If you’ve been offered a new job, congratulations! Exciting though it is, with Christmas around the corner and a big change on the horizon, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. But you needn’t worry. These three tips will help you prepare for your new role, so that you can look forward to your fresh start in January with confidence.

  1. Be prepared to negotiate

First thing’s first: make sure you are in the best possible position to negotiate your employment conditions. That means don’t give notice with your current employer until you have been given the employment contract for your new position. That way, if you do want to negotiate any changes to the contract, you can do so from a position of confidence.

You may also want to negotiate a shorter notice period with your current employer, so that you can either start your new position early, or enjoy a brief holiday between jobs. Particularly if you are moving to a competitor, your employer may be very open to you leaving early.

  1. Make sure you understand what is expected of you

If you haven’t been given a detailed job description, ask for one and review it thoroughly. If there are any inconsistencies between your understanding of the role, and the employer’s, now is the time to clear them up.

You should also ask to see the company’s employee handbook. At the very least, this should set out company policies on grievance, discipline and equal opportunities. Ideally, though, it will be more sophisticated than that. For example, are employees expected to dress or act a certain way? Are you allowed to talk publicly about the company? What is the company’s attitude to flexible working? All this will give a good flavour of what type of employer you’re joining.

  1. Carefully review your employment contract

No two employment contracts are alike, and you will no doubt have your own set of priorities, but here are just a few of the key points to consider:

  • Pay and benefits: Is everything you discussed set out clearly in the contract? Beware of any benefits that are described as ‘discretionary’. If you were led to believe these were absolute entitlements, query it with HR.
  • Termination: How much notice has to be given by either party, and does it seem fair on both sides?
  • Probation: Is there a probation period and, if so, how long is it?
  • Holiday: How much holiday are you entitled to, and does this figure include or exclude national holidays?
  • Sick pay: Sick pay is often at the employer’s discretion, but you may like to clarify the company’s usual practice.
  • Place of work: Ideally, the contract will state your typical place of work. If you are obliged to work in other locations as well, be sure to clarify who will cover travel and other expenses.

If you are concerned about any aspect of your employment contract, Springhouse Solicitors is on hand to help. Discuss your contract with our employment law specialists today.

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Updates: For employers: Contract changes | Contracts and incentives |
Tagged with: Contracts of employment |

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