Key Things to Check in Your Employment Contract

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Starting a new job can be exciting and worrying at the same time, and sometimes it’s just a relief to finally find a job that you want. Before you rush into signing on the dotted line to make it official, it’s important to consider some of the things that you might find in your contract or agreement. Firstly, you should check if you have a proper contract. A contract should be in writing, with a proper start and end date. Without one, you won’t have many protections when it comes to keeping your job. When you look over your contract, here are some of the things you can look for.

The Length of the Contract

When you’re given a contract for a new job, it will have a set term when it will end. This is the first thing you need to know, but you also need to know what will happen when the date is reached. Some contracts will have provisions for auto-renewal, which could be one-way or joint renewal. If your contract renews automatically, you should make sure that any renegotiating that you want to do takes place before the renewal. You contract might also come to an end, unless your employer arranges to renew it.

What You’ll Be Paid

Of course, what most employees want to know is how they’re going to get paid. Your basic pay is usually pretty straight forward, whether you’re paid by the hour or have a salary. There are sometimes other things to consider too, such as commission or signing bonuses, which makes what and how you get paid a little more complicated. It’s important to understand what you’re guaranteed to be paid and what you could be earning on top of that. Make sure you check the pay structure, as well as any benefits you might receive.

Non-compete Clauses

Some companies want to make sure that they’re not going to be competing against you when you no longer work for them. This might include going to work for a competitor or even working as a freelancer. It’s important to know your employee rights in this area and what might happen if your former employer feels you’ve broken your non-compete clause. Every state is different, with some not allowing non-compete clauses at all and others imposing limits on how they can be enforced. You will want to think carefully before signing a non-compete clause.

Restrictions on Other Work

Another way your work could be restricted by an employer is if you want to do some extra work on the side. Many people have a side hustle or extra part-time job to top up their wages, but not all employers are happy about this. While an employer won’t necessarily say that you can’t do any extra work at all, they might specify that you can’t do anything that conflicts with your work with them.

Before signing a contract for a new job, look it over to check that you know what you’re agreeing to. It’s better to know now than when it’s too late.

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