A contract which sets out the terms of your job is likely to be one of the most important contracts you will ever sign. You probably know your job title, your start date and your remuneration, but do you know the other terms of your contract? What will happen if your contract ends? Are you restricted from working for competitors or former clients when you leave? Do you know what will happen to any bonus or commission entitlement if you leave? How will any sickness absence be treated? Could you be placed on garden leave? How much notice are you entitled to receive?
These are just some of the important matters you should consider before you decide to accept a new contract. In the excitement of receiving a job offer or promotion it is easy to forget to read the small print or to feel awkward raising questions about the contract, but if you don’t you could find that later down the line there is a dispute because your entitlements may not be as you expected, by which time it may be too late to do anything about it.
This is where Fox & Partners can help by reviewing your new contract before you sign it to make sure that there are no hidden surprises and that your expectations are accurately reflected within the contract. Individuals are often surprised to find out that some terms of their contract may not be enforceable, do not mean what they think or are even unlawful. Getting advice on the terms before you sign is essential so that the job you are accepting comes with all the rights and benefits you are expecting to receive. When our advice is sought early, we can usually help to improve the terms on offer and negotiate changes in line with your statutory rights and industry practice.
Issues arise most commonly when individuals leave their job and suddenly the terms of the contract are used to deny them rights which they thought they had, for example, bonus payments or notice.
Many employment disputes could be avoided if both parties had a clear and common understanding of their contractual arrangement from the outset. This usually leads to a longer-lasting, happier relationship all round. When you come to leave, you may well find that having taken advice before you signed the contract will have placed you in a stronger position with regard to your departure.
How Fox & Partners can help…
We offer a fast and efficient Contract Review Service which includes a written report on the key terms, including:
- recommending changes to the contract to achieve your objectives
- helping you to negotiate changes or raise questions with your new employer
- where appropriate, liaising with the employer on your behalf
- comparing your existing contractual terms with the new contract
- advising you about the enforceability of your contract and your statutory minimum entitlements.
Please call us on 020 7618 2400