8 clauses to check before signing your employment contract

You have the job! You worked your way through the application process and prevailed over the competition at the interview. Or you accepted a job offer from a headhunter. Perhaps your new employment contract is the result of a reorientation within the company. In any case, whenever you have an employment contract to sign, you can and must negotiate certain points.

By Sorina Faier, elite researchers

1. Job title and responsibilities

You should review the job title and duties listed in the employment contract. The tasks must correspond to those indicated in the job description.

It would be surprising to see different duties and responsibilities than what you applied and interviewed for, but if you notice any significant discrepancies, you should discuss them with the hiring manager or HR manager before signing the contract. If the changes listed do not match your skills or work ethic, be sure to mention this to the employer before signing the contract.

2. Salary

Salary is a key factor in choosing your job. This largely determines whether or not you are satisfied with your long-term work. While a good salary usually can’t make up for an otherwise lousy day at work in the long run, you also won’t be happy if you go to work every day with pleasure and joy, but can barely afford to pay. the rent or to have a living wage. living. Young specialists in particular, the so-called Generation Y, are in fact considered to be particularly undemanding – at least in material terms.

3. Benefits

Sometimes it makes more sense to demand other benefits from the employer than a higher salary. As soon as you exceed a certain limit, your tax rate also increases and there is almost nothing left of the additional income in the end. Therefore, there are also so-called non-taxable benefits, which you can negotiate in a new employment contract instead of salary negotiations. These include benefits such as holiday or petrol vouchers, meal tickets, health or life insurance, a private pension, a fitness or health subscription.

4. Working hours and breaks

Working hours are definitely the second most important factor in the workplace when it comes to your level of satisfaction. For example, if you earn 3,000 euros gross per month, it makes a big difference whether you have to work 40 or 35 hours per week. Overtime is also a problem for many workers if they have to work too often or too much. Models such as working from home or working remotely are also desirable for many employees. Also check your lunch break.

5. Holidays, notice period and trial period

As with everything else, you need to take regular breaks once you start the new job. Before signing the contract, check the number of days and hours allocated to your vacation period. You should also assess whether there are any other vacation limitations. Some companies generally request that holidays be used between a certain time of the year. Also check your notice period and trial period.

6. Accessibility

Thanks to digitization, free time no longer means that you can disconnect from work. In many companies, it is common that you have to be available for your colleagues, the boss or the customers outside working hours. So your smartphone also rings on weekends and you even check your emails on vacation. It’s not only annoying, but can become a real health burden in the long run.

7. Field of activity

You can not only negotiate your rights in your employment contract, but also your obligations. For example, what do you owe the employer in return for salary, what activities are you required to perform – and which not, what is your area of ​​responsibility, what are the limits of your manager’s authority to issue directives, Are there any “minor” tasks that you are actually overqualified, but your boss tells you to do, when can you say “no”? Such definitions of your area of ​​work should also be recorded in the employment contract – and, of course, you can negotiate the existing clauses.

8. Restrictive covenants

Restrictive covenants, also known as restrictive covenants, generally do not apply during your tenure with an employer, but do not take effect until the contract is terminated. However, you should familiarize yourself with the stipulated terms before signing the contract. Restrictive covenants are normally designed to protect the employer’s business, employees and customers. Some of the restrictive covenants include a non-compete, non-solicitation, non-transaction and non-poaching clause. You should check whether this section defines the sectors, types of businesses and geographical boundaries in which you will work.

You must ensure that restrictive covenants do not negatively impact your future employment opportunities. For example, you may be prohibited from working for a competing company for a certain period of time.

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