Employment Contract Considerations: Protecting Your Rights as an Employee
When you`re offered a new job, one of the most important documents you`ll be asked to sign is the employment contract. This is the legal agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of your employment, including your salary, hours of work, benefits, and more. It`s important to take the time to read through the contract carefully before signing it, as it will affect your rights and obligations as an employee. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when reviewing an employment contract:
1. Understand your entitlements
The contract should clearly outline your entitlements as an employee, including your salary, benefits such as annual leave, sick leave, and superannuation. Make sure you understand the details of these entitlements and how they are calculated. If anything seems unclear or ambiguous, seek clarification from the employer or a legal advisor.
2. Know the terms of your employment
The contract should also specify the terms of your employment, including your job duties, working hours, and any restrictions on your ability to work outside of the company. It should also outline the duration of the contract, whether it`s for a fixed term or ongoing, and any conditions for renewal or termination.
3. Protect your intellectual property
Intellectual property rights are becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace. Make sure the employment contract addresses the ownership of any intellectual property you create while working for the company, such as inventions, designs or software. It`s important to clarify who will own these creations and under what conditions.
4. Check the restrictive covenants
Employment contracts often include restrictive covenants, such as non-compete or non-solicitation clauses. These clauses are designed to protect the employer`s interests, but they can also restrict your ability to pursue other job opportunities or work in a related field after leaving the company. Make sure you understand these clauses and their implications before signing the contract.
5. Seek legal advice
If you`re unsure about any aspect of the employment contract, seek legal advice before signing it. A lawyer can review the contract and provide advice on your rights and obligations, as well as any potential risks or pitfalls. They may also be able to negotiate more favourable terms on your behalf.
In conclusion, employment contracts are an important part of any employment relationship, and it`s important to take the time to review them carefully before signing. By understanding your entitlements, knowing the terms of your employment, protecting your intellectual property, checking the restrictive covenants, and seeking legal advice when necessary, you can ensure that your employment contract protects your rights and sets you up for success.