees, little is known about how small enterprises are biting the dust even more than we could have guessed.

In the midst of the redundancy scare, more and more employees are being vigilant about their employment contracts. And because it’s been an old habit for small companies to DIY practically everything including drafting employment contracts for employees, they usually fall into the cracks when it’s time for the laid-off workers to make their claims.

There were a lot of cases where the contracts offered more than what the company could afford to give. The usual reason was the failure to get a Lawyer to draft a specific employment contract, and instead just relied on common practice as usually solicited by Human Resources experts. Even worse was the fact that some of these small entrepreneurs would just copy their previous employment contracts because they didn’t have the money to pay for a lawyer. It’s ironic that the consequence of their frugality made them pay even more than they can afford.

If you’re one of those employers who have failed to seek the services of an employment lawyer to write the employment contract, here is some advice…

1. Read your contract. Are you prepared to do all the things it says you will do (if the situation arises)? If not, you should consider changing it. Being ‘in breach of contract’ can be a big problem and making promises in writing you don’t intend to honor just documents your failure.

2. Check the handbook. If your contract refers to a handbook, make sure you read this too, as its terms will also be binding.

3. Ask questions. Do you understand your contract? Are there grey areas you just ignore? Does your staff understand their contract? Ask them if they have read it and know what it means – you might be surprised to find out.

4. Issue the documents. Some bosses keep contracts in a locked drawer and don’t issue them. If they are no good, get them changed, if they are good you need them out there doing what you need them to do.

5. Keep copies of the signed terms. You may need to show someone had a copy to make sure you chase up for signed copies and keep them locked away.

When it comes to money, an employment contract is what a court is going to make you do, come what may. It is extremely rare for an employer to be sued for giving their staff more money than they were entitled to! The most common problem is contracting to pay money you can’t afford.

Redundancy is not something anyone wants to happen. While the UK employment law makes it possible for workers to make claims, small companies must also be made aware that they also need to hold their guard. Getting a lawyer to sort out employment contracts is a small company’s best safety precaution.

Reading Your Employment Contract – Make Sure You Read The Fine Print!

There will be times when you will find yourself on the market looking for a job or a change of job. If this is your first time you are going out in search of work then there are a few things you must look out for. Remember the interviewer – or Human Resource Executive interviewing you, is there to get his employer the best deal. And this means the best worker as well as pay out the lowest possible salary.

Now we do not know why, but when it comes to companies they are not consistent with their salary packages. People with the same job profile will get varying salary packages and this leads to a lot of discontentment on the part of the employees. The employer puts this down to varying abilities of the individual and they get paid accordingly. The truth is they ones getting better pay packages is because they were better bargainers.

Apart from being able to bargain efficiently for a good pay package you should know a lot of tricks the employer will use to nick you for a buck or two. After the bargaining is over you should read the offer letter very, very carefully. This is where they take back a lot of what they offer you.

Many people, in their excitement of being told that they are hired, will just want to rush out after the interview and celebrate with friends and relatives, then a couple of days into the new job they begin to realize that they have been ‘had’ and that other colleagues have managed to get themselves a better deal. This is the first mistake any one can make. So read every word in the employment contract before you move from the interview room.

One thing to keep in mind when you are appearing for an interview is that this is not the end of the world. Like this opportunity you will get many more. You just need to be free to take them up as and when they come. So bargain for the best salary you think you are worth and then read the fine print. The interviewer will very sweetly agree to your demands for say a salary of 25,000 per month and then put it down as 300,000 CTC (Cost To Company). This means that it is going to cost the company 3 hundred thousand to employ you for a year. When your salary slip is presented to you will find deductions and they will explain this as transportation costs, meals, PF, Gratuity, employee well fair fund etc. etc. You end up getting about 18 to 19 thousand where you bargained for 25.

This is just one way they can rope you into signing the contract. The other things you need to look out for is the term of the contract and if it is renewable, what is the notice period you need to give when you resign and when they will process your dues. So beep these points in mind and you will be better equipped to deal with an interview.