Career Advice Job Searching Tips

Employment Contract: What You Need to Know Before Signing Anything

By: Mariah Rogers
May 6, 2022 • 2 min read

If you’ve been on a job hunt for a while now, you might be quite excited to sign the first employment contract presented to you by a potential employer. Before you rush into signing your name, though, you want to make sure that you review every single item on that contract. 

Here, JobGet shares what you need to know about employment contracts:

What Is an Employment Contract?

An employment contract (also called a contract of employment) is a list of all the mutual understandings agreed upon by the parties involved in an employment relationship. It is a binding legal document that specifies the terms and conditions of employment between the employer and the employee.

An employment contract can be written or oral. However, an oral employment contract has no legal standing and cannot be enforced in the event of a dispute. Thus, it is highly important that both parties have a clear understanding of what has been agreed upon before any work commences.

What Information Can Be Found on an Employment Contract?

Salary

An employment contract can provide for a definite salary or an annual salary. It can also include a provision for other forms of remuneration and benefits aside from the salary.

Schedule

The schedule in an employment contract can contain provisions detailing the commencement of service, the date of the end of service, the duration of the employment contract, the salary, and other benefits paid by the employer.

General Responsibilities

An employment contract can also state clearly the general responsibilities of the concerned parties. It can also contain a general statement about the promises and duties of the parties involved.

Confidentiality

Employment contracts can also contain a confidentiality agreement that states that the employer and employee must not share confidential information and trade secrets of the business to third parties.

Benefits

Additional benefits can also be discussed and agreed upon, such as company holidays, maternity leaves, and others.

Communications

It is also possible to include communications agreements in the employment contract to specify how and when the employer and employee can communicate with each other.

Additional Provisions

It is also common to include additional provisions in an employment contract, such as a non-compete agreement. In the event that an employee breaches the non-compete agreement, he or she may be required to fully compensate the employer for any losses incurred as a result.

Why You Should Review an Employment Contract Thoroughly Before Signing

The first reason to review your employment contract is to ensure that you understand everything in the contract. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear. The best way to avoid any misunderstandings or frustrations down the line is to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

The second reason to review your employment contract is to make sure that it is not lopsided and that you’re not being taken advantage of. If you find yourself in a position where the agreement stands to benefit your employer more than it does you, you may want to ask the employer to make amendments to the contract.

There are many things that can be included in an employment contract. If you haven’t worked for the company before, though, you have absolutely no idea what your responsibilities are in the first place. Be sure to ask questions and clarify anything that is not clear to you.

Conclusion

Reviewing your employment contract carefully can help you avoid mistakes, avoid any legal hassles, and retain your rights. Always read the contract thoroughly and ask questions if something doesn’t sound right to you. Even if you want to get a job now, the wise thing to do when you get a job offer is to review the employment contract several times to ensure that you’re not overlooking anything. 

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